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June K. Berg - 80 Years of Age - 2007 -

- A Day in the Life - Late Stage Alzheimer's -


Benedictine chapel


"June, today November 8th 2007 is your birthday. Your eleven year battle with Alzheimer’s has left you lying wounded, vanquished and exhausted.

Like a snuffed out candle, only the slightest spark remains of what was once a warm, bright, vibrant and glowing lady.

Your mind only in the “now”, wanders through unfamiliar surroundings. Some people look friendly, some look familiar, and some do not. Some surroundings are void or dark. Some areas are so sad that you cry. All are confusing. The simple act of coughing or sneezing frightens you. You sit with your eyes closed drawing a curtain on a world that is always bewildering and sometimes frightening.

Well meaning friends and relatives try to jog a no longer existing memory with references that are also long gone.

When you awaken from a sleep or simply open your eyes it is into another strange and different world. There is an occasional flicker of familiarity but that is quickly lost.

Your injured mind has abandoned you to a mental feeling of isolation and solitude. Your signature smile that would always light up your face is forever gone...The sound of your voice has been stilled. Even the touch of your hand cupped over mine is just a memory. You cannot walk, eat or bath without help. There are occasional uncontrolled tremors.

Your life has been reduced to little more then a mere existence. While you are like a stranger who no longer knows me, you remain and always will be, the love and light of my life.

I know that you are ready for God to take you home to a better world free of the shadows of Alzheimer’s. I still however cling selfishly to the remaining vestige of the lady who was and is the centerpiece of my life. I stand helpless as I see my life’s treasure being pulled from my grasp and slowly slipping away."  

Stan Berg - 8 November 2008



Stan's Thoughts - From the Depths of despair - June's Last Year 

Alzheimer's is one of the worst if not the worst of the dementia type diseases. Mayo Clinic says the victim's life became one of constant fear...during the darkest periods of June's late stages, I would often day dream my private fantasy of taking June and running away with her to a land where there was no Alzheimer's...but I could never find the directions or the road map to get there....I knew it existed  in Heaven, but no where on earth except in my mind..I was looking for the impossible in this life.

Then in periods of dark despair, in those end times, I would think about putting June  in the car with me and heading towards our old Wisconsin home areas of Barron, Rice Lake, and Colfax...then running he car off the roadside cliffs at Taylor Falls...then God would take over and my sanity would return and June and I would resume our journey through the dark shadows together...until that final day that God would take June home...and take away all her pain, fear and sorrows! 


Stan's Note: My Long time friend from Nacogdoches, Texas. Marsha McKneely Ault, on reading my above description of "A Day in the life of a late stage Alzheimer's victim," was prompted to write her poem (below) in response...Marsha is a poet and a former caregiver for her father who died a victim of Alzheimer's.



(Marsha McKneely Ault)


"A Day of Life in the Late Stages"


I sit with my hand cupped over your hand.

I often enter a fantasy world and dream of

kidnapping you and running away

to a land where there is no Alzheimer’s.

Suddenly I am pulled back into reality

when I feel your tremors.


Your closed eye lids pull down a curtain

shutting out this outside sphere 

that is unfamiliar to you.

A sneeze frightens you—I reassure

you with a soft whisper that all is well.


Every now and then I glimpse a spark

of familiarity in your presence—

an occasional flicker of what once

was the warmest and brightest ray

of Sunlight in my life. Your signature

smile forever gone. Your voice stilled.

Your touch no longer felt. 


Some days tears escape and trickle 

down your cheeks. I softly dab

them up with a tissue

and then my own tears too.

You cannot walk, eat, or bathe

yourself without help.


I sing to you each day those hymns

you use to sing.

Fear is your constant companion.

In those very brief moments your

eyes open, you look past me

you do not know me

or my name and yet to me 

you are the love of my life, the light

of my world.


"Satan's Work not God's Work"

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Pastors Dave, and Harley as well as our previous Pastors, Gene and Cliff, all assure me that God is not the author of June's Alzheimer’s suffering...God is working hard to bring some good out of June's long dark twelve year journey into the  shadows of Alzheimer's....this is Satan's work and not God's work...God is always working to bring some good out of Satan's evil...the story of June's journey into the shadows of this terrible disease Alzheimer's, has touched many lives...almost immediately after having the above discussion with my Redeemer Lutheran Pastors, the below three saints appeared as if God on  cue was verifying for me that yes, he does bring good out of Satan's evil: ...James E. Starrs, Deb Apuli and Patti J. Paulson:


James E. Starrs

One of our forensic science friend’s, James E. Starrs, is professor of law and Forensic Science at George Washington University in Washington DC said this about was on a Christmas Eve that he was in prayerful contemplation at a local Chapel when he had thoughts of June...


“your June ….has been an inspiration to me to devote myself more unselfishly and lovingly to my wife ...Out of the tragedy you are suffering under, this good, I thought you should know, has blossomed.”


Jim Starrs

(James E. Starrs)


Deb Apuli

Deb Apuli, of nearby Hopkins, a lady in the process of her second divorce, and an associate of the Le Creuset company,  after reading about June, wrote:


"I remember vividly how I felt when I read your loving tribute to June.  I felt in awe of your deep and abiding love and commitment to her and grateful that those beautiful characteristics  existed!  Your words became  a beacon of possibility and hope..." 

“True love really does exist…Thank you for putting a light back on in my heart.”


Deb Apuli

(Deb Apuli)


Patti J. Paulson

A lady that neither June nor I had ever met, (Ms. Patti J. Paulson) of Minneapolis developed a powerful Alzheimer’s educational Microsoft power point PPS...presentation that she dedicated to June...we have since updated that presentation many times...

The presentation is currently in a newly issued 12th Edition (2016) and features 87 slides...


Patti J. Paulson

(Patti J. Paulson)



June and Stan and Alzheimer's

June gave me a lifetime of unconditional love during our 56 years of marriage and a life with only the regret that it is now over and that June has had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe God and June an unending debt.

June's passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that had played during our life time together, had now fallen silent.

Before June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, our world and June's character and personality were represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, those bright lights all began to slowly dim. As June slowly 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 June's life, when the brightness that marked our world and June's life was replaced by one of darkness. Thereafter, I slowly lost June, tear drop by tear drop.

June rarely ever opened her eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to her June had become so tired and weary that in the last year of her life, June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield. Early on a Thursday morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and June heard the words: "Come home June". God mercifully took June home to Heaven  on the 23rd of October 2008. June's passing leaves me with an emptiness that can never be filled!

I ask you sweetheart, you have traveled  into life’s sunset before me:

"walk slowly – wait up – and watch for me....Listen for me to call your name...




Photo Notes: the top Photo above by Jim Gehrz, was taken at the Benedictine Nursing Home at Innsbruck on 31 October 2007, a few days before June's 80th birthday. June and Stan spent many quiet hours in the Holy Spirit Chapel in front of the Altar...June was then in late stages of Alzheimer's and was almost totally non responsive. The occasion for the above photograph was a feature article by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune entitled: "Stan and June: "To Have and to Hold for 55 Years"...."Duets - Entering the Winter of LIfe" Star Tribune Com/Lifestyle - Saturday November 24th, 2007 - This was actually the 1st of 2 Feature articles done by the Star-Tribune on June and Stan's life together...The 2nd feature article was done for Memorial Day in 2010...Saturday May was entitled "A Lasting Goodbye"...The setting for the 2nd feature article was June's grave at Lakewood Cemetery...see notes below on publish dates.



Published  Dates - Minneapolis Star - Tribune

1.  First Published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Celebrations-Birthdays, Thursday 8 November 2007, for June's 80th birthday.

2.  The basic description of "A Day in the Life of Late Stage Alzheimer's" as printed above (Paragraphs 1-8 in bold print) were republished in honor of June's Birthday on 8 November 2015 in the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune for June's 88th birthday.

3. Normally I publish 3 or 4 tributes to June every year in the Minneapolis Star-tribune. I always select the Sunday edition closest to the event in view of the much larger publication numbers on the Sunday's. Some may be tributes to June on a birthday such as this one, some may be for Mother's Day, Valentines Day or on our anniversary.

The occasion for the above photo was a special feature article that the Minneapolis - Star Tribune was publishing entitled: "Stan and June: "To Have and to Hold for 55 Years." Lifestyle . Saturday November 24th, 2007 - Section. This was actually the 1st of 2 Feature articles that the Minneapolis Star-Tribune did on June and Stan....the 2nd feature article was done for Memorial Day on May 31st, 2010, Variety Section entitled: "A Lasting Goodbye"...the setting for the 2d feature article was June's grave at Lakewood Cemetery.



Reader's Comments

Mariza Borg  - Sydney, Australia - (6 October 2016): "What a beautiful page you created Stan... Your beautiful June forever in your heart, forever sharing the sunshine in your lives. God's love is all the good we have in this world. He gives us light and hope. He has given each and every one of us at least two personal miracles. One being the miracle of life and the other the miracle of this spectacular home we call earth. Of course He has given us so many more miracles it's just that too many of us take them for granted. We just need to open our eyes and heart to know them. We may have had a lot of suffering throughout our miraculous journey in life, only the MIRACULOUS is from our Lord, the suffering/evil, is injected by the devil. How blessed you are with the miracle of June in your life and how blessed was June with the miracle of you in her life. Keep fighting the evil Stanton, God is right here, arms and heart open wide, caring and loving as you teach so many the value of love, devotion and peace within ones soul. A beautiful tribute and page. Thank you for sharing."

Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacogdoches, Texas - (6 October 2016): "I especially enjoyed your friend, Mr. Starr's comments, how you and June have inspired him to be a better husband to his own wife. You continue to inspire and to teach others. I think it all is perfectly stated. In the first paragraph where you describe June that she cannot feed herself or bathe herself. " 

Missi Todaro Williams - New Orleans, Louisiana - (6 October  2016):"I read it. I think you have it nailed down pretty good! Stan, you describe things so well. I think it's just right!"

Mary B. Walsh - East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania - (6 October 2016): "Oh yes, you have it right Stan, but then I believe you had it right all along. Even at your lowest moment; struggling with bitterness, you were processing, working through such a terrible loss."

Lynda Etlicher - Rice Lake, Wisconsin - (6 October 2016): "I myself feel Satan is behind  a lot of suffering. I also feel our faith is being tested. So many times we give our problems to God and then we take our problems back in our own hands why?  We don't  trust  that he doing it fast enough. I don't  know the answer. I do  it all the time. and yet my faith is strong."

James Denton -  Pana, Illinois - (6 October 2016): "J am always amazed at your great tributes to your precious wife. Thank you for sharing."

Kathy Williams -  Madisonville,  Texas - (7 October 2016): "Very nicely worded."

Nikki Lee Pettigrew Slaven - Arkansas City, Kansas - (7 October 2016): "What a lovely tribute from a loving husband to his beautiful wife. His faith in the Lord's eternal blessings is very inspiring...I wish you the best, Stan."

Gabriella Rader - Portland, Oregon - (10 October 2016): "Right on point Stanton. Well said."

Linda Morse- Beerwah, Queensland, Australia - (10 October 2016): "What I found was a wonderful tribute page. It is well set out clear and easy to navigate. The links all work and the additonal information menu bar is excellent. It speaks of your personal touch and to your love and devotion to June. It is a page of rememberance but also of information . A very good page Well done."



June's Passing

June 1994


June passed away on 23 October 2008 after a long and almost 12 year's journey from the time of her first symptoms in 1997. June died from Aspiration Pneumonia, a common Alzheimer's complication. June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - or just Click on:


 "June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"