Mary Kunz Berge
November 29, 1937 - September 28, 2012
Mary Kunz Berge, 74, passed away Sept. 28, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. Mary was a part-time resident of Steamboat Springs for the past 40 years.
Mary was born Nov. 29, 1937, in Manitowoc, Wis. In August 1960, Mary married Paul Berge, her true north. Mary spent the ensuing years raising their children, Bobby (Lisa) and Mären, as well as being an active volunteer throughout the Madison and Steamboat communities. She also was a successful consultant of 18 years for the Carlisle Collection of Fine Women’s Apparel.
Mary will be remembered for her compassion toward others, her wonderful sense of humor, her kind heart and that wonderful smile she often shared. She had a tenacious drive and determination that guided her throughout her life.
Mary was a proud and devoted alumna of the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in textiles and clothing in 1961. She served on the school’s Board of Visitors and was a founding member of the development committee for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. She had the distinction of being the first Human Ecology alumna to be recognized as a 100 Women Honoree in tribute to her community involvement and commitment to family.
Mary was an active member of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Attic Angels Association, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity and a member of the Bascom Hill Society. She received the Veritas Auxiliary Service Award in recognition of exceptional volunteer service to Edgewood High School. She chaired the Holiday Art Fair for the Madison Art League and co-chaired the Arts Ball. She organized the annual Christmas tree program, generating thousands of gifts for families in the United Way Head Start Program. She was on the board of the Madison’s Junior Women’s Club and received the Gloria Lewis Award for outstanding service. Mary also devoted time to the Steamboat Arts Council and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Mary was most happy spending time with her family, dogs and friends at their homes on Lake Mendota and in Steamboat. Mary loved entertaining at her house, especially after a Badger football game. There wasn’t a story Mary wouldn’t listen to or a person to whom she would turn her back. She had kindness in her heart and a twinkle of mischief in her eye. Her Norwegian heritage and her strong faith helped her through some challenging health issues with courage and determination.
Mary is survived by her husband, Paul; her son, Bobby (Lisa), of Bedford, N.H.; her daughter, Mären, of Steamboat; and five grandchildren, Christina, Brianna, Jack, Ryan and Ashleigh, of Bedford, N.H.
A funeral was held in Madison on Oct. 3, 2012. Memorials may be made to the UW Foundation Mary Berge Fund for the HLATC at the School of Human Ecology, 848 University Ave., Madison, WI 53708 or the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Mary Berge Fund, P.O. Box 774487, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.