Aug. 28, 1911-Dec. 3, 2008
Evelyn Berger, 97, of Perham, died Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at the Perham Memorial Nursing Home.
Evelyn Pausch was born to Edmund and Bertha Pausch on Aug. 28, 1911 in Vergas. When Evelyn was one year old, her family moved to a farm on the south shore of Long Lake. She attended the one-room Lake Sybil School where, in first grade, she and other students knitted wool blocks to make blankets for soldiers in World War I.
Evelyn graduated from Perham High School and was honored in 1928 as the first Miss Perham. She attended Moorhead State Teachers' College, where she earned a certificate to teach grades kindergarten through eighth. Her first job was to teach eight grades of children in the one-room Rose Lake School. Her salary was $50 per month, of which $10 per month was used for room and board.
On June 7, 1938, Evelyn married Albert Berger. On their farm north of Dent, surrounded by lakes, Evelyn and Albert reared three sons: Donald, Dale, and Alvin. Every year they had a big garden. Evelyn was a 4-H leader, an officer of the PTA, a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, and she sang in the church choir.
After Albert died suddenly in 1963, Evelyn returned to Moorhead State College to earn her bachelor's degree. For nine years she worked with teachers and administrators in Detroit Lakes to develop special programs for remedial reading instruction in the elementary grades. Upon retirement, Evelyn tutored adults who had difficulty reading. She also was a member of the Detroit Lakes Charleston Swingers, a dancing quintet that performed throughout the region for 10 years, including the Minnesota State Fair on Evelyn's 69th birthday.
Although Evelyn always lived quite near her original home, she traveled extensively. Besides many trips to Florida, California, and Michigan to visit family, she was in 49 states (sorry, Vermont) and Washington, D.C. She also visited Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, the Netherlands, Germany, Jamaica, and by ship she visited Nova Scotia, the Bahama Islands, Catalina Island, and the Galapagos Islands.
In 1994, Evelyn moved to Perham, where she enjoyed volunteering at the Perham Memorial Home, fellowship at the United Methodist Church, the Perham Senior Center, and monthly meetings at the "Widows' Luncheon." Evelyn earned a reputation as an entertaining teller of jokes and stories.
Surviving Evelyn are her three sons, Donald (Pat) Berger of Tallahassee, Fla., Dale (Peggy) Berger of Clairemont, Calif., and Alvin (Gladys) Berger of Brownstown, Mich.; as well as four grandchildren.
Preceding Evelyn in death were her parents; husband, Albert; brother, Reinhard; and sister, Helen. She was "Auntie Evelyn" to her many cherished nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
Memorials are preferred sent to the Weimann Community Cemetery (c/o Colleen Kroenke, 43089 E. Big McDonald Drive, Dent, MN 56528).
Funeral services were held Saturday, Dec. 6, at the United Methodist Church, Perham, with the Rev. Fair Caldwell-Meeks officiating.
Schoeneberger Funeral Home, Perham, was entrusted with arrangements. Online tributes may be posted at schoenebergerfuneralhome.com.