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Warren G. Berg
(June 9, 1924 - March 26, 2012)

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Warren G. Berg

U.S. Veteran

Warren Glenn Berg passed from this life on March 26, 2012 in Decorah, Iowa. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 9, 1924 to Loraine Schwank Berg and Sydney Olaf Berg. He attended Chicago schools until enrolling at Luther College in 1942, arriving in the back of a pick-up truck from the train station in Calmar. Because of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy that same year and served as Lieutenant J.G. aboard the USS LST 896 in the Pacific theater. Following his discharge, he married Mary Janice Reid, whom he had met during training in Dubuque, on December 28, 1946.

In 1948, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Luther College, where he played trombone in the band, and began graduate studies at the University of Iowa, but he put his studies on hold to return to Luther as a faculty member. From 1948 until 1988 he taught in the Department of Economics, Accounting, and Management, serving as department head at the time of his retirement. Along the way, he earned a masters degree and a doctorate in accounting from the University of Iowa. He taught more students than any other teacher in Luther’s history, according to the book, “Stability and Change: Luther College in its Second Century.” In 1988, The Warren Berg Endowed Chair in Business was established by his former student, William Halling.

He was named Outstanding Man in Decorah in 1956 and served as sports information director at Luther from 1950-66 and as president of the national College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) in 1963. In 1985, CoSIDA established the Warren G. Berg Award, and in 1997 he was awarded the Scoop Hudgins Lifetime Achievement Award from the All-American Football Foundation.

In 1966 he became the first Senior Fulbright Professor of Economics to be sent to the Royal University of Malta, which resulted in a flow of Maltese students to Luther and a book contract for The Historical Dictionary of Malta. In 1984 he received an award from the Malta Chamber of Commerce, and in 1988 he received a second Fulbright Award to Malta to teach international business at the Royal University of Malta.

He will most certainly be remembered for his love of life, sense of humor, and integrity. He was also an avid traveler and reader, collected model trains, had a knack for entertaining babies, and loved all things Norwegian. For over two decades, he and Jan were directors of the summer Scandinavian Institute for teachers from the five Scandinavian countries. For this service they were awarded the St. Olaf Medal from His Majesty, Olav King of Norway. He was a charter member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, on the board of directors of Minnesota Public Radio, and was active in the Rotary Club, Sons of Norway, and Symra.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jan Berg, and children Paula Berg Owen and husband Ben of San Antonio, Texas, Kristin Gilbert of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Kari Berg and husband Brent Poppenhagen of Burnsville, Minnesota, Jon Torger Berg of Decorah, Iowa, and Erik Berg of Decorah, Iowa, as well as 7 grandchildren, Seth Gilbert of Eagan, Minnestoa, Erika Barth Cottrell of Portland, Oregon, Bryndis Hovde Brown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kai Hovde of St. Paul, Minnesota, Greta Barth Lewis of Red Wing, Minnesota, Britta Gilbert of Denver, Colorado, Hanna Gilbert Sloan of Boulder, Colorado, and 11 great grandchildren: Gretchen Gilbert, Lydia Gilbert, Sydney Kate Cottrell, Elsa Cottrell, Isabel Brown, Finn Brown, Liv Hovde, Evan Hovde, Tristan Barth Olson, Cassidy Mayer, and Tegan Sloan. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Patricia Miller.

His life can be summed up by the three words with which he closed every letter, Soli deo Gloria.

Warren's wishes were to donate his body to the Department of Anatomy in the College of Medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, March 30th at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah with Rev. Joan A. Mau officiating. Private Family inurnment will be at a later date in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, with full military honors.

Visitation begins on Friday at 10:00 A.M., one hour before services, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts to the Warren G. Berg Economics and Business Scholarship Fund at Luther College.


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