Michael James Berger June 7, 1951 – July 22, 2016



Michael James Berger

June 7, 1951 – July 22, 2016

Michael James Berger, 65, a long-time Homer resident, died peacefully on Friday, July 22, 2016, at the Veterans Administration care facility in Martinez, Calif., after a short illness. Michael was born in Minneapolis, Minn., the son of James H. and Vera J. Berger.

The second of five children, Michael was preceded in death by his older sister, Katherine Ann Berger, and his youngest brothers, Gregory John Berger and Joseph Gerard Berger.

He is survived by his younger brother, Paul Robert Berger of Elk Grove, Calif.

Michael lived in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minn., before moving with his family to Hawthorne, Nev. at the age of 12. At 17, Michael and his family moved to Boise, Idaho, where he lived until joining the U.S. Air Force in 1970 where he served at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska. After serving in the Air Force, Michael lived and traveled in various western states before ultimately returning to Alaska where in his heart his home truly lay.

Michael did many things while living in Alaska, including spending many winters doing seismic oil exploration on the North Slope above the Arctic Circle, surveying, driving a school bus and working in a lumber yard. Mostly he liked to spend months on end hunting, camping, fishing and particularly eating the fish he caught. An avid reader, Michael particularly enjoyed reading about history and geology. Strangers were well warned not to ask him about the Civil War unless they had plenty of time and a large ear on hand.

Michael developed many dear and close friends in Alaska, about whom he was not shy in sharing stories. He spent many hours re-telling of trips, adventures and mishaps, who he was with, the weather (apparently there is constant rain and snow in Alaska,) and anything else that came to his mind. Regardless the story, it was clear to see the high regard, esteem, love and affection he had for his family and friends and all those near and dear to him. Michael will be missed by many, but none more so than by his brother, Paul,who counted Michael as his best friend.

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