Lauritz Alfred Berg, 79, passed away May 30, at the Hoosier Village Retirement Center in Indianapolis, Ind.
He was born Nov. 20, 1932, in Rolette, N.D., to the late James Arthur and Thora Agnes (Solberg) Berg.
He grew up on a farm and first attended a rural school. His first motor was from the old family washing machine.He graduated from Bisbee, N.D. High School in 1950. As part of the Junior Class, he traveled to Kansas City as a member of the National FFA Band.He also attended classes at the State School of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., Fort Monmouth Signal School in Fort Monmouth, N.J., Utilities Engineering Institute in Chicago, Ill., Caterpillar Intensive Service Training in Peoria, Ill., and Moraine Park Technical Institute in Fond du Lac, Wis.
He served in the United States Army in Korea in the 59th and 71st Signal Corps, 1953-1954 and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. He worked on the building of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at Thule Air Base, Greenland. He served in the Peace Corps in 1962-1964 in Tunisia. During this time he also traveled to Libya, Egypt, and throughout Europe.
He worked at the American Baptist Assembly, now known as Green Lake Conference Center, in Green Lake, Wis. In his time at Green Lake, he worked as a mechanic in the auto mechanics shop, as assistant superintendent of the buildings and grounds crew, and lastly as the superintendent of the Lawsonia Links golf course. After leaving full-time employment at Green Lake, he also came back many summers to volunteer. He mowed grass, drove the tour trolley, and worked in the lapidary shop at the Troster Arts & Crafts Building.
When he moved to Vermont in 1984, he worked for Dare McCuin in anticipation of building a golf course in Essex Junction. Lauritz retired from J.S. Lang & Company in the fall of 1994 at the age of 62, where he had worked as a mechanic and machine operator. During those times, he started growing Christmas trees on the Chapin family farm.
Although he retired, he never really stopped working. In 2004, he moved to the Hoosier Village Retirement Center, where he helped keep up the grounds, including planting some American chestnut trees. In addition, he repaired chairs used in the dining hall. His latest projects were a belt-driven clock (that was accurate within one minute a day) and a tap-dancing, mechanical “Mad Cow” with a moving tail. At the time of his passing he was making plans to build an oversized band saw to be used as a sawmill.
Lauritz married Sylvia Chapin June 10, 1980. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years; sons, Alan (Dian) Berg, Richard (Penny)Berg; brothers, Lloyd (Sara) Berg, Robert (Michelle) Berg; sisters, Margaret Briske, Helen (Charles) Grommesh, Laurel (James) Haahr; brothers-in-law, Roger Haugen, John Egan, R. Daniel (Alice) Chapin; sisters-in-law, Nona (Benson) Berg, Barbara Chapin; three grandsons, Peter Defoe, James Berg, Jake Berg; granddaughter Kaili Berg; one great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, James Berg; sister, Connie Haugen; son, Kenneth Berg; and brother-in-law, Wilbert Briske.
Memorial Service was held Sunday June 3 at 2:30 p.m. at the Hoosier Village Retirement Center Chapel, Indianapolis, Ind. Burial will be June 15 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota State Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, N.D. Memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, Indianapolis, IN 46256, or the First Baptist Church, Burlington, VT 05401.