Dennis Pearson
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D: 2019-12-04
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1811 NE 16th Ave #A
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Phone: 360-675-3447
Fax: 360-682-2359
Darrel Berg

Darrel Berg

Sunday, November 14th, 1920 - Thursday, August 15th, 2019
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Rev. Darrel E. Berg, age 98
Darrel was born on November 14, 1920 in Boone, Iowa and passed away on August 15, 2019 at his
home in Coupeville, WA. He was preceded in death by his first wife Ruth Berg, parents Elmer & Irene
Berg, and brother Ken Berg. He is survived by his wife Phylis Hollamon Berg; sister Polly Carpenter,
Des Moines, IA; children Brenda Berg (Armando), Glendale, CA; Lowell Berg (Judy), Lincoln, NE;
Bruce Berg, Coupeville, WA; Deborah Berg McCarthy (Michael), New York, NY; 13 grandchildren
and step grandchildren; and 16 great grandchildren and step grandchildren.
After receiving public education in Boone, Darrel graduated from the St. Paul (MN) Bible College in
1941, from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1948 where he lettered in football, and from the Garrett-
Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1951. He was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree from
Nebraska Wesleyan in 1965, and graduated with the Doctor of Ministry from the San Francisco
Theological Seminary in 1978.
During his full time career as a United Methodist minister, he served churches in Seattle (Ronald,
1951-60), Lincoln, NE (Trinity, 1960-73), Omaha (Rockbrook, 1973-81) and Alliance, NE (1981-
1986). Following his “retirement” in 1986 he chronologically continued his ministry in Omaha; Taree
Parish, NSW Australia; Blacktown Parish, Sydney Australia; Kapiti Parish, Paraparaumu NZ;
Glenwood IA; University of Nebraska-Omaha (Campus Pastor), Council Bluffs, IA; and as minister for
the Guemes Island Community Church in Anacortes WA from 1994 until his second retirement in 2008.
Not done yet, he then spent another year at Kapiti Parish in NZ.
Darrel's ministry was a creative blend of spirituality, social responsibility, intellectualism, and political
engagement. In 1959, he spent a summer as a Methodist missionary in Japan which led to a lifelong
interest in, and love for the Japanese people. A fierce advocate for civil rights, he and a few other
committed Nebraska ministers marched in Hattiesburg, MS for voters rights in 1964; a dangerous and
volatile period during the Civil Rights movement. He later facilitated the membership of the first
African-Americans into his church in Lincoln. His distaste for violence was reflected in marching to
oppose the Vietnam war in 1967, and in 1972 running unsuccessfully on an anti-war platform for the
US Congress in Nebraska's 1st District.
An avid reader and lover of poetry, which he often wove into his sermons, he co-hosted a book review
program for Nebraska Public TV for several years. A book of his sermons, “A Piece of Blue Sky” was
published nationally in 1965, and republished in 2016. He also released a vinyl recording of sermons.
His love for education prompted him to run for University of Nebraska Regent in 1976. He frequently
had poetry recitals which were recorded.
A natural athlete, Darrel played tennis and swam in the cold Puget Sound well into his nineties. The
harbor seals considered him a curiosity and would often slide closely by to check him out.
Darrel always judged people for who they were, not from where they came, what religion they were,
their race or their color. His positive attitude was infectious, and his formula of love, respect, curiosity,
wisdom, knowledge and spirit connected him with thousands of people around the world. He packed a
lot into his 98 years; always adding value to individuals and society, never subtracting.
His faith sustained him as it now sustains his friends and family. As he was fond of saying at the end of
every conversation, “To be continued.”
A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date. Memorials may be directed to The Hollamon-
Berg Endowed Scholarship at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE, or The Ruth & Darrel Berg
Scholarship at Trinity United Methodist Church, Lincoln, NE.

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Maurice Conner

Posted at 10:08am
What a guy! Darrel transformed campus ministry at UNO. Within his first year, he had befriended everyone there, or so it seemed. From his activities in Lincoln, I had known of him; but it was at UNO that we really became friends. I think of him often and the positive influence he has had on me and on so many others. May you rest in peace, dear Darrel.
Maurice (Reece) Conner, Retired faculty member

John Leonard Harris

Posted at 09:58am
It’s interesting how life brings across your path individuals who impact you in significant ways. Such was the case for my relationship with Rev. Darrel Berg.

We met back in 1989 when I worked at UNO in student activities and he in campus ministry. We became fast partners in the effort to bring unity and faith to the campus. He and I would also play tennis during our lunch times. It was his sole purpose to beat me which was difficult because I was 40 years younger than him. And though he never won, he was a bulldog! He would not quit, he would never give up. This was how he was in every aspect of his life, a man of great resolve, fortitude, character and true conviction.

Rev. Darrel Berg was a great friend and will be sorely missed by anyone who knew him. Our loss is truly heaven’s gain!

Pastor John Leonard Harris
Lincoln, Nebraska

Pastor John and Charlene Harris

Posted at 09:07am
In loving memory of a great man and a good friend! Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!
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Anna Scheidt

Posted at 03:06pm
A man I met on my life's journey. I still remind myself of his words (from a sermon) when I need help: "Face the worst, expect the best, do the most, forget the rest".
Rest in peace dear friend; you live in our memories. Till we meet again.

Betty Patrick

Posted at 12:51pm
Rev. Berg was a very important part of my life when he was in Alliance, NE. I attended Bible Studies and he married my husband George and I on December 30, 1984. I see he led a full and wonderful life. Betty Patrick, Grand Island NE

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