Kermit Berndt Westerberg
April 2, 1946 – April 2, 2021
Kermit Berndt Westerberg, 75, beloved son of the late Wesley and Lorraine Westerberg; loving brother of Kurt (Renee) Westerberg and Kristine Westerberg; adored uncle of Sonja Westerberg (Ruben Tapia), Lukas Westerberg (Sarah Quintenz), and Stefan Westerberg; proud great uncle of Madeline Westerberg; a dear friend of many. Kermit was a retired librarian and archivist, having held positions at Uppsala University Library (Sweden), Augustana College (IL), Yale University Library (New Haven, CT), and with Thomson-Gale (Woodbridge, CT). He had also been active as a translator and editor of Swedish-language texts since 1970 with publications in the field of Swedish American library history and immigration history. He was a graduate of Oberlin College, Yale Divinity School and the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. A poet and raconteur, Kermit will be greatly missed by family and friends for his charm, wit and kindness. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Evanston, IL, Christ Episcopal Church, New Haven, Connecticut OR a charity of choice. A private service will be held, with a memorial service to be arranged later. For information: Wm H. Scott Funeral Home at 847-251-8200.
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Kermit Berndt Westerberg
April 10, 2021
Kermit was a gentlemen and a scholar. I had the honor of working with him for over 8 years at Primary Source Media/Microfilm, where he served as our lead cataloger. I learned at this feet the arcane arts of the MARC record, was educated in the mysteries of population censuses from around the world, and worked side by side with him on many remarkable projects, almost always with a sense of awe and wonder at his linguistic capabilities . These projects ranged from rare works of Americana from the Huntington Library in California to the nearly 2,000 scarce Western books on Southeast Asia from the rare book collection of Cornell University. His wit and warmth will be sorely missed. There is so great a need for both in our world today.
April 8, 2021
What? No! Kermit died without giving me a chance to appologize with all my heart for incessantly, irresistably messing up his impecible microscopic pencil-sketched work-of-sacred-art notes in whatever class it was i have no memory in what our Sophomore year? Kermit stands out as my most respected scholar-intent-and-executing friend in all of highschool. a true & earliest mentor to me of how to be a gentle, serious man and human in this bedraggled species. nuff respect.
April 8, 2021
Kermit, my dear friend for over 60 years. We shared so much laughter and joy over these years. You somehow got me through Latin 4. Vergil was a bear for me. You read it with comic book ease. You visited in Chicago, Colorado, Mystic, wherever our vocational journey carried us. You always had new and evermore outrageous Swedish jokes and stories to regale us with. We laughed, we groaned, we shared you with friends. And they are still Messerschmitts! The memory of our long hike in Maine talking in nothing but faux French gets me shaking with laughter even now some 30 years later. I'll miss your great heart, your linguistic brilliance, our riotous, convoluted email exchanges. What a void! Rest in peace dear friend.
April 7, 2021
I will always remember Kermit but in words they are kind, compassionate sincere, thoughtful and a true gentleman. I was so fortunate to have been introduced to him by Barb and Tom. When remembering Kermit, I smile. He is on the journey of new discoveries now and is in Heaven. To all of Kermit's family please accept my condolences.
April 5, 2021
I am very sorry to hear of Kermit's death. I first met him at Augustana College around 1979. He was on my dissertation committee when I was a doctoral student at Princeton Theological Seminary, and was a great help in my research and writing about Swedish Methodism. His sister Kristine and my late father were co-workers at the Field Museum in Chicago at one time. Kermit's late father, Wesley Westerberg, introduced me to archival materials that have been the focus of much of my writing, so I feel a real connection to the family. May you know God's comfort in this time of loss.
April 5, 2021
Wishing the entire family strength and comfort at this sad time.
Kermit was a dear friend and a kind-hearted soul. We worked with him for many years and maintained a warm friendship long after our time with the company had ended.
One fond memory we have of Kermit is of his morning rounds at the company. He made it a point to greet everyone and wish them a good day. He never failed in this mission, not once, to make sure each and every person knew that he was thinking of them, and wishing them all the best for the day ahead.
Kermit was also known for his thoroughness and encyclopedic knowledge of so many things. He could be counted on and relied upon, whatever the need.
We also remember how down-to-earth and unassuming he was. Despite the fact that he was highly educated, worldly, and incredibly well-read, he treated everyone as just another good soul on earth. I'll never forget how kind he was, to EVERYONE.
Oh, and speaking of that good mind, how can we forget his puns? What a great, and quick wit he had! He always enjoyed making others laugh (sometimes groan!) and that clever mind was always at the ready with a play on words or clever joke.
We are so sad to lose our dear friend, and will never forget his kind ways, his warmth, our many adventures together, and his determination to make each day a little better for his fellow man. The world was truly a better place, with him in it.
Our deepest sympathy to his devoted and loving family.
Barb Phoenix & Tom Mahoney
April 3, 2021
I first met Kermit at a Scandinavian conference in the 1980s. His humor was brilliant; his Swedish was flawless. Over the years of our friendship, I learned about his deep faith, his superb musical ear, his generosity to friends, and the importance of those friends in his life. A complex, loving person who will be sorely missed by all those whose lives were touched by him. May your heavenly reward be sweet, käre vän.
April 3, 2021
I met Kermit when we both worked at Augustana College . He was a great friend of mine and of my family, always entertaining us with his sense of humor. I was so saddened to read of his passing. Please accept my sympathies to you, his family, and know he will always be in our thoughts as a precious friend. Fly high, dear Kermit, you will be missed.
April 2, 2021
To Kris- you were and are a wonderful sister. My sympathy to you and your family. If only meatloaf could cure all. With love, Jess