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Harold C. Berg ~ August 17, 1916 to October 31, 2009

The World lost a good man Saturday night but we had him for 93 good years.

Harold was born on the Berg farm west of Atwater Minnesota and left us a few hours ago, with Helen and Bill at his side, in Englewood Florida. He said the town doctor used to say that “if you live long enough something will kill you”. Even Harold couldn’t buck those odds but he loved life, he lived long and well, and he lives on in our hearts.

He experienced the joy of growing up in a large family with 6 brothers and 2 sisters in the early part of the 20th century. But he also told of the harsh truth of his father returning from town during the Depression to report that they were broke. He was a frugal man to the end, it’s not hard to tell where that came from, and we all have something to learn there. Harold signed on with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 30's. The Berg brothers served our country well in World War II and, against steep odds, all came back alive. Harold was a player on an epic stage when his ship, docked in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, not only survived but with Harold’s help in the engine room was one of just a few ships at Pearl to get underway in record time and form an impromptu task force to search for enemy aircraft carriers.

After a great deal of action in the war Harold returned to the love of his life, Helen Corkins, and they were married on October 19, 1946. Harold went to work as a part of Berg Brothers Trucking before he was asked to serve as Postmaster of Atwater. Harold thrived in the Postal Service to become a leader in the state and national organizations of NAPUS (National Association of Postmasters of the United States) and, later, for the postmaster’s retired.

The father of 3 sons, Harold was a family man as well as a passionate volunteer, donating time and talent to church, the community club, NAPUS, the American Legion, the Boy Scouts and more.

Working in that ship’s boiler room in the Pacific must have altered his blood chemistry because Harold developed an incurable desire for palm trees and hot temps and an aversion for the snows of his childhood. Helen and Harold have spent winters in Florida since the 70’s.

Harold was seldom happier than when gathered with friends and family. He and Helen built strong friendships nationwide through their postal work and he relished those extended relationships. The proximity of his siblings, their spouses and all of us kids in the 50’s and 60’s created a North-Central Minnesota Baby Boom Upbringing that even Garrison Keillor’s imagination can’t do justice.

Harold is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen, and two sons, Bruce and Bill and a daughter-in-law, Colette. Harold’s sister Nettie and brother Arnold also survive him.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jim, and by sister Irene and brothers Chuck, Melvin, LeRoy, Elmer and Duke.

Say a prayer then raise a toast to Harold Berg. I’m proud to say that he was my Dad.

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Comment by Richard on November 5, 2009 at 10:30am
I want to express my deepest and warmest sympathy on the passing of your father. He sounds like a great man who was able to rise above the hardships life throws at us. Who worked hard to provide for his family and had a wonderful life with loving friends and family.
Comment by Bruce and Rose Eddy on November 3, 2009 at 2:25pm
Our condolences to you and your family, our prayers are with you.
Comment by aggie71 on November 2, 2009 at 6:25pm
Bill - I regret I never met your Dad. He sounds like a great guy and we all owe him, and his contemporaries, a debt of gratitude for their service and bravery. I wish you peace and strength in your loss. What a wonderful life!
Comment by Marie Louise Rick on November 2, 2009 at 9:50am
Harold and Helen were a part of my life since I was young. Helen was sister to Dorine who was married to my brother K. Vincent Peterson. I have you folks in my prayers and I know Harold will be missed by all very much. God Bless you all,
Marie Rick-Cottington
Comment by Kevin Mellott on November 2, 2009 at 8:58am
I hope you enjoy the celebration of your father's life with your friends and family, knowing that your CW family is always here for you.
On a lighter note, just got back to CO from MN and drove through Darwin. You were right, that is one big ball of twine!
Comment by Jeannine Daigle Moore on November 1, 2009 at 12:42pm
Bill - My heart goes out to you. I will pass your news along to Patrick Liam and Conor. Thank you so much for writing the memories of Harold. Living so far from Harold and Helen, we didn't cross paths often enough. I knew your father was in the Postal Service, but I didn't realize he was there at Pearl Harbor. Thank God he survived the war, and raised you and your brothers, and had a long life filled with so many friendships and the love of your mom. It seems that's what we all hope for. His passing is so sad because the loss of Harold. It brings home to all of us the need to follow what's important, and not stress about the rest. We were so happy to see you and Colette in Yellowstone in late summer. Thanks for building memories, and for sand battles down by the river. Please tell your mom we're thinking of her too.
Comment by Kate on November 1, 2009 at 11:11am
My condolences on your loss... this brought tears to my eyes... 63 years of marriage, a fine family, a war veteran...served his country. Your dad indeed sounds like a wonderful man. Hugs and prayers to all of you and yours, Bill.
Comment by Eric Lund on November 1, 2009 at 10:58am
Very sorry to hear he's gone, but I'm also happy that you got down there in time to be with him. Take your time, take care of your mom. We've got you covered.

Comment by akscootr on November 1, 2009 at 5:45am
I pray for you, Bill. You and your family are in my thoughts...
Comment by Jason Kemple on November 1, 2009 at 3:05am
I'm so sorry for your loss Bill. I wish you and your family nothing but positive thoughts and great memories during this time. Rest in peace Harold Berg.

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