Richard Alan "Dick" Berge, 91, lately of Bainville, Mont ., and formerly of Wolf Point and Frazer, went home to be with the Lord, on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the Veterans Home in Miles City, Mont.
Funeral services will be celebrated Friday, March 14, at 1 p.m. at Faith Fellowship Church in Bainville. Pastor Paul O'Dell will officiate and interment will follow in the Bainville Cemetery.
He was born Aug. 17, 1922, to Henry and Elida (Hotchkiss) Berge at Wolf Point. His family homesteaded north of Frazer, where he attended Sjurson Country School until the sixth grade when they moved into town. It was there he met the love of his life, Phyllis Dassonville. He completed elementary school and high school in Frazer.
After graduating from Frazer High School in 1940, he went to Bremerton, Wash ., and worked in the Navy shipyard as a machinist. In January of 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in England, Normandy, northern France and Belgium during World War II. He served with the infantry, escorting the Tiger Tooth Tank Troop. Their unit advanced to the Siegfried Line, the first line of the German defense, dug in and took refuge in the German pill boxes they had captured. During the night the German forces counter-attacked, and on Sept. 18, 1944, he was taken prisoner, along with a number of others. He was a POW for 7½ months, and was liberated on May 1, 1945. He returned to the United States in June and was honorably discharged in 1946.
On June 17, 1947, he and Phyllis Dassonville were married. He was injured in a farming accident on Sept. 7, 1947, which resulted in the loss of both legs.
In the fall 1948, he enrolled in Northern Montana College in Havre, and was there until 1950. Then he attended North Dakota State Normal and Industrial College in Ellendale, N.D ., from 1950 -52. He graduated with a bachelor's of science degree with a major in industrial art and minors in natural science and social studies. He won the Dunphy Award as the senior with the highest academic standing in the graduating class. He was also named to "Who's Who in American Colleges."
He worked a short time in the Frazer Post Office before accepting a position teaching shop from 1952-1953. He thoroughly enjoyed his Frazer students, passing along his knowledge. In 1953, he built a motel and campground that he and Phyllis operated until 1981. In 1976, he helped the Frazer School system start the shop program, which had been discontinued, and stayed until they could find another teacher.
During the winters from 1976-79 and thereafter full-time until 1987, he worked at Woods Power Grip.
In 1987, he was honored and recognized by the Governor of Montana for his many accomplishments during his working life, given his disability. All during his life he was always willing to lend a hand, and never turned away anyone in need.
He and Phyllis lived in Wolf Point until 2012, when they relocated to Bainville.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; two daughters, Rochelle Romo and her husband, Dale, of Bainville, and Paulette McElhenny of Plano, Texas; five grandsons, Paul and Cody Romo of Bainville, Tom and Jim McElhenny of Plano, and Captain Michael McElhenny and his wife, Jessyca, of San Diego, Calif .; a granddaughter, Danielle Romo, of Bainville; one great-grandson, Austin Romo, of Bainville; four great-granddaughters, Trynity, Maddyson, Maddelyn and Jaedyn McElhenny of San Diego; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Friends may call at the Faith Fellowship Church in Bainville Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to visit http://www.eversonfh.com to share memories or condolences with the family.
The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.