Claydeen “Clay” E. Berger, 82, of Williston, ND, formerly of Circle, MT, passed away Sunday evening, April 11, 2010, at the Mercy Medical Center in Williston.
Claydeen Eugene Berger was born October 6, 1927, at Richardton, ND to Dominick and Mary (Roshau) Berger. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Richardton and graduated with the class of 1946 from Wibaux County High School in Wibaux, MT. He enlisted in the US Air Force and served in Okinawa before being honorably discharged. Clay began working for the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1951. He worked as telegrapher and station agent at many locations along the NP line during his 37 year career, including Richardton, Terry, Hysham, Forsyth, Wibaux, Beach, Carlyle, Circle, Plentywood, and Medicine Lake.
He married Irene Bruski in 1951 and they had seven children: Michael (Betty) Berger of San Diego, CA; Mary Kay (Bradley) Kountz of Brockway, MT; Clayton (Sherry) Berger of Glasgow, MT; Deanna Bockness (Tim Rittal) of Terry, MT; Patti (Mark) Soares of Belgrade, MT; Gregory Berger (Noreen Martinez) of Virginia Beach, VA; and Therese (Mark) Iwaniak of Glendive.
Claydeen married Minnie H. Bertelsen in June of 1980 and welcomed two sons, Terry Bertelsen (and soulmate Darlene Walters) and Monte (Marilyn) Bertelsen, with whom he had many fishing adventures. They settled in Williston, ND to enjoy retirement and traveled extensively with their camper.
Clay made many friends and was an active member in all of the communities in which he worked and lived. He was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club, and VFW. He taught square dancing and did personal appearances as Santa Claus for many years in Circle. Grandchildren and children sometimes thought Santa seemed a bit familiar. Clay enjoyed fishing, wood-working, and compiling family genealogy.
Mr. Berger was preceded in death by his parents, Dominick and Mary Berger, step-father William Bruski , step-brothers John Bruski, Jerome Bruski, and Luke Bruski, and sister Lenora Muggli and step-son Terry Bertelsen. Survivors are brothers Victor (Velma) Bruski, Donald (Joan) Berger, and Merv (Irene) Berger, and sisters Florence Miske, Eleanor Michels, and Diane (Tom) Schmidt. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Published April 21, 2010