Clinton O. Berge, 89, passed away peacefully at home on November 27, 2021 after a long illness surrounded by his children who will honor and cherish his memory for the rest of their lives.
Clinton was one of ten children born to parents Oscar and Katherine Berge of Bisbee, North Dakota. He graduated from Lakota High School in Devils Lake, North Dakota in 1951 and enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952. Later in life he would go on to earn his Associates Degree from STCC and his Bachelor of Nursing Degree from the UMass, Amherst.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Clinton Berge, Jr and his wife Priscilla of Natick, MA, Katherine Berge-Charter and her husband Anthony “Rick” Charter of Bradford, VT, Brenda Darling and her husband Robert Duval of Holyoke, MA, William Berge and his wife Lisa of Chicopee, MA, Laura Gaj and her husband Alan Gaj of Granby, MA, Curtis Berge and his wife Lisa of Eastampton, NJ and his daughter-in-law Eileen Berge of Granby, MA.
Clinton was predeceased by his wife and the love of his life for 63 years, Gertrude in 2018 and by his second son, Robert who passed from this world much too young in 2015.
He also leaves 20 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren to carry on his legacy of kindness, compassion, fortitude and generosity.
His siblings, Ruby Gette, Roger Berge, Stanley Berge and Kenneth Berge survive him.
Clinton, known as “Swede” by those who loved him and knew him best, lived life with gusto and never shied away from a challenge or hard work. He was stationed at Westover AFB for 20 years as a Physiological Trainer with the 814th Medical Group. Upon his retirement from the US Air Force, he was employed as a Federal Security Officer at the Springfield, MA Federal Building while attending college and worked full time to provide for his wife and 7 children. After completing his education, he retained his position with the Federal Government and also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Health as a Psychiatric Nurse until his retirement in 1994.
After his retirement, Swede and his wife Gert, traveled in the US and internationally, often with family members and friends. He enjoyed annual trips to Florida where children and grandchildren would join him and Gert for fun-filled days. His children and family will fondly remember him as “hard-working” and “fun-loving” and will cherish times spent with him at sporting events, church activities, camping adventures, cross country travels, math tutoring sessions, and so many family celebrations and holidays. Swede was a HUGE sports fan and avid golfer who spent countless hours at Westover Golf Club, where he joined friends and family in friendly, but always competitive rounds of golf. He almost never missed an opportunity to cheer on a granddaughter or grandson at a local sporting event, rooted enthusiastically for all Boston Sports teams and would not ever pass up a trip to Fenway Park.
He was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Granby, MA where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. Many organizations benefitted from his willingness to be helpful and serve others, including; the Granby Council on Aging, Healthcare for the Homeless, and the Knights of Columbus Council #4044. He was also a member of the Granby American Legion Post #266.
Calling hours will be Thursday, December 2nd, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Beers & Story Belchertown Funeral Home, 10 Maple St., Belchertown, MA. Funeral and internment will take place Friday, December 3rd at 2:00 pm at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery 1390 Main St., Agawam, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at 25 State St., Granby, MA or Friends of Granby Veterans, c/o Select Board Office, 10B West State St., Granby, MA