Duane Allen Berg
September 11, 1936 – May 12, 2020
Duane Allen Berg, age 83, of Laguna Woods, CA died peacefully in his home on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. He was the son of Henry Mikkel and Effie Margaret (Retrum) Berg of rural Blanchardville, WI, and was born on September 11, 1936, at the Buckner Hospital in Mount Horeb, WI. He was baptized into the Christian faith on October 18, 1936 at his home parish of Perry Lutheran Church in Daleyville, WI.
Duane received his elementary education at the one-room Einerson School in rural Blanchardville, WI, just a short walkfrom his family farm. He graduated from Blanchardville High School as valedictorian of his class in 1954. He attended Luther College in Decorah, IA from 1954-1958 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He later attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN from 1958-1962 and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. During this time, he served his internship at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, CA.
His first parish call in 1962 was to serve the joint parish of St. Paul’s Lutheran and Farwell Lutheran Churches in Lowry & Farwell, MN. He later met Katherine Elaine Anderson, a parish worker in a nearby congregation, and they were married on July 10, 1966 at Fron Lutheran Church in Starbuck, MN. To this union, God blessed them with three children.
God called Duane to serve in additional parishes in St. James, MN (First Lutheran), Elgin & Elkader, IA (Elgin/Highland Lutheran), Badger, IA (Badger Lutheran), and Westminster, CA (Westminster Lutheran Church (of Hope)), spanning a total of 39 years of active ministry. He retired from active ministry in 2001 and served as a supply pastor for neighboring churches in the ELCA Pacifica Synod in the Orange County, CA area during his retirement. He celebrated both his 25th and 50th anniversaries of his Ordination with special services in 1987 in Badger, IA and in 2012 in Corona del Mar, CA.
Throughout his pastoral career, he performed numerous baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals as well as visits to parishioners in hospitals, nursing and retirement homes. He enjoyed singing in weekly church services as well as quartets in his hometown of Blanchardville and the Luren Singers in Decorah, IA. He loved to visit with both friends and strangers alike, emphatically telling stories and detailing personal experiences, usually by “drawing you a picture” with his hands as he spoke. Most importantly, he reveled in sharing the good news and joy of Jesus Christ and imparting the significance of how God’s blessings would be relevant in their lives.
He is survived by his loving wife of over 53 years, Katherine of Laguna Woods, CA; son Jonathan (Rachelle) of Fort Dodge, IA; daughter Kaarn (Andy) Copeland of Huntington Beach, CA; son Peter (Debbie) of Trabuco Canyon, CA; and six grandchildren (Brandon (Caitlin) Berg; Madison & Erin Copeland; Owen, Katelyn & Braden Berg). He is also survived by his older brother, Morrion (Volly) Berg of Blanchardville, WI. Preceding him in death were his parents, infant siblings Emma and Harold Berg, nephew Stanley Berg, and older brothers Russell and Robert Berg. A service of remembrance and celebration of life will be held at a later date to be determined.
In his final message, Duane wished to thank each of his family, friends, and parishioners for their love and support. He also wanted to give thanks to God who so richly and graciously filled and guided him in the ministry of Word and Sacrament. In Jesus Christ alone do we have life eternal won for us by His suffering death and resurrection….to God be the Glory, and the best is yet to come!