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DAVID J. BERG Sr. (1919 - 2008)

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David J. Berg, Sr., longtime Oak Harbor businessman, died on May 5, 2008 at Whidbey General Hospital, Coupeville following a sudden illness.

He was born July 23, 1919 in Burlington, Washington to Roger and Ethel (Beaty) Berg. Dave was raised in Burlington. He was as very bright student and was advanced one year in school. He played basketball in high school and was a championship tennis player. He served as President of the Class of 1936 of Burlington-Edison High School.

Dave left for Spokane following graduation and attended college for a time. Dave's father worked for the Great Northern Railroad during the Great Depression and was able to obtain work for Dave. Dave worked at various jobs for the railroad, doing odd jobs and painting railroad facilities. While in Burlington, he spotted a young lady from Sedro-Woolley, who was a hairdresser in Burlington. She took care of Dave's grandmother's hair. One day Dave was sitting with his brother and spotted the hairdresser and told his brother he would someday marry that girl. On October 11, 1941 he married Helen M. Stiles in Burlington.
With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dave and several of his buddies, enlisted in the U.S. Army. They figured they would go over seas and beat the Japanese and return home in a few months. He spent two years stationed at Adak, Alaska, serving as a radio operator and telegrapher. He returned to Washington at the end of the war.

Dave moved to Seattle following the war and attended business school. He returned to Skagit Valley and was hired by Seattle First National Bank to work at the Mount Vernon office. He left banking and opened Berg & Wilson Insurance and Real Estate, also in Mount Vernon.

In the early 1950's, Dave began selling cars for Rygmyr Auto in Mount Vernon. In 1959, Dave moved his family to Queen Anne Hill in Seattle and went to work for Nelson Chevrolet in Ballard, soon advancing to General Manager. He moved to Edmonds in 1962, where he managed the Nelson Chrysler/Plymouth dealership until he joined Lee Johnson Chevrolet in Kirkland in 1965.

In 1969, Dave fulfilled a long-time ambition to own a dealership when he moved to Oak Harbor and purchased Maylor Ford Sales on Highway 20. That dealership became Berg Ford Sales, and Dave continued the business until he retired, selling to son Dan in 1985.

He and Helen were members of the Burlington First Methodist Church. They had been snowbirds since retiring and spent their winters in Peoria, Arizona and the summers in Oak Harbor.

Dave and Helen were deeply in love. Family was very important to each of them. Dave lovingly referred to Helen as his "Little Blonde Bride". Helen passed away in 2000 and following her death, Dave continued his trips to Arizona each year. He had returned to Oak Harbor within the past few weeks.

Dave was an avid golfer and retirement allowed him to enjoy his game at any time. He was a member of the Whidbey Golf & Country Club and the Westbrook Village Golf & Country Club. Dave was a very skilled athlete and excelled at anything he tried. He loved all sports, especially baseball and the Mariners. He attended Spring training games every year and enjoyed his last game just before returning to Oak Harbor this Spring. Dave was also a member of the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge.

Dave is survived by four children and their spouses: David J. Berg, Jr. and wife Trudy of Glendale, Arizona; Douglas W. Berg and wife Joyce of Edmonds, Washington; Daniel R. Berg and wife Sharon of Oak Harbor; and Shelley J. Berg and husband Lee Bowman of Filmore, California; seven grandchildren: D.J. Berg, Tracy Berg, Jessica Bie, Travis Berg, Derrick Berg, Kevin Berg and Amy Berg; four great-grandchildren: Cameron Berg, Lauran Goulding, David J. Berg IV, and Magnus Finn Bie; one sister Virginia Jenkins of Bellingham and one brother Don Berg and wife Donna of Mount Vernon also survive.

One brother Truman Berg also preceded him in death.

Memorial services for Dave Berg will be held on Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:00pm at Family Bible Church, Oak Harbor with Pastor Ron Willis officiating. Cremation was held with private family inurnment at Maple Leaf Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Whidbey General Hospital Foundation, Tree of Life, PO Box 641, Coupeville, WA 98239 or World Vision, PO Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716.

Arrangements are entrusted to Burley Funeral Chapel, Oak Harbor, Washington.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on May 13, 2008
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