James Palmer Berg, 83

Published 9:55 am Monday, April 25, 2011

James Palmer Berg died Sunday, April 17, 2011, at the age of 83. He was under Hospice care at St. John’s Lutheran Home and died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. James was born in Freeborn County to Julian J. Berg and Palma Furgeson on Jan. 21, 1928. James graduated from Albert Lea High School and soon enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a correspondent for Fleet Home Town News. On Feb. 18, 1950, he married Norma Jean Witham of Lake Mills, Iowa, and they were blessed with three children, Jon, Robert and Susan. Jim worked at various photo studios in the area including Hocketts in Albert Lea. In 1960, he purchased the Harry Kirkham studio in Fairmont and was in business along side his wife at the Berg Studio & Camera Shop for 25 years. Jim served twice as president of the Minnesota Professional Photographers of America. He was also Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge in Fairmont. In 1996 he moved south and settled in Palestine, Texas, for the next 10 years to be closer to his children. He kept busy “piddling” with his cameras and always working on something. In August of 2006 he decided he needed to move “home” to Albert Lea. He moved back with his cat and settled in working on his Grasdahlen heritage. He took pride in his work on his website and loved to tell people about it. He was always willing to teach and inform others about this wonderful computer age and new wave of communicating. After moving back to Albert Lea, Jim found a companion and confidant, Ida. They were commonly known as Ole and Lena around the community. They enjoyed Sunday service at First Lutheran Church. They also loved spending time bowling and just sitting watching the birds from the porch swing. He was known to be a generous person with his time and talents in the community. He was loved by his family members at St. John’s and was always a teacher to those willing to learn.


Jim was preceded in death by his parents: Palma and Julian; sister, Laneda; brother Byron; as well as his oldest son, Jon.

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He is survived by his son, Robert and wife, Sharon; daughter, Susan, and husband, Mark; Jon’s wife, Debbie; as well as nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Bonnerup Funeral Home on Saturday at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up to help with funeral expenses. Cards may be sent to 215 County Road 261 Gatesville, TX 76528. Please join us in celebrating Jim’s life by visiting his memorial at www.bonnerupfuneralservice.com where you can share a memory in his guest book.