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Dr. Borger

Dr. Borger Obituary
Byron Center, Mich. - Dr. Borger, 88, passed away peacefully at Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods in Byron Center, Mi., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, from metastatic melanoma.

He had been a resident of Freedom Village in Holland, Mich., where he was known as the "orchid man," as his year long porch was filled with orchids and blooming flowers. He had previously resided in Waterville, Ohio, Old Lyme, Rochester, Vt. and Newville, Pa.

Born on Jan. 30, 1926, to Herbert Allen Borger and Catherine Louise Raab Hamersly, Dr. Borger spent his early years in Trenton and Hamilton, Ohio, where the German Lutheran Borgers settled. After graduating from Hamilton High School, he served in the U.S. Air Corp in the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He then was graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in German, and in 1953 as a doctor of medicine. Following an internship in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Borger assumed the practice of Dr. Waldo Suter in Waterville, Ohio, where he was later joined by the late Dr. James Witzler. As a general practitioner, in the days of house calls and $3.00 office visits, he loved his work and his patients. As the practice of medicine began to change, he joined the Pfizer Drug Co. in 1966 on the East Coast where he worked in drug development, both domestically and internationally. He retired in 1998 as senior vice president of clinical research.

In 1949, Dr. Borger married Audrey Leah Rabbe. Both loved travel and gardening and Mrs. Borger loved helping her master gardener husband create beautiful landscapes of flower and vegetable gardens. They had four children. Upon Mrs. Borger's passing in 1988, he married Karis Hanifan from Waterville, Ohio, a longtime family friend and fellow gardener. They resided in Rochester, Vermont and Newville, Pa. before moving to Freedom Village in 2004. Karis passed in 2007. Dr. Borger's many interests included opera, classical music, reading, theatre, playing piano, and in the last few years he became an avid pool player with special friends at Freedom Village.

At his death, Dr. Borger had 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, with two more due in 2015. His family includes daughter, Fern Penicnak of Florida with husband, John, and grandchildren Deke, Christine, Helen and Adrianna; daughter, Susan Lantz Vanderbilt of Holland, Michigan with husband William and grandchildren Heidi Lantz Baughman with husband, Matt, and great-grandchildren, Maddy and Drew and Pastor David Lantz with wife, Candace, and great-grandchildren, Colin, Kyle, and Raegan; son, Craig Allen Borger of Connecticut (deceased), Jeanne Foley (Borger) and granddaughter, Faith Currier with husband, Christopher and great-grandchild, Flynn; and daughter, Cathy Russell Mitchell of Maryland with husband Tom and grandchildren, Holliann Kim with husband, James, Timothy Russell, Angela Russell, Rebecca Mitchell, and Michael Mitchell.

Dr. Borger was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey, and second wife, Karis; his son, Craig; and sons-in-law, Gary Russell and William Lantz.

Private burial will be in the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme, beside his first wife, Audrey, where Dr. Borger was a longtime member of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He most recently attended Zion Lutheran Church in Holland, Mi.

Memorial contributions may be made to Windmill Island, to the scholarship program at Freedom Village, or to Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods in Byron Center in Dr. Borger's name. www.langelandsterenberg.com.
Published in The Day on Dec. 3, 2014
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