BIG BAY, Mich. - Robert L. Berger, age 95, longtime Big Bay area resident, entered eternal life Sunday, April 21, 2013, at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility where he had been a resident since December.
Born November 15, 1917 in Watersmeet, a son of Carl and Eva (Dumas) Berger, Bob was raised in the Iron Mountain area. As a young man, he was employed with the Civilian Conversation Corps, working at the CCC Camp near Big Bay. It was in Marquette that he met Mary Agnes Svetch and the couple was married November 25, 1941. They established their home in Marquette, residing in several locations locally, later moving to Big Bay in the early 1970s. Following Mary's death, Bob resided with his daughter, Carol, in Marquette Township for eleven years before entering the Marquette County Medical Care Facility in December 2012. Bob was employed as an automobile mechanic for many years, first with the Pontiac Garage, then Specker Motors, and finally, in 1962, owning and operating his own business, Berger's Automatic Transmission Service. He sold the business in April 1976. Although he retired, Bob continued doing part-time mechanic work at the Huron Mountain Club, thoroughly enjoying being useful and productive. He possessed a great work ethic and in his leisure time enjoyed being out in nature. His summers were spent in his cabin cruiser, boating and fishing, traveling out to Stannard Rock. His home boasted a large garden, which he continually watered, giving away much of its produce to family and friends. In his younger years, he enjoyed going to his camp on the Triple A, which was a great place for family and friends to gather. Some of his happiest times were spent fishing, deer hunting, playing cribbage, and attending family gatherings with the grandchildren.
Bob is survived by his daughters, Carol J. Fraley of Marquette Township and Shirley A. Kujala of Negaunee Township; his grandchildren, Deborah Fraley, Robert John Kujala, Susan Marie (Trey) Luce; great-grandchildren, Justin and Bradley Luce; brothers, Arnold C. Berger of Youngstown, FL and Eugene Berger of Iron Mountain; sisters-in-law, Joyce Berger of Minnesota and Ann Berger of Florida; many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his dear wife, Mary in 1995; infant son, Robert James Berger; sons-in-law, Gary Fraley and William Kujala; brothers, Clarence, Norman, and Clifford Berger; sisters, Helen and husband, Theodore Trudell and Ethel and husband, Alvin Sicard.
Robert L. Berger
Friends may call at St. Michael Catholic Church on Thursday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon with Rev. Larry Van Damme, pastor, as celebrant. Escorts will be Trey Luce, Robert Kujala, Tony Berger, and Dan Weaver. A reception will follow in the St. Michael Parish Center. Burial will be made in the Holy Cross Cemetery.
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com.