It is with sorrow that we announce Malcolm (Mike) David Berg passed away Friday, November 21, 2014 in Nelson at the age of 77.
Known as Mickey in his younger years, Mike was born to Marion Violet Dickie and Anton Emmanuel Berg in Kinistino, Saskatchewan on April 8, 1937. His time on the Prairies was short-lived, however, as at the age of six weeks, his family migrated west to British Columbia. His father, frustrated at scraping out a living as a farmer in the “Dirty 30’s”, literally threw down the plow one day and announced, “We’re moving!” Mike loved to tell the story of how, when the family went back to Saskatchewan to visit a number of years later, that plow was in the exact same spot.
Growing up in the 1940s was often a challenge of hardship and sorrow for many families, Mike’s included. Those early days would cement in Mike a work ethic and a deep gratitude of his later blessings. Mike was a man of integrity and deep moral convictions. Mike loved his career as a chartered accountant; the majority of his career was spent as a partner with Kitto Berg & Company, later named Berg & Naqvi. Upon his retirement on December 31, 1999, Mike remarked that he had been blessed to have a job that he really loved, and a business partner that he trusted like a brother. He truly enjoyed going to work every day; even the long days during tax season every year. He was deeply honoured to be awarded a Fellowship in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of B.C.
When Mike was 20 years old, he made a move that would impact the rest of his life. He relocated to Kitimat, BC, to begin his six-year CA articling. There, at a square-dance club, he was captivated by a vibrant young woman named Marie Gofers. Their first date was to the movies, and they soon became a couple. On May 30, 1959, surrounded by family and friends, they started a life together as husband and wife. This past May, Mike & Marie celebrated their 55th anniversary. Mike may have had the mind of an accountant, but he had the soul of a poet. He wrote beautiful cards and letters to Marie, calling her the love of his life and the source of his inspiration. He felt profoundly blessed throughout his marriage, and he taught his children how to cherish their own partners in life.
Together, Mike and Marie gave their three children an amazing childhood. Lance, Craig, and Teresa all carry memories of huckleberry picking, swimming and boating at Queen’s Bay, skiing at Silver King and Whitewater, and traveling as a family. His wish for his children, and later his grand-children, was that they be respectful, hard-working, kind, and generous. He was proud of all their accomplishments, large and small, and would always make sure they knew how proud he was and how much they were loved. Mike was a proud father of three children, a grand-father of ten children, and quite recently, a great-grandfather of one child.
Mike’s was a life of service. He believed that we all have an obligation to give of our time and talents to our community and beyond. From his early days in Nelson, he was an active member of the United Church. As a core part of the rebuilding team after a fire destroyed the church in 1967, Mike always had a personal connection to the church and its members. He also served his community in many other ways. Mike was a school trustee for ten years, including a year as the president of the BC School Trustees’ Association. He was one of a group of local individuals who stepped in to keep Whitewater Ski Hill for Nelson, believing it was too valuable to lose. After his retirement, he served on the Columbia Basin Trust for a number of years. A long-time Rotarian, Mike strived to live by the Four-Way test. He served in many capacities with Rotary, including a memorable year as Governor for District 5080.
Mike was a passionate traveler and would pour over magazines planning and thinking about the next adventure. He and Marie enjoyed exploring many parts of the world together and had a cruise to Shanghai planned for 2015. When at his “home away from home” in the Bahamas, he loved to bask in the sun for hours and take long walks along the beach.
Mike was predeceased by his parents, Emmanuel and Marion Berg, his brother Terrence Berg, and his grandson Tyler Berg. Mike leaves to grieve his loving wife, Marie; Lance and Sheila Berg of Ramona, CA, and their children Sean, Cameron, Keelan, and Zachary; Craig and Lois Berg of Nelson, BC, and their children Rachel and Adam; and Teresa and Brent Kisilevich of Vernon, BC, their children Ali, Jace, and Jordyn, and his great-granddaughter Fallyn.
Mike used to say that no one was ever truly gone as long as someone remembered him.
His was a life well-lived, and he will not be forgotten.
Mike’s funeral service will held at 1 p.m. Thursday, November 27, 2014 at the
Nelson United Church. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so are invited
to support Rotary Circle Foundation, Nelson United Church, or the
Kootenay Lake General Hospital Foundation.