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Mary Kunz Berge (1937 - 2012)

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Berge, Mary Kunz

MIDDLETON - Mary Kunz Berge, 74, passed away on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, surrounded by her loving family.

Mary was born Nov. 29, 1937, the daughter of Franklin and Marie Kunz in Manitowoc, Wis. Mary was a graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In August of 1960, Mary married Paul Berge. Her true North. Mary spent the ensuing years raising their children, Bobby (Lisa) and Maren as well as being an active volunteer throughout the Madison community. She was also a successful consultant of 18 years for the Carlisle Collection of Fine Women's Apparel.

Mary will be remembered for her compassion towards others, her wonderful sense of humor, her kind heart and that wonderful smile she shared often. She had a tenacious drive and determination that guided her throughout her life especially with her many health issues. Her Norwegian heritage and Lutheran faith shined through all the way to the end.

Mary was a proud and devoted alumna of the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in textiles and clothing in 1961. She served on the School's Board of Visitors and was a founding member of the development committee for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. In 2004, she was recognized for efforts as chair of the School's centennial celebration. She had the distinction of being the first Human Ecology alumna to be recognized as a 100 Women Honoree in tribute to her community involvement and commitment to family.

Mary was an active member of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Attic Angels Association, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity and a member of the Bascom Hill Society. She became involved in Edgefest and received the Veritas Auxiliary Service Award in recognition of exceptional volunteer service to Edgewood High School. In addition, she chaired the Holiday Art Fair for the Madison Art League and Co-Chaired the Arts Ball. Her efforts in organizing the annual Christmas tree program generated thousands of gifts for families involved in the United Way Head Start Program. She was on the board of the Madison's Junior Women's Club and received the Gloria Lewis Award for outstanding service. Mary was also a devoted member of Bethel Lutheran Church for over 50 years.

Mary was most happy spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren, dogs and friends at their home on Lake Mendota and their home in the mountains of Steamboat Springs, Colo. In addition, Mary loved entertaining at her house, especially after a Badger Football Home Game. There wasn't a story Mary wouldn't listen to or a person to whom she would turn her back. She had kindness in her heart and a twinkle of mischief in her eye. Her Norwegian heritage and her strong faith helped her through some challenging health issues in the past eight years with courage and determination.

Mary is survived by her loving husband of 52 years, Paul; her son, Bobby (Lisa) of Bedford, N.H., her daughter, Mären of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and five grandchildren, Christina, Brianna, Jack, Ryan and Ashleigh of Bedford, N.H.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012, at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH in Madison.

Paul and his family would like to express their sincere gratitude to friends and the doctors, nurses and other staff at St. Mary's Hospital for their support and wonderful caring.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Mary's Foundation, 707 S. Mills, Madison, WI 53715 or the UW Foundation- Mary Berge Fund for the HLATC at the School of Human Ecology, 848 University Ave., Madison, WI 53708.

Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, 2012
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