Margaret L Berger
April 5, 1922 – February 5, 2020
Hazel Margaret Liggett “Peggy” Berger was born on April 5, 1922 to William L and Phoebe Ruth Liggett. Peggy grew up on the plains of western Kansas and often recounted her time on their family cattle ranch. She was the second oldest of five children – an older sister, Phoebe, and younger siblings, Martha, Pete, and Barbara. In her 97 years, she lived through the Dust Bowl, 17 US presidents, and the Civil Rights Movement. She saw the invention of both the television and the internet. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the length of her life was the way she chose to live it.
Peggy graduated from Greeley County High School in Tribune, KS, then attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, where she majored in music and was a Majorette! Before graduating and while waitressing in a local café in Lindsborg, she served a handsome young civil engineer and immediately laid claim to him, telling the other ladies “hands off!” She always said, “I chased him ‘til he caught me!” On December 15, 1941, she married that guy, her one and only love, Marley Berger, after traveling by train to Marfa, TX, where his leave had been cancelled following the attack on Pearl Harbor. After they married and had about a year together, he shipped off to Italy to serve in World War II. Returning to the US after being wounded, Marley was hospitalized in Ogden, UT, for approximately 11 months, and Peggy moved to UT, where she worked and lived with Marley’s mother, so she could be with him as he recovered. After his release, they ultimately moved to OK and together built a full life, traveled the world, raised a large family, and left an undeniable mark on everyone and everything around them. They were married for over 65 years – ever faithful and devoted to each other. When Marley passed away in 2007, Peggy never stopped thinking of him and often talked about how much she missed him. Their legacy together was significant, and he would have been proud of how she continued it after he was gone.
It is difficult to sum up a life nearly a century long, but if we had to, it might be with these three words: faith, family, and service.
Faith was always first. She initially came to a personal relationship with Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in 1956. After that night, she and Marley committed to living a life in the service to God. It was not merely something they professed with words alone, but with everything they had. They were extraordinarily generous with their resources. They supported dozens of missionaries and ministries all over the world. They volunteered countless hours to their church, the sick, and to mentoring others through Bible studies and small groups. Peggy helped formalize and expand the library at her beloved Metropolitan Baptist Church (now known as Metropolitan Bible Church) in Oklahoma City, and spent years cataloging past sermons, books, and tapes, to make those teachings more widely available to people. She was the organist at the church for many years and played for numerous weddings along the way. She continued to be active in her neighborhood garden club and enjoyed deep friendships with the neighbor ladies. Peggy loved painting, singing, playing the piano/organ, building the church library, and studying the Bible. After she and Marley moved to Spanish Cove Retirement Village in November 2000, she accompanied and sang in the Spanish Cove choir well into her 90s. She prayed daily for her children, grandchildren, leaders, and friends. Many have come to the Lord because of her service, example, and love for others. Peggy’s passion in life was Jesus. She lived for Him and for the joy she found in following Him.
Family was everything to Peggy. After Marley returned from war, they had five children: Jim, Jo, Judy, Janet, and Johnny. Peggy’s kids were her full-time job when they were little, and her greatest pleasure later in life. She always supported her children in their activities, attending most events in which they were involved. She was always up to date on where they were and what was going on in their lives. She could likely give you the weather forecast where each of them lived. She loved nothing more than knowing that she was expecting a visit from one of them, and, when it was time to say goodbye, she would already be looking forward to the next visit. She was also “Grammy” to six grandchildren, who later gave her 10 great-grandchildren – some of whom were often seen running through the halls of Spanish Cove and eating ice cream in the dining room in recent years. She thought they were all wonderful and smart, and she was always proud of each one of them. She left behind a rich legacy for all her children – one that will inspire them to be humble, generous, and also to save Ziploc baggies … because they can be used MORE THAN ONCE!
Nothing went to waste with Peggy. As a survivor of the depression, she learned early on that waste was not an option. Her family would be quick to tell you how she would boil chicken bones so she could salvage and use every last piece of meat or lay out a paper towel to dry so it could be used again, oh, and be sure to save that plastic margarine tub! As a neighbor, a friend, or a member of the community, she devoted herself to others. When she and Marley moved to Spanish Cove, they quickly began serving there. They helped new residents learn their way around, they drove people to church, and they even wrote for the newsletter! If something needed to be done, Peggy figured out how to do it. After Marley died, she continued to look forward to the last Saturday morning of the month, enjoying breakfast at the Cove with a long-time friend whom Marley mentored, Vincent Ward. In the final years and months of her life, when she could do barely more than sit and sleep, she often wondered aloud if there might be more that God had for her to do. She was not about to waste a moment or an opportunity to do God’s work. Her work was finally completed in the early morning of February 5th.
As her family, we will miss her sense of humor, computer-generated birthday cards, and her funny laugh (though this little trait does live on in her daughters!). We will miss her reading of the Christmas story each year, the sound of Jeopardy in the background, and her love for cheap pizza. Yes, she was inspiring to be around, but she was also fun. We never doubted that we were loved, and we are beyond thankful to have had her for so many years. We are exceptionally grateful to the personnel at Spanish Cove for helping, serving, and loving on her these many years.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Marley; father and mother, William L and Ruth Liggett; and siblings, Phoebe Trentman Lanum, Martha Simpson, and William “Pete” Liggett. She is survived by her sister, Barbara Fisher Fellows, Colorado Springs, CO; five children: Jim (Pam) Berger, Oceanside, CA; Jo (Frank) Simmons, OKC; Judy (Harry) Steele, Elk City; Janet (Terry) Armstrong, Stillwater; John (Courtney) Berger, Liberty, MO; six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held on February 26, 2020, at 1:30 pm at Metropolitan Bible Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Metropolitan Bible Church, 7201 W Britton Road, OKC, OK, 73132, to be distributed on her behalf.
Peggy was not concerned that you know the details written in this memorial. That’s not who she was. She was more concerned about her love for God, and this was reflected in how she lived her life. What she would want you to know is that God is real. He created you and loves you deeply. Through the sacrifice of his Son, He made a way for you to have peace, joy, and eternal life with Him. This is the Gospel message, and it became the message of Peggy’s life. We celebrate that our Mom/Grammy, who longed for Heaven, has now seen with her eyes what her faith had promised. Well done.
Metropolitan Bible Church
7201 W Britton Road
Margaret L Berger
February 18, 2020
My family loved Peggy and Marley so very much. Our histories are entangled due to the many years at Metropolitan. Peggy was a dear friend to my mom, and I know their reunion in heaven was wonderful! Our deepest condolences to the entire family!
Emily (White) Hutson
February 11, 2020
My deepest condolences to the family, and praise to the Lord for a life well-lived to the glory of Christ. I have sweet fond memories of Peggy and Marley.
February 11, 2020
Marley’s only sister, Dorothy Marie White, was my mother in law. Peggy and Marley were in my family’s life for many years.
Robert White, myself and our four children, Taylor. Dorothy, Jon and Claire looked forward to their visits with us in the Georgetown and Austin area of Texas!
Aunt Peggy would play the baby grand in our home in Austin and I always loved hearing her beautiful music! She loved playing Christian hymns and we never tired of hearing them.
Many stories were told and many memories were made around Bob and Dorothy White’s table in Georgetown, Texas!
I am thankful for having known Peggy and Marley. They loved sharing their love for Jesus with all.
Sincerely and with love to all her family, Teresa White
February 10, 2020
My family grew up at church and at school with the Berger family and we ABSOLUTELY loved this family! They were the best example of a Christian family that I have ever known. And you only needed to meet Peggy to recognize the impact she had in raising this wonderful family! The Dorr boys will always love you, Peggy!
February 10, 2020
~ My deepest condolences ~
February 10, 2020
I have lots of memories of Aunt Peg and Uncle Marley. The most recent was when they were in Colorado Springs, they would always come visit me at the radio station. I'm so glad Aunt Peg and Uncle Marley are together again.
February 9, 2020
I sure enjoyed and will now miss "Breakfast with Peggy ".
Much Love In Christ Jesus Our Lord,