On October 2, 2021, surrounded by family, holding his hands and praying, Leonard David Berger entered the gates of Heaven at the age of 80. A simple, hardworking, God-abiding man who loved the family and land God blessed him with is now without pain.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, October 8, 2021 at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan, ND with Rev. Todd Kreitinger as celebrant. Burial will be at Mandan Union Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Bismarck Funeral Home, Bismarck, with a Rosary/Parish Vigil at 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday.
Born October 30, 1940, the ninth child of 10 to Heironymus (Harry) and Rosa (Emter) Berger at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, ND. Leonard attended the Monson School District 31 near his home by Glen Ullin, ND. At an early age Leonard had a love for music. Through hard work at the age of eight he earned money to buy his first instrument- a button accordion. Determined, he taught himself how to play. He had an ear for music and also played the harmonica, guitar and piano.
At his sister Anna’s wedding to Clemens Fleck, he met the love of his life. Many years later, after working in the mines in the Black Hills, Leonard purchased an engagement ring. On June 19, 1963 he married Alberta Fisher at St. Anthony Catholic Church in St. Anthony, ND. The newlyweds resided in Mandan, ND where Leonard worked at Cloverdale. Seven years later in 1970 Leonard moved his family to the farm where they currently reside south of St. Anthony and began farming full time.
With his daughters, Wanda and Melissa, Leonard saw the world. They traveled to various destinations in the United States and Germany with Alberta and his sister Tillie. His daughters held a special place in his heart. A man who did not show emotions very often could not hold back a tear if one of his girls cried.
Leonard took pride in his farm and ranch, especially the smell and look of a freshly black plowed field along with spending an entire day raking hay for his cattle. He worked alongside his boys, Steve and Mark, instilling values of caring for the land and working hard. As grandchildren grew, Leonard transitioned into assistant equipment mover. He was always willing to help move from field to field, pack silage, or run the gate while working with cattle. He enjoyed driving truck and assisted with sugar beet and potato harvests for several years. A thoughtful grandpa, he built child size picnic tables and cat/dog houses for his grandchildren.
Leonard never turned down a card game. Sundays were family days with “GP” card tournaments with his grandchildren, who played for Jacks to see who drew partners with Papa Leonard. During the week, he enjoyed playing poker at the Mandan Moose Lodge #425. Socializing through cards drew him to seek a position working at Prairie Knights Casino. He truly enjoyed his job and the employees fondly referred to him as “Grandpa”.
A family that loves deeply will grieve deeply. The family which grieves for Leonard include his wife of 58 years, Alberta. their children, Steve (Lori) Berger, Wanda (Rodney) Binstock, Melissa (Craig) Unrath, and Mark (Jen) Berger; Leonard’s 10 grandchildren, Steve Jr. (Andrea) Berger, Tim (Cherisa) Berger, Mike Berger, Casey (Jaryn) Schlosser, Kaitlyn (Zach) Rath, Tara Binstock, Megan and Tyler Unrath, and Justin and Andreana Berger; six blessings of great-grandchildren, Jaxson, Emma and Teagan along with Nora, Dani and Henry; Leonard is survived by his sisters, Cecilia Geiger, Helen Stein and Agnes Vetter; brother, Raymond; and brother in-law, Clemens Fleck.
Leonard is preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Rose Berger; brothers, Mathias Berger and William Berger; sisters, Regina Monaco, Ottilia Schmidt and Anna Fleck; his brother in-laws; Lucas Fleck, Jerome Geiger, Joseph Monaco, Richard Stein and Joseph F. Vetter; sister in-laws, Katherine Berger, Beatrice Berger, and Diane Berger; father in-law and mother in-law, Orlee and Margaret Fisher; along with a special niece, Rebecca Fisher.
Special thank you to Augusta Place and staff at Sanford Health 2SE, heartfelt gratitude to Jess, the nurse, who provided care for Leonard and his family.
We will forever love and miss Leonard- my husband, our father and best Papa.
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