Obituary of Jerry Richard Berg
Jerry Richard Berg, 81, Venice, FL and formerly Essexville, MI
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jerry Richard Berg, aka Mr. B, aka Coach, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, coach, purveyor of puns, and mentor to many. Jerry passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by love and family on March 22, 2023.
Born on October 20th, 1941 in Bay City, MI, Jerry spent much of his life in the community he loved. Jerry graduated from T.L. Handy High school in 1959. Jerry married Gail (Chalette) on August 10, 1979. Together they were blessed with seven children.
Jerry was a man of many passions. He was a talented athlete who played basketball and golf collegiately, first at Bay City Junior College, where he holds the all-time basketball scoring record, followed by Aquinas College and Ferris State University where he earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education and an MBA. He later received his master’s degree in counseling from Michigan State University.
Jerry enjoyed spending time with his family, highlighted by his frequent trips out West to visit his children and grandchildren and cheer them on at their events. He was a longtime parishioner at St. Jude Thaddeus, formerly St. Johns. He was an avid Detroit sports fan, he also had a fondness for horse racing and spending time at the casino.
His competitive spirit and love of sports carried over into his professional and coaching career. He began his teaching (Math / Economics) and coaching career at St James High School followed by Bay City West Catholic, Eisenhower High school, and Heritage High school in Saginaw. He also spent 12 years as a high school basketball referee. Jerry was inducted into the Bay County Sports hall of fame in 2006.
Jerry’s greatest passion, after his family, was his development of “Peer Dynamics”. As a teacher and coach, he saw firsthand the challenges that teenagers faced. The curriculum was designed to give kids a safe space to discuss those challenges and he was deeply passionate about helping them navigate difficult times in a student-led way. He implemented the program at many schools across Mid-Michigan. His anecdotes and experiences helped foster a trusting culture in the classroom and positively impacted many lives.
Jerry’s work earned him recognition by “Who’s who among America’s teachers” in ‘94 as a teacher who “made a difference” in the lives of students and received a “Crystal Apple” award from the Saginaw News in ‘95 for his outstanding impact in the community.
Jerry touched many lives at home, in the classroom, on the court, and in the community. Jerry was a kind, compassionate, and selfless person who dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. He had a gift for lightening the mood and making people smile, especially kids, and his quick wit, sense of humor, and playful persona will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of the countless lives he touched.
Jerry is survived by his wife Gail (Chalette) of 43 years and his children, Brooks Berg of Portland, OR, Ryan Berg of Payson, UT, Jason (Suzy) of American Fork, UT, Justin (Ashley) Berg of Glen Rock, NJ. His stepchildren Steve (Bessie) Shaffer of Huntington Beach, CA and Stacy Shaffer of Louisville, KY as well as his grandchildren, Hayden (Callan), Samantha
(Emmanuel) Taylor, Alex, Katie and Mandy Shaffer, Tyler, Ian, Miles, and one great-granddaughter Rylinn Rieselman.
Jerry was preceded in death by his Parents, Victor, and Alta, his sisters June Brown, Virginia Eaton, Doris Johnson, and Shirley Federhart, his brother Don Berg and stepson Scott Shaffer and several close nieces and nephews.
Following Jerry’s wishes, cremation has taken place. In lieu of a funeral, which Jerry always said was a ‘dying business’ there will be a celebration of life in Bay City, MI this summer, the details will be forthcoming.
Requiem Aeternam, Jerry. Your memory will continue to inspire and guide us.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jerry Berg, please visit Tribute Store