Don Berger passed away peacefully at the Wellington senior retirement center in Oklahoma City on January 7, 2014 following a short illness. With him were his daughter, Lynn Louise, and his caregiver and friend, Alisa Cruz.
The Guest Book is expired.
Don Berger was born on July 6, 1919 to Karl and Ethel Berger in Lansing, Michigan. He attended Lansing public schools, where he developed a love of mathematics, science, music and woodwind instruments. He received the Eagle Scout Award while in high school. Don attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, graduating in 1941 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He began his career with Phillips Petroleum Company (with whom Don spent his entire career) shortly thereafter, and worked assignments in Burbank and Kaw City, Oklahoma, before moving to the Phillips refinery in Borger, Texas. In Borger Don met and fell in love with Alice Lynn Street. They married on December 30, 1947 in Alice Lynn's home town of Littlefield, Texas. They relocated to Bartlesville, where they raised their family and continued to live through retirement.
During his career with Phillips, Don worked first in Research and Development, being awarded 23 patents, for projects ranging from early computer language to chemical extraction processes. Later in his career he worked closely with the legal department in reviewing and searching patent applications for technical feasibility and originality. His working career supplemented but did not dominate his family and social life.
Don led a full and active life in Bartlesville that included service as a founding member of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, volunteering with the Boy Scouts, bridge clubs, socializing with many friends, and continuing his love of music and woodwinds. He played in local dance bands, the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, the Tulsa Community Band, and numerous community center musicals. Don always had multiple projects going to refurbish and resell old clarinets he had acquired, and made rounds to pawn shops between Bartlesville and Tulsa for new finds. Every now and then he came upon a real gem. He always had on hand a good spare woodwind to sell cheap or give to a new student. He also enjoyed the history of the clarinet and owned several highly detailed books on history and evolution of woodwinds. Don and Lynn also enjoyed traveling to Europe and lived part time in Durango, Colorado for a few years. They thoroughly enjoyed their time at Green Country in Bartlesville with their friends and caregivers.
Don was preceded in death by Alice Lynn in 2012. He is survived by children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren: Daughter Carol Gundlach and her husband, Jim, granddaughter Cirrus and her husband, Jayson, and great granddaughter Moyra, granddaughter Amy and her husband Chris, great grandchildren Tori and Jeremiah; Son Ed Berger and his wife, Marilyn, and grandson Alex; Son Howard Berger and his wife, Diane, grandson William, and his wife, Carissa, grandson Mark and his fiancée Lynne, grandson Jacob and his wife, Jennifer, and granddaughter Katie; Daughter Lynn Ely and her husband, Jack, and grandsons Patrick, Michael, and John.
A memorial service is planned for Don Berger at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 2 PM.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Feb. 9 to Mar. 9, 2014