James Torger Burnell Berg, 97, passed away peacefully in his sleep at The Barrett Care Center on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Jim was born on October 31, 1923 to Thomas and Blanche (Mobraaten) Berg of Wendell, Minnesota. He was baptized through Trinity Lutheran Church in Wendell, MN, and was confirmed through Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Evansville, MN. He was a long-time member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Wendell, MN, where he served on the church council for many years.
James graduated from Elbow Lake High School in 1941, going on to farm with his grandfather in Grant County, where he farmed his whole life. He also served on the Farmers Co-Op Oil Board in Wendell for several years.
He was united in marriage to Bernice Corrine Dahle on September 24, 1944, at the Rock Prairie Lutheran Church. They were married for 76 years and raised two children together, Sandra and Don.
James loved music and played in a polka band for many years in the Scandinavian Melodies Band, where he performed at various county fairs in the area, local festivals, wedding dances and one graveside funeral. His talent and love for music were seen by anyone that knew him. He spent hours practicing the accordion and keyboard, which he learned to play all by ear, never using sheet music. In his early 90s, he picked up the violin and started teaching himself to play various polkas and waltzes. He also enjoyed woodworking, carpentry, and yard work which kept him busy over the years.
James is survived by his wife, Bernice Berg, his daughter Sandra Geris, three grandchildren Jessica (Mike) Jensen, of Ashby MN; Kara (James Keaten) Berg, of Greeley CO; Sarah (Brian Hoffman) Berg-Hoffman of Jupiter, FL; along with three great-grandchildren, Brett Peterson of Fargo, ND, Taylor Peterson, and Trevor Peterson.
He was preceded in death by his son, Don Berg, and his son-in-law Joe Geris.
There will be a private family service held at a later date, with burial at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Wendell, MN.
Erickson-Smith Funeral Home of Elbow Lake is assisting the family with arrangements.
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