Cover photo for Dr. Merril Berg's Obituary
Dr. Merril Berg Profile Photo
1928 Dr. merril 2011

Dr. Merril Berg

March 14, 1928 — February 5, 2011

Celebration of the life of Dr. Merril Berg Merril Berg was born at Crosby, North Dakota to Mildred Berg and Emory Harkrader on March 14, 1928. When Merril was 5 years old his mother married Anders Anderson. Merril attended school in Crosby and at 16 years of age he lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. When that tour of duty was up he enlisted in the Army and later the Air Force. He was one of a select few to serve his country in several different branches of the armed forces. Because of his young age, he was sent to radio school where he graduated to become an instructor and later a counselor when the military finally realized the need for psychological care and treatment for its service personel. Upon discharge from the Air Force in 1953, Merril continued his education graduating from Minot State College receiving a BS, UND with an M.Ed and University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado with a D.Ed. Merril was a counselor and teacher at Mohall, N.D. and also worked as a news writer for the Minot Daily Herold. In 1962 he then was tapped to become dean and then president of Lake Region Jr. College at Devils Lake, N.D. Through Merril’s vision and persistence the campus of Lake Region Jr. College at Devils Lake, much as it appears today, was born. Merril fought to combine academic education with trade skills. His motto was “you teach people, not subjects.” His passion included education for the handicapped, the minorities, the needy. He expanded the curriculum for women and introduced a nursing course, among others, at the fledgling Little Hoop Community College on the nearby Fort Totten Indian Reservation. After 17 years of service at the Lake Region Jr. College Merril retired in 1979. But in 1984 he was asked to take over the helm of Little Hoop Community College, a position he held for several years guiding that fledgling college through its first accreditation. In 1975 Merril was one of three North Dakotans selected to be awarded the Bush Leadership Fellow award- the first year the award was given to anyone in North Dakota. His studies took him to Europe where he spent six weeks studying the educational system primarily in England. He firmly believed education did not have to have walls. Before accepting the presidency of Little Hoop Community College he worked for Prairie Public radio station in Bismarck, helping it to become a viable station; he also worked for the Council for rural churches during the period of the farm crisis in the early 1980s. Merril was very active in church and civic affairs. He served on the Board of Directors of the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce for 5 years; was vice president of St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Devils Lake; was an invited participant in the U.S. President’s conference on Employment of the Handicapped; He received numerous awards and citations during his career as an educator. He was a member of the Kiwanis and Masonic Lodge. He later was president of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cooperstown, N.D. He was involved in lay ministry and on occasion preached in some of the area rural churches. Always an educator, Merril used to say “I was born with a book in my hand.” He loved reading and became a political junky. After his “retirement” Merril became active in the Griggs/Cooperstown EDC which eventually culminated in the grant of the Empowerment Zone. He continued to work for disadvantaged people and was very active in AA. In 1947 he married Dorothy Olson and they had 3 children; Linda (George) Zeigler, Rene´ Mayers and Pamela Berg. Dorothy passed away in 1979. In 1983 he married Phyllis Ratcliffe and they have made their home for the last 20 years in Cooperstown, ND Merril is survived by his wife, Phyllis, his daughter Linda of Big Springs, Texas, stepson Dr. Scott Senne (Linda) of Lehigh Acres, Florida, 8 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, and 7 brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his first wife Dorothy, his parents and his daughters Pamela and Rene´. Through his gentleness and patience his life has touched and mentored so many. Merril passed away Saturday, February 5, 2011 in Sanford Health in Fargo, ND. It is a certainty that when Merril left this world God received him saying “well done, my good and faithful servant”. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Cooperstown, ND. Visitation will be held be Wednesday, February 9, 2011 from 5:00 till 7:00 in the Quam-Plaisted-Cushman Funeral Home of Cooperstown, ND and one before services in the Church. A Prayer Service will be held Wednesday at 7:00 in the Funeral Home. Memorials: Merril and Dorothy Berg Endowment %Lake Region State College Foundation 1801 College Dr. N Devils Lake, ND 58301
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Merril Berg, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree