Archive for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Long-time community activist Larry Berg dies

June 7, 2011

The Bonner Springs community lost a longtime community volunteer, director of the Bonner Springs City Band and former Bonner Springs City Council member over the weekend.

Larry Berg, 68, died Saturday, June 4, 2011, at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Merriam.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, at the Bonner Springs United Methodist Church, 425 W. Morse, Bonner Springs. Burial to follow in the Bonner Springs Cemetery. Friends may call at the visitation from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 7, at the Alden–Harrington Funeral Home in Bonner Springs. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Hope Lutheran Church Pipe Organ Fund, 6308 Quivira, Shawnee, KS 66216.

More memories of Berg will be featured in Thursday's edition of The Chieftain. Mayor Clausie Smith will share his thoughts in his weekly column.

Berg was in his 30th year as the director of the city band. The Band Commission met Monday to appoint Aaron Hall and Bill Turley as co-directors, and decided to dedicate this band concert season to Berg's memory.

The first concert of the Bonner Springs City Band will continue as scheduled at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at the bandstand in Kelly Murphy Park.

Berg was born on May 31, 1943, in Salina and was raised in Perris, Calif. He moved back to Kansas in the early 1960’s to attend college and to teach music in Oskaloosa for 14 years before later moving to the Bonner Springs area in 1980.

Berg's obituary states that he had a simple philosophy when asked to do anything for anyone: “Never say no.”

"No matter how busy or how lousy he felt, his response was always 'yes' and 'when do you want me to do it,'" the obituary states. "This philosophy held true whether asked by his family, his community, his church or his job. He simply loved to help others and to make something happen. It gave him a special feeling inside when he could make someone else a bit happier. Larry’s passions all really boiled down to this love of making others a bit happier. He was a great husband, father, uncle and brother. He was a lifelong educator, passionate musician, mentor to many and civic supporter."

He is preceded in death by his parents Laurence and Evelyn Berg and his younger brother James Walter Berg. And is survived by his wife of 45 years Elaine Berg of the home; a son, Brian Berg and his wife Laura, Shawnee; and a brother, Gary C. Berg and his wife Sharon, Grand Junction, Colo.

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