December 10, 1921 ~ January 1, 2017
John Berg passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife and children, at the Sunny South Lodge in Coaldale, Alberta on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at the age of 95 years.
John was born on December 10, 1921 in the village of Pastwa, in the Mennonite settlement of Molotschna, just north of the Sea of Azov in the Ukraine. He attended school in the neighbouring village of Grossweide. Life was a daily struggle for survival for most people at that time and in 1941 he was drafted into the Russian Army, at the outset of the war with Germany. He was injured by gunfire and eventually taken captive by the German army who used him as an interpreter since he could speak both German and Russian. He was eventually taken to Austria where he was released to a work camp near Vienna. He lived and worked there for the next four years and when the war ended in 1945 he was sent to Germany.
John was one of only a few of his family to survive World War II. Alone in Germany with no family around him he met his future wife Magdalena Lang in a refugee resettlement camp near Karlsruhe.
John and Magdalena were married on October 25, 1947. They immigrated to Canada in 1949, settling in Coaldale, Alberta. With God’s grace they rebuilt their lives and lived there to this day.
John was a member of the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church where he served and worshipped faithfully. He worked hard and supported his growing family as an auto body mechanic for many years at Beny’s Chev Olds in Lethbridge.
John is survived by his loving and devoted wife Magdalena, and by his children John (Rolly) Berg, Edmund Berg, Esther (Allan) Friesen, Ruth (Ray) Braun, Wanda (Arno) Doerksen, Clemence Berg, and his son in law Ronald (Linda) Clark. He also leaves behind 17 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild.
John was predeceased by his eldest daughter Velma Clark and his son in law David Quapp.
John was a kind, loving, funny, honest, and industrious man of great faith and integrity. He will be missed dearly by his large and loving family.
John’s family would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Dr. Vincent Luykenaar for his years of care of our Dad. We would also like to thank the staff of the Sunny South Lodge for the kindness, compassion, and care that Dad received there.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, January 6, 2017 at COALDALE MENNONITE BRETHREN CHURCH, 2114 18th St, Coaldale, AB with Pastor Gary Burke, officiating.