George E. Berger, Stevens Point, passed away January 8, 2021 at Aspirus Hospice House surrounded by his family.
George was born on April 23, 1939 in Denmark, Wisconsin, son of Edward and Martha Berger. He was raised on a small dairy farm in rural Denmark and attended Twin River Grade School, a one room school a quarter mile from where he lived. He attended Denmark High School graduating in 1957. While in high school he was a four-year member of the High School Band enjoying a number of spring band competitions and marching in various parades in the area. One of his fond memories was the DHS band marching in the dedication parade of the Green Bay Packers New City Stadium which, a few years later, became known as Lambeau Field. His intent upon graduation was to enlist in the Army and then drive semi-truck after he was discharged.
During his senior year in high school, he and other members of the vocational agriculture class were given an assignment by the agriculture instructor to write a short essay on "How Electricity Helps the Farmer". This essay was to enter a county wide contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation and the winner received a full scholarship to attend the 15-week University of Wisconsin Farm Short Course in Madison. Shortly before graduation, George was informed he won the scholarship. His plans changed and instead of joining the Army, he enrolled that fall in the Farm Short Course in Madison. After graduating from the Farm Short Course, he decided to continue his formal education in agriculture. His High School agriculture instructor persuaded him to attend the University of Wisconsin, River Falls which at that time was known as the Wisconsin State Teachers College of River Falls. He graduated in the spring of 1962 with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Education with a minor in Industrial Arts.
In the spring of his sophomore year at River Falls, while attending a College Newman Club social, he met the love of his life, a local River Falls girl by the name of Shirley Dusek. This courtship blossomed very well and last year celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.
George's employment was with the US Department of Agriculture starting as an intern during the summers of 1960 & 1961. Upon graduation in the spring of 1962, he worked full time for USDA until his retirement in late 1994. The early years consisted of many moves within Wisconsin which included Chippewa Falls, Appleton, Mauston, Lancaster, return to Appleton & Chippewa Falls until the final assignment to Stevens Point in the fall of 1973.
During his years in Stevens Point, George was a member of a local Catholic Parish serving as an usher, parish council for 6 years, 12 years on the finance council coincided with 12 years as head of the Parish's Building and Grounds Committee plus served on many other committees from time to time.
He served as a member of the Village of Park Ridge Planning and Zoning Committee since 1993. He was a member of the Stevens Point Elk's Organization since 1990. He joined the Knights of Columbus in the fall of 1965, is an Honorary Life Member of the Stevens Point Knights of Columbus Council 1170 and a 4th degree member as well.
Upon retirement in 1994 George kept busy in his back-garage woodworking shop making many items of furniture etc. for his wife and three daughters. He always said, "Since I'm doing this for the fun of it and for free, there is no worry about getting fired from the job". George and Shirley loved traveling having visited all 50 US States, over 50 Foreign Countries and had been on all 7 Continents. He and his family enjoyed owning 4 season tickets to the Green Bay Packer games dating back to the 1970 season. He had often commented that the first Packer game he attended was in Old City Stadium when his ticket cost 75 cents.
George is survived by his beloved wife, Shirley, children Janet of Oregon WI, Joanne (Rhody) Przekurat and Julie Berger of Stevens Point and grandchildren Luke (Grace) of Highlands Ranch CO, Lauryn (Sean) Kuhne of Brooklyn WI, Trevor and Sydney of Stevens Point.
He was preceded in death by two infant daughters, his parents and only sibling, Gertrude Cornelius of Manitowoc.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Aspirus Health Foundation, 425 Pine Ridge Blvd. Wausau WI 54401 in Support of Hospice Care in George's name.
A Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held.