By HDN Staff
RUDYARD -- Sam W. Berge, 82, died Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1999, at a Chester hospital.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rudyard. Burial with military rites will follow in the Rudyard Cemetery.
Berge was born Dec. 28, 1916, in the Goldstone community north of Rudyard, to Eivind and Clara (Sanda) Berge. He grew up on the family farm and attended the Center Country School. He finished his formal education in Rudyard and then began farming. Prior to the outbreak of WWII, he leased the homestead of his uncle near Goldstone.
In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in England, France, Germany and Belgium. He attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was a member of the 909th Field Artillery Battalion of the 84th Division of Railsplitters. He was active in several campaigns, most notably, the "Battle of the Bulge." Following his honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to Montana. He transferred his military status to the Army Reserve Corps where he remained active until his second discharge in 1953.
On Oct. 30, 1946, he married W. Inez Dent. The couple moved near Goldstone and Rudyard where they farmed until 1984, when they retired and moved into town. He continued to stay active in the family farming operations.
Berge was a member of the Lutheran Churches at Goldstone and Rudyard. He served on both church councils and was the treasurer at Our Savior's for many years. He was a benefactor of Lutheran Social Services and the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. He was also a member of the Rudyard Commercial Club, the Rudyard Historical Society, and the Rudyard Senior Citizen's Center. In his earlier years he was active in the Rudyard Farmer's Union Cooperative and served on the G.T.A. Elevator Board. He was a Democrat and supported many local campaigns. He also supported many charities including Hi-Line Health Foundation, Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd and the Rolline Volunteer Fire Department. He enjoyed farming and spending time in Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley. His hobbies included collecting coins and stamps, playing cards, especially whist, reading and gardening.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, Dan Ewald and Harold Wanke.
Survivors include his wife Inez of Rudyard; daughters, Cheryl Fladstol and Claire Wendland of Rudyard and Ellen Wirshing of Midland, Texas; sisters, Hilda Ewald of Shelby, Lillian Ulmen and Evelyn Wanke of Rudyard; a brother-in-law, G.W. Dent of Sherman, Texas; six grandchildren and a step-grandchild; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.