TRAVERSE CITY — Kenneth Glen Berg passed away suddenly Saturday, July 27, 2013, at the grand age of 90. He was born on April 25, 1923, on the 115 acre family farm located on West Traverse Bay where M-22 and East Shady Lane join in Bingham Township, Mich.
He was the 10th of 12 children born to Leonard and Charlotte Berg, both German immigrants. He attended Lee’s Bay one room schoolhouse in Bingham Township, Leelanau County. He received his honorary high school diploma from Traverse City West Senior High School in 2006 at his granddaughter’s high school graduation. He also attended Northwestern Michigan College and the Dale Carnegie Business School.
In Jan. 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. During his service, he was deployed to the Pacific Theater in the second wave of Marines that landed on Iwo Jima and Saipan. On Nov. 29, 1945 he married Charrie Ann Chamberlin. On Jan. 29, 1946 he was honorably discharged as a decorated Marine, Sergeant First Class, and returned to Traverse City.
After his discharge from active duty, Ken began his career in the grocery business as an employee of Oleson’s Food Store at the State Street location. He worked in many areas of the business and was promoted to store manager in 1967. When the State Street store was sold and torn down to make way for the telephone company, he was transferred to the Front Street Oleson’s Food Store where he became the manager until his retirement in 1985.
Ken enjoyed water skiing and hosting water ski shows throughout the Grand Traverse area. He hand crafted all of the water skis he used for the shows. He also enjoyed snow skiing, baseball, bowling, riding his bicycle and golf. He achieved the ultimate golfer’s dream of scoring a hole in one while vacationing in Georgia. Ken and Charrie were active members of the Traverse City Golf and Country Club for many years, where he once won the annual Walter Hagen Golf Tournament. On occasion, he was known to commandeer his son’s motorcycle for a quick ride around the block. Upon retirement, Ken and Charrie traveled in their motor home and enjoyed their grandchildren. He was a caring, loving man devoted to his family. He made many friends in the community through his employment at Oleson’s and through his daily activities.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Charlotte, brothers Walter, Alfred, Leslie, Harold, Karl, Leonard and Donald, and sisters Martha Kunold, Johanna Boynton and Kathryn Bellaw.
Ken is survived by his wife Charrie, his daughter Kim Ginger (Bill) McKinley of Williamsburg, his son Timothy Gale (Debbie) Berg of Traverse City, his grandson Scott (Julie) Gondzar of Fort Collins, Colo., granddaughters Krista Berg and Courtney Berg and sister Bernice Drake, all of Traverse City, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 10, at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1027 McRae Hill Road, Traverse City, 49685, with the Reverend Gary Hogue officiating. The family will greet visitors at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Munson Healthcare Foundation. Please designate Munson Heart Center. Please visit Kenneth’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guest book and share a memory with his family. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City to handle the arrangements.