Cover photo for Helene Berg's Obituary
1943 Helene 2016

Helene Berg

July 27, 1943 — December 7, 2016

Helene (Terry) Lourey Berg died peacefully on December 7, 2016, after beating the breast cancer devil for 24 years. This short note does not come close to summarizing this miraculous woman’s life.

Terry was born to Helene and Forrest Lourey in Minneapolis on July 27, 1943. She attended school in Bloomington, Aurora, and Little Falls, Minnesota, graduating from Little Falls High School in 1961. Terry then enrolled in the Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota, graduating in May, 1965. As luck would have it, in late winter of 1964, Terry had a flat tire on her beloved 1950 Ford named Charlie, and a total stranger named Bill stopped to change it. After a whirlwind romance with “dates” dominated by fishing, bird watching, and camping, Terry and Bill were married on July 16, 1965. Terry followed Bill’s educational and employment moves around the state, and worked for St. Peter State Hospital, Minneapolis Veteran’s Hospital, and Thief River Falls Hospital. She learned to bake bread on a farm house wood stove at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, and in her spare time gave birth to two sons, Bob and Eric. While Bill worked at the DNR’s Norris Camp, Terry was employed by the Warroad and Baudette School Districts as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT). In her spare time at Norris, she and husband Bill adopted two children from Manitoba, Tom and Irene.

In 1974, Terry and Bill took another DNR move, this time to the Bovey-Coleraine area. For the first 20 years there, Terry again honed her bread baking skills on a wood fired oven before moving to Big Trout Lake in 1993, where she could finally cook with electricity. Beginning in 1974, Terry was employed as an OT at Itasca County Hospital and Leisure Hills. Eventually the challenge of helping physically and mentally challenged children brought her to Grand Rapids School District, where she worked the next 30 plus years as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, retiring in 2005. Terry and the entire ISD 318 Early Childhood Team built an incredible record of success stories for hundreds of children. Her love for young children, especially those with special needs, carried on long past retirement, right up to her passing.

Her hobbies included camping, sewing (especially jean quilts for grandchildren), picking wild rice, swimming, and just holding small children. Her role models were her mother, Helene, and Mother Teresa, who together gave Terry the passion for helping the underprivileged. She was a member of the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association, Lake County Developmental Achievement Center Board, Dragon Boat Sisterhood, Bethel Trinity Lutheran Church, and Knife River Lutheran Church.

Terry was preceded in death by her parents, brother Dal (Becky), and three nephews.

She is survived by her husband Bill (same guy who changed her tire 52 years earlier), brother, Bruce (Sandra), children Irene (Brad), Tom (Jackie), Bob (Carrie) and Eric (Amber), grandchildren Steven, Garrett, Kayla, Trevor, Chris, Forrest, Alaina, Mason, Sawyer, Hunter, and Aspen, as well as several nieces and nephews, and hundreds of friends who she touched with her graceful love.

Terry has selected three beneficiaries for gifts in her memory: 1) Gift to St. Luke’s Cancer Center, c/o St. Luke’s Foundation, Ste. 102, 1000 E. 1 St., Duluth MN 55805 , 2) Knife River Lutheran Church PO Box 218, Knife River MN 55609, and 3) Bethel Trinity Lutheran Church, PO Box 440, Bovey MN 55709.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Saturday, May 6, 2017, at First Lutheran Church, 1100 E. Superior St., Duluth MN. Visitation at 10:00 AM, Service at 11:00 AM, followed by an environmentally-friendly lunch and lots of storytelling.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helene Berg, please visit our flower store.


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