June Berg's Birthday - Tuesday 8 November 1927
- Published on Sunday, 08 November 2009 21:20
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
June, your birth-date was Tuesday November 8th, 1927. Although I was born 7 months later, your birthday in 1927 was to become the most important day in shaping my future life.
You were born at home in rural Dunn County, Wisconsin as the first daughter of your Norwegian Heritage parents, Haldis and Henry Rolstad. These hard working and loving Christian parents were famers on a small diary farm in the midst of the "Great Depression" years.
Your birth was awaited with some trepidation and concern. While you were the oldest of the surviving children, you were not the first born. Because of the unfavorable mortality rates in the 1920's, you had a brother Richard Herald who was born a year earlier in 1925 but only survived a few months. It was with great joy that your birth was that of a beautiful and healthy baby girl.
On the very same day that you were born in 1927, another beautiful little girl was born in far away Claremore, Oklahoma - That young girl was born as Clara Ann Fowler, later known to the world as Patti Page. She become the famous singer who in late 1950 introduced her first hit record, "The Tennessee Waltz". In late 1950 and early 1951, it became the No. 1 song hit. You and I met in Barron, Wisconsin in 1951 while this beautiful Waltz was at the height of popularity. It became our song. What a remarkable coincidence or did God have a hand in all of this?
Your loving parents, Haldis and Henry, safety brought you through the "Great Depression" years and the sacrificial years of World War II. Those same nurturing parents with God's help, molded you into the loving and caring person that you became. In the process you acquired the greatest of all virtues, "Humility", but the virtue least sought after. You became a lifelong Christian and a Lutheran with a strong focus on God.
In August of 1952, you and I were married in Bloomington, Illinois. We established a home, raised a family and because of my forensic science work, we traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. You were God's greatest gift to me. You gave me 56 years together before Alzheimer's took you away on 23 October 2008 - 16 days before your birthday. As I have told you many times before, you have given me a life of adventure and a life with only the regret that it is over and that you have had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe you an unending debt! Your passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that played during our life together, had now ceased to exist!
Before your Alzheimer's diagnosis in January 1998, your world, your character and personality was represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After your Alzheimer's diagnosis, these bright lights all begin to slowly dim. As you slipped deeper into the shadows of Alzheimer's, the lights gradually flickered out one by one. Eventually the time came during the last two years of your life, when the brightness that marked your world and life was replaced by one of darkness. You rarely ever opened your eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to you. God mercifully took you home on the 23rd of October 2008.
Death has ended your life and changed but not ended our relationship. Whatever we were to each other, we still are. I talk with you every day. While your Alzheimer's death has left a heartache that no one can heal - Your love leaves me with a memory that no one can steal.
Happy 82nd birthday sweetheart!
Star-Tribune Readers are encouraged to visit June's web site at:
- not only to read about June's life, but also to obtain complete and up-to-date information on Alzheimer's and what you can do about ending this disease. I maintain June's web site, not only to honor June and preserve her memory but also to promote Alzheimer's funding, research and proper care practices. Perhaps someday this terrible disease that took June's memory, her personality, her ability to physically function and eventually her life, will be controlled or ended. Arrangements have been made to continue June's web site long after I also have passed into the sunset.
(Published in all editons of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune - Sunday 8 November 2009)
June's funeral notice as published in the Star-Tribune can be seen at the above web site under the label "In Memoriam" on the top blue navigation strip and by clicking on "June K (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam" on the drop down menu.