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Delores Berger

Delores Berger 90, of Roslyn and formerly of Waubay died Friday January 31, 2014 at Strand Kjorsvig Living Center in Roslyn. Her funeral will be at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, February 8, 2014 at Ortley Free Lutheran Church in Ortley, Rev. Janet Miller will officiate. Burial will be in the spring at Lebanon Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday 5-7 P.M. and prior to services on Saturday at the church. Delores Friedricke Martha Gramberg was born on Tuesday, December 18, 1923 to Arthur and Hedwig Gramberg at Waubay, South Dakota. She was raised in Waubay where she received her elementary and secondary education. She was united in marriage to Arnold Berger on December 24, 1940 at her parents’ home in Waubay. After their marriage the couple settled on the Berger family homestead south of Ortley. The couple had seven children, which she instilled her strong religious beliefs and respect for others. The couple also took in seven foster kids over the years. She was a teacher’s aide for several years and in 1975 began classes at Northern State University in Aberdeen where she took four years of college in two years and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1977. After she taught for a couple small schools she decided to teach in Waubay and remained there until her retirement. After her retirement she spent many hours as librarian for the city and her church. Her husband passed away in April 1989. She moved to Webster in November 2007 and entered Strand-Kjosvig Rest Home in Roslyn in June 2012. She was a member Lebanon Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir and then Ortley Free Lutheran Church where she played organ and piano. Delores also went on the road giving piano lessons in the surrounding counties. She also spent countless hours researching family history. She had a love for music, books and a passion to educate our youth, not only from classroom teachings, but life skills as well. Now she is at our Father’s House, kickin back and listening to the music with Pid, Art and Jeff. Delores passed away on Friday, January 31, 2014 at Roslyn, South Dakota at the age of 90 years, 1 month and 13 days. Survivors include her children; Dianne (Larry) Berger of Metairie, LA, Donna Tohidi of Los Angeles, CA, David (Karla) Berger of Wadena, MN, Arnie (Julie) Berger of Webster, SD, Susan Berger of Sioux Falls, SD and Donald (Pam) Berger of Newhall, IA; a daughter-in-law, Tootie Berger of Ortley, SD; twenty seven grandchildren, thirty three great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Arnold, a son, Arthur and a grandson, Jeff.

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Dear Family, Please accept this letter as a substitute for my presence. I so wish I could be there to give you all a hug when you most need it. I am so happy that I was able to share Delores' 90th birthday party with you. It meant so much to me to be able to celebrate her life and to see all of you. Tante and I shared a very special relationship. I probably called her that because no one else did and I wanted some small claim on her affection. She had so many to love and care for, which she did in her unique way. Those of us who knew Grandma and Grandpa understand where some of her character traits came from. They were certainly very different people and Tante had qualities of both. She opened the doors of musical understanding for me. This was a huge gift in my life. There were many tearful piano lessons when she forced me to think about what I was doing and not be happy with “almost right.” No matter how exasperating I could be, she made me feel like I had value and that she cared about me whether my lessons were good or bad. She knew how to motivate me, too, going beyond what most teachers could offer...a good lesson would often bring an overnight to the farm. You may not know it, but your home was a magical place for me. It was the smell of homemade fry bread, cousins who looked like Elvis, cousins who moved to exotic places like California and Louisianna and my dear Susie. There was always something fun happening, and if we got in too much trouble, maybe a bar of soap to wash out our mouths. Do you remember dancing in the living room, chasing cows and jumping on beds? What fun! As the years passed and we didn't see each other as much, we would often write letters. Like most people who live far away, it eventually becomes the birthday and Christmas card exchange, but I would occasionally pick up the phone and call her, too. She was always the same to me, a sturdy tree in the storm of life and her strength gave me strength. So, now we must carry her in our hearts. She will live on in all of us, in our actions and our characters. Thanks for sharing her with me. With love, Val

Valerie Middleton Feb 14 2014 12:00 AM

Dolores was a wonderful piano teacher to so many people in the neighborhood. She was also patient with me as a student because I wasn't as quick as my sister. I remember her as a faithful mother and grandmother who was always involved in our community. Jim Eidet

Jim Eidet Feb 12 2014 12:00 AM

Delores was also my piano teacher for 8 years, so many mememories a precious lady, always a kind and caring lady!

Barb (Barse) Daily Feb 8 2014 12:00 AM

Delores was my first piano teacher and am amazing woman and friend. The Lebanon church families were all very close and I have such good memories of our two families doing things together. My deepest sympathy and love to you all. Wish we could attend her service, but that won't be possible,. Chuck and Janice (Olson) Valberg

Chuck & Janice (Olson) Valberg Feb 7 2014 12:00 AM

Delores was one of the first people I met when I moved to Waubay in 1997. She was a wonderful person and will be missed deeply. My sincere sympathies to her family and friends. Barry Hillestad

Barry Hillestad Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

Much love, thoughts and prayers to the Berger family from my Mother, Janet Popp and the Harrington family!! Mrs. Berger was a grand lady who helped install great values into the hearts and minds of many Waubay children and adults!! Leanne & Tom Harrington and family

Leanne Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Delores Berger

Leanne Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

Delores was my Godmother, and also my piano teacher. I was not the best student, my sister had the musical talent, but I enjoyed it especially if Delores would play the song for me to show my how it should sound. Sometimes when she gave lessons at her house, she would play something on the organ for me, it was wonderful. I had the best time a few years ago after she moved into her little house in Webster, she had it all decked out for Christmas and gave me the grand tour. Her love for her family was evident and I along with them will miss her very much.

Donna (Herold) Lauseng Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

Delores was also my piano teacher way back when. I would ride the bus to her house and and watch TV until it was my turn. It didn't take me very long to figure out that there was no fooling her about how long I had practiced that week. I learned a lot and also had a lot of laughs with her. She was a great lady who will be misssed by many.

Deb (Drake) Reiprich Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

I will always remember Mrs. Berger as being the best at everything she ever chose to do. I will never forget homecoming week and Mrs Berger cleaning out her garden of what she wanted for the year and leaving the rest for us kids to do what we pleased with it that week. I will always cherish my memories of an amazing woman and family member. I am grateful that she is at peace but she will be greatly missed. Carrie E. (Pies) Rumpza

Carrie E. Pies-Rumpza Feb 6 2014 12:00 AM

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