In Memory of

Katie

Helga

Berg

Obituary for Katie Helga Berg

Katie Berg was born July 2, 1922, in the village of Kubanka, Orenburg, Russia, part of the Molotschna Mennonite colony.

She was predeceased by her parents, Abraham and Katharina (Neufeld) Berg and ten brothers and sisters: Agatha, Henry, Helene, Peter, Tina, Martin, Abraham, Jakob, Anne and John.

She is survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families; those closest to Katie in her later years were Helga Bartel, Katharina and Kenneth Krebs, Arthur and Anna Funk, and their families.

Katie’s life was a testament to survival, determination, love of family, friends, children, and her deep faith in God. The only one of triplets to survive, her early years in Russia were marked by famine, poverty, and persecution of Mennonites under Lenin and Stalin. She became a teacher, taking after her father, although hers was on the job training, as times did not allow for a formal education.

During WWII, she and her family moved to South Russia, now known as Ukraine. They were occupied first by the Russians, then the Germans. When the Germans retreated in 1944-45, many Mennonite settlers including Katie and her family, left with them, moving from one refugee camp to another. She and her father continued to teach children in the camps throughout their trek.

Once they reached Germany, Katie, her mother, sisters Agatha and Helene, and Helene’s children Katharina and Arthur, were sent to Mallersdorf, a small village in Bavaria, where Katie worked as a teacher.

The extended family emigrated to Canada in 1948. Katie spent a short time in Herbert, Saskatchewan, with her mother’s Neufeld family who sponsored her immigration, before moving to Winnipeg where she worked at Paulin-Chambers, the Blue Ribbon Tea Company, Donald Street Drugstore, and GH MacLean Wholesalers.

Katie was generous with others but frugal enough to save for a down payment on a house on Mighton Avenue. She lived there with her mother, sister Agatha, and Uncle Ben, caring for each of them in turn over many years.

While attending Elmwood MB Church, Katie enjoyed teaching Sunday School for many years, including an afternoon Sunday School for neighborhood children for whom she had special affection.

In the early 70’s, she survived a massive stroke that affected her left side. Determined not to let that stop her, she walked several miles each day with a brace on her leg, until she regained her strength and the use of her leg. Loss of left-hand function didn’t stop her from cooking and baking delicious kuchen for family and friends.

In the mid 80’s, she and her Uncle Ben moved to an apartment on Arby Bay. During those years, she made daily visits to her sister Agatha at the Donwood Personal Care Home, took trips with family to Hawaii, Palm Springs, and Germany, enjoyed spending time with her grand nieces and nephews, and volunteered at Prince Edward and Maple Leaf Schools, where she participated in reading and walking programs with children.

Nominated for an Ageless Hero Award for her many hours of volunteer work, school children and their families visited her at Deer Lodge Hospital after she was hit by a car and severely injured. Unable to continue with her volunteer work, Katie mastered the use of the power chair which transported her to many favourite destinations in North Kildonan.

Katie’s survival instinct and determination also carried her through heart bypass surgery and being hit by a car a second time, while on her power chair. Not long after, she moved into Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home, where she enjoyed many activities and programs, endearing herself to staff. On her 100th birthday she had a special celebration with her family and another at Bethania.

On December 16, 2023, she fell and broke her hip, and on Christmas Day, December 25, 2023, her prayers were answered, and she went Home to be with her Lord and Saviour.

Special thanks to those family members and friends who visited Katie during her years at Bethania, and who were able to spend so much time with her during her last days. Thanks also to Bethania, for the compassionate care she received there.

Internment has taken place and there will be a Celebration of Life at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 20th, 2024, at Friends Funeral Service, 2146 Main Street, Winnipeg. Please share via the Friends website your memories and/or photos of Katie.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home or the Mennonite Central Committee.