Lifestory of Bill Berg
Bill Berg was a loving husband, supportive father, and treasured grandfather. Passionate about golf from an early age, he spent a large majority of his life helping others improve their game. His natural swing, as well as his warm personality, drew many people to seek his guidance in the popular sport. As much as he savored his time on the course, his greatest love was his family. Nothing brought him greater joy than the moments he spent with them. A faithful servant of his Lord and Savior, Bill will be remembered for his genuine love of all people and the grace he shared with even the luckiest of strangers. There is no doubt that he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
In the year 1939, Lou Gehrig retired from the New York Yankees, the much-loved classic film, The Wizard of Oz held its Hollywood premiere, and the first commercial air flight crossed the Atlantic Ocean. On June 22nd of that same year, Hubert and Marion Berg welcomed home their newborn son, William H., in Detroit, Michigan. His birth brought much happiness to the family home.
Bill lived a typical childhood of the times and was no stranger to hard work from an early age. His father was a factory worker at Fruehauf Trailer Corporation and by the time Bill was nine years old the family relocated to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. After graduating with Class of 1957 from South Side High School, he set off for Indiana University. After one year away at school, he returned home to Ft. Wayne and continued his work with the Ft. Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. By then, he was already hooked on golf. By 1959, he was a member of the PGA and working on perfecting his swing. His career really took off over the next few years and he started touring around the United States. Bill saw McMillen Park Golf Course through its initial construction in 1962 and its first few years of operation. He had no trouble landing his next position with Foster Park Golf Course where he was the Pro and instrumental in lengthening the course and constructing new greens. When the season shifted to winter, however, Bill’s second favorite sport came into play; hockey. He was very involved in starting the Junior hockey program in Fort Wayne with his involvement in the Pepsi Jr. Komets. He held many fond memories of the program and made many lasting friendships during those years.
His most exciting time however was scoring a 69 as a PGA Professional and beating the famous Arnold Palmer and Miller Barber at Cedar Creek Golf Course in Leo, Indiana by two strokes! Those two strokes seemed to launch the direction of his career forever. As a matter of fact, he began traveling extensively for work and pleasure. Many of the trips revolved around golf, including Scotland, Ireland, and of course Augusta! When Bill became the operating manager at Placid Lakes Country Club, he met, Michelle, who would steal his heart forever! They shared many commonalities and were eager to spend the rest of their lives together. Joining in marriage in 1987 at the United Methodist Church Lake Placid, Florida, they held a beautiful reception back at the country club.
Retirement relocated he and Michelle to the beautiful Blairsville, Georgia area. He still had his hand in the golf industry and was the General Manager/PGA pro at Butternut Creek Golf Course as well as a teaching pro at the Old Union Golf Course and Mountain Harbour in Hayesville, North Carolina. He was well liked by his students and the many special friends he made during his years there. Soft-spoken and encouraging, they leaned on his wisdom and looked forward to his high fives and thumbs up! Bill had a special way with people. He enjoyed worshipping with his church family and praising the Lord with his signature Amen that could be heard throughout the pews! He remained an avid fan of both golf and hockey and loved to cheer on his favorite team, Tampa Bay Lightning! Bill lived his life as a great example of living life to the fullest. He loved without measure and found great joy in sharing his abundance with his dear family. Although he will surely be missed, he leaves a legacy of loving unconditionally with a grateful heart. May each time his loved ones gather together may they feel the warmth of his presence and live their lives as a reflection of his love.
William “Bill” H. Berg passed away peacefully Friday, May 24th, 2019 at home with his beloved wife by his side following an extended illness. Bill is survived by Michelle, his wife and best friend of thirty-two years; son William H. (Rhonda) Berg of Fort Wayne; daughters, Jamie S. (Gary) Hall of South Bend, and Susan E. Matteson–Thomas of Fort Wayne; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and several special nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant son, William David; brother, Richard Berg; and a son-in-law, Bradley Matteson. A celebration of life will be held Sunday, June 2nd at the House of Prayer Church, Blairsville, Georgia. Rev. Jerry Helton will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the House of Prayer Church in memorial of Bill Berg
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