Elaine Esther Berge, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, 86. Elaine was born March 16, 1933 to Edgar and Esther (Frandle) VonFeldt in Austin, MN, and passed away May 8 , 2019 at home in Belle Plaine, MN. Elaine attended Austin Catholic schools, graduating from St. Augustine High School in 1951. Elaine married Gordon Paul Berge October 9, 1954 at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin.
Elaine lived an intentional life of thoughtful loving service to others. She served as a lifelong caregiver for many, including her husband, children, grandchildren, parents, neighbors, friends, and extended family. While raising their family, Elaine and Gordy befriended then cared for five neighbors otherwise alone, enfolding them into their family, including them for meals, family gatherings, and holidays for more than 30 years. Elaine served as a longtime and frequent food shelf volunteer. Elaine lovingly sewed quilts and crocheted afghans for each of her children and grandchildren. She created hundreds of lap robes for veterans and caps for newborns at local hospitals. Elaine also showed love by cooking and baking, delivering and serving homemade brownies, bars, and cookies for family, friends, neighbors, and especially to others who had no one to bake for them. She loved passing her cooking and baking experience, knowledge, and skills to her children and grandchildren. Favorite recipes include bean-soup, chocolate cake, chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies, lefse, and, for her friends in Arizona, sweet potato souffle. Elaine enjoyed exploring garage sales, discovering treasures, and sharing them with family. She was vivacious and loved to laugh, creating many wonderful memories, including family gatherings at holidays and during more than 30 summers at their lake home in Waterville, MN. Elaine worked as a cost accountant at Hormel Foods in Austin for 20 years, and kept an eye on Hormel holdings in retirement. She appreciated a Cure 81 Hormel ham, and it brought her great joy the day Hormel diversified and purchased Skippy peanut butter (a family staple).
Elaine is survived by Gordon Berge, her life-long love. Elaine and Gordy literally walked through life holding hands for nearly 65 years, in Austin, at the lake in Waterville, during retirement winters in Arizona, and for the past several years at Kingsway retirement home in Belle Plaine. In addition to her loving husband Gordy, Elaine is survived by her children Jean (Allan) Beckel, Arvada, CO; Sharon (Dennis) Doffing, White Bear Lake, MN; Barb (Tom) Singsank, Minnetonka, MN; David Berge, Vancouver, Canada; and Donna (John) Davis, Eden Prairie, MN. Elaine cultivated special relationships with each of her eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They include Michael Beckel, Washington, DC; Elizabeth (Patrick) Fitzjarrald, Lafayette, CO; Rebecca Doffing, Adana, Turkey; Kelly Doffing, Washington, DC; Daniel Doffing, Minneapolis, MN; Matthew Singsank, Minneapolis, MN; Sarah Singsank, Savage, MN; Katie Singsank, Tacoma, WA; John Davis, Bloomington, IN; Bobby (Alison) Davys, St. Paul, MN; Anna Davis, Eden Prairie, MN; and great-grandchild Clara Fitzjarrald, Lafayette, CO.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and Esther VonFeldt, sister, Marian VonFeldt, and brother-in-law Lee Canning. She is survived by siblings Marge Canning, Don (Trudy) VonFeldt, and Ed (Jeanne) VonFeldt, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial is at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, May 17, 2019, at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church, 200 E Church St., Belle Plaine, MN, 56011. Visitation 9:30 A.M. am at the church, one hour prior to Mass. Memorials are preferred to your local food shelf or to Kingsway Belle Plaine, 815 W Main St, Belle Plaine, MN, 56011. Interment St. Peter & Paul’s Cemetery, Belle Plaine. Arrangements by Kolden Funeral Services, Belle Plaine. The Berge family would like to thank particularly the staff and residents at Kingsway retirement home and the staff at Allina Hospice for their loving friendship and compassionate care during Elaine’s journey home. We are forever grateful.