Berger Alvin Johnson, Jr., 81, of Chester died at a Chester nursing home early Thursday morning, July 13, 2006.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p. m. Monday at Bethel Church in Joplin. Burial will follow in the Joplin Cemetery. Berger was born May 13, 1925 at Joplin to Bertina Kringlen and Berger Johnson Sr. His mother died when he was an infant, so Berger was raised by his father and stepmother, Amelia. He grew up and received his formal education in the Joplin community, then began working with his father on the family farm north of town. Berger married Olive C. Anderson on Oct. 22, 1950 at the Bethel Church in Joplin. They made their home on the Johnson farm, where they raised a family of six. Berger and Olive were affectionately called “Bud and Dolly” by family members and close friends. After 47 years of marriage, Olive died on Oct. 7, 1997, in Great Falls. Berger retired from farming in 1998 and moved to the Sweetgrass Lodge in Chester. He remained there until 2003, when he suffered a stroke and transferred to the Liberty County Nursing Home. Berger recovered quite well from the stroke, but was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2005.
Berger was baptized and confirmed at Bethel Church, where he was a life member. He had also been active in the Sons of Norway and the Havre Elks Club. The Johnson’s loved their life and home in Montana, but enjoyed several memorable trips to Arizona, California and Hawaii in their later years. Berger loved his family, farm and music. He was a self-taught accordion player who found hours of contentment in making his own music at home. He also enjoyed those many improvisational “jam sessions” with his son, Duane, and other local musicians. Berger was never a pilot, but he was intrigued by aviation. He enjoyed scenic plane rides with friends in north-central Montana and was always interested in the U.S. space program. In his quiet time at home, he enjoyed reading current events or watching old Westerns on television. He also liked to play cards, especially whist, pinochle and pitch. He was an exceptional carpenter
Berger could best be described as a wonderful father and a loyal friend. He liked everyone he met and everyone liked him. He had no enemies and he never held grudges. He was a jolly guy with a great sense of humor. Berger was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother; wife; daughter, Diane, and stepbrother, John. Survivors include his sons, Duane Johnson of Helena and Wayne (Sandy) Johnson of Rollins; daughters, Char (Greg) Hill of Billings, Lenora (Ed) Walter of Lincoln City, Ore., and Terrie (Steve) Shure of Great Falls; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister, Bertina Jerke of Colorado; stepsister, Arlene Anderson of Joplin; stepbrother, Arnold Johnson of Foremost, Alberta; numerous nephews and and nieces; and special friend, Louisa Olson of Chester. Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.