Elaine Esther Berge, 86

Published 9:04 am Saturday, May 11, 2019

Elaine Esther Berge, 86, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at home in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.

Elaine was born March 16, 1933, to Edgar and Esther (Frandle) VonFeldt in Austin, Minnesota. Elaine attended Austin Catholic schools, graduating from St. Augustine High School in 1951. Elaine married Gordon Paul Berge Oct. 9, 1954, at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin.

Elaine Esther Berge, 86

Elaine lived an intentional life of thoughtful loving service to others. She served as a lifelong caregiver for many, including her husband, children, grandchildren, parents, neighbors, friends, and extended family. While raising their family, Elaine and Gordy befriended, then cared for, five neighbors otherwise alone, enfolding them into their family, including them for meals, family gatherings, and holidays for more than 30 years. Elaine served as a longtime and frequent food shelf volunteer. Elaine lovingly sewed quilts and crocheted afghans for each of her children and grandchildren. She created hundreds of lap robes for veterans and caps for newborns at local hospitals. Elaine also showed love by cooking and baking, delivering and serving homemade brownies, bars, and cookies for family, friends, neighbors, and especially to others who had no one to bake for them. She loved passing her cooking and baking experience, knowledge and skills to her children and grandchildren. Her favorite recipes included bean soup, chocolate cake, chocolate chocolate-chip cookies, lefse, and for her friends in Arizona, sweet potato soufflé. Elaine enjoyed exploring garage sales, discovering treasures, and sharing them with family. She was vivacious and loved to laugh, creating many wonderful memories, including family gatherings at holidays and during more than 30 summers at their lake home in Waterville, Minnesota. Elaine worked as a cost accountant at Hormel Foods in Austin for 20 years and kept an eye on Hormel holdings in retirement. She appreciated a Cure 81 Hormel ham, and it brought her great joy the day Hormel diversified and purchased Skippy peanut butter (a family staple).

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Elaine is survived by Gordon Berge, her life-long love. Elaine and Gordy literally walked through life holding hands for nearly 65 years in Austin, at the lake in Waterville, during retirement winters in Arizona, and for the past several years at Kingsway retirement home in Belle Plaine. In addition to her loving husband, Gordy, Elaine is survived by her children, Jean (Allan) Beckel, Arvada, Colorado, Sharon (Dennis) Doffing, White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Barb (Tom) Singsank, Minnetonka, Minnesota, David Berge, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Donna (John) Davis, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Elaine cultivated special relationships with each of her 11 grandchildren, Michael Beckel, Washington, DC, Elizabeth (Patrick) Fitzjarrald, Lafayette, Colorado, Rebecca Doffing, Adana, Turkey, Kelly Doffing, Washington, DC, Daniel Doffing, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Matthew Singsank, Minneapolis, Sarah Singsank, Savage, Minnesota, Katie Singsank, Tacoma, Washington, John Davis, Bloomington, Indiana, Bobby (Alison) Davys, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Anna Davis, Eden Prairie; and great-grandchild, Clara Fitzjarrald, Lafayette. She is also survived by siblings, Marge Canning, Don (Trudy) VonFeldt and Ed (Jeanne) VonFeldt; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and Esther VonFeldt; sister, Marian VonFeldt; and brother-in-law Lee Canning.

The Berge family would like to particularly thank the staff and residents at Kingsway retirement home and the staff at Allina Hospice for their loving friendship and compassionate care during Elaine’s journey home. We are forever grateful.

Mass of Christian burial is at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2019, at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church, 200 E Church St., Belle Plaine, MN 56011. Visitation will be held one hour prior to Mass on Friday at the church. Memorials are preferred to your local food shelf or to Kingsway Belle Plaine, 815 W Main St., Belle Plaine, MN 56011. Interment will be in St. Peter & Paul’s Cemetery in Belle Plaine. Arrangements are by Kolden Funeral Services in Belle Plaine.