Mary Kunz Berge, 74, passed away on Friday, September 28, 2012 surrounded by her loving family. Mary was born November 29, 1937 the daughter of Franklin and Marie Kunz in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 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, Colorado. 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, New Hampshire, her daughter Maren of Steamboat Springs, CO and five grandchildren Christina, Brianna, Jack, Ryan and Ashleigh of Bedford, New Hampshire.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 from 4:00pm-7:00pm at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison Wisconsin. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday October 3, 2012 at 2:00pm at Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, WI 53703.
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, Wisconsin 53715 or the UW Foundation- Mary Berge Fund for the HLATC at the School of Human Ecology, 1848 University Ave., Madison, WI 53726.
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A beautiful person in so many ways- you will be dearly missed!
We will miss seeing Mary and her beautiful smile at the UW Wisconsin Football games at elevator 6. It was a GREAT pleasure serving her and seeing her at every home game. God Bless Mary and her family.
The Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and Staff of the Norwegian American Genealogical Center, Madison, mourn the death of friend and patron Mary Berge. Sincere condolences to Paul and his entire family.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Paul and the family of this very gracious lady.
John and Sandy Lampe
The Mittelstadt's extend our deepest condolences and sympathy for the Berge family. Grace through Faith. Mary had so much of both.
-Miles, Holly, Kurt, and Kraig Mittelstadt
There are so many wonderful memories to share. My mother-in-law, Mary, was a woman who put a smile on everyone's face. She was kind, caring, compassionate and could make you laugh even when you were sad. She was a wonderful grandmother to my five children and a wonderful mother to my husband, Bobby and my sister-in-law, Maren. She shared most of her life with her loving husband, Paul. They were baptized on the same day and when they were old enough to date, they fell in love.
My favorite memory of Mary would be the time that I flew to Madison with Christina and Brianna when Christina was 19 months old and Brianna was 6 weeks old. We spent the week together and spent time with the babies and baked lots of goodies. I love all the memories of her doing arts and crafts with my girls and cooking lots of great meals for the family. We would sit around the table and tell stories for hours. We had so much fun no matter where we were.
We loved to visit her in Madison and in Steamboat. We had the best time in the Camen Islands and on our Disney Cruise.
We will miss Mary, but we will never forget her warm and compassionate personality. We love you Mary!
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