Richard A. Berg

Richard A. “Dick” Berg, 94, a retired surveyor for the Montana State Highway Department and Army veteran, died of natural causes Sunday, Feb. 5, at Peace Hospice. A memorial service is 2 p.m. Thursday at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel, with burial of ashes at a later date. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Dick was born Oct. 5, 1917, in Kindred, N.D., and was raised in North Dakota and Glendive, Mont. He attended elementary and high school in Glendive. In March of 1942, he married Shirley Foreman; they eloped to Wibaux, Mont. He went to college at MSU but quit after three years, when his daughter was born. Starting at the age of 16, Dick worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad as a painter and later as an engineer. He served in the United States Army and had attained the rank of sergeant at the time of his discharge. He was a medic and fought at the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded and spent many months in a VA Hospital. After World War II, Dick worked for the Montana Highway Department until he had heart bypass surgery in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was the 13th person in the United States to have this surgery done. Dick was adjutant for Winchester Arms Collectors Association for over 22 years. As a side job, he was a land surveyor and an adult math teacher. Dick was one of the first to teach first aid classes and hunter’s safety. He was a member of the VA, VFW, American Legion and was the president and secretary for the DAV until May of 2010. He also was on the board of directors at the Park Manor Retirement Home and belonged to the Silver Beavers, the Order of the Arrow, Eagle Scouts Board of Review, was a scoutmaster in Helena and was a scoutmaster of Scout Troop 17, the first and oldest Scout troop in Montana. Dick enjoyed collecting firearms until a few years ago; his gun collection mainly dated back to the early 1900s and earlier. He loved reading history and became a walking encyclopedia. He taught his children and grandchildren all about astronomy and was a dedicated rock hound. In later years, he loved to watch his daughter paint statues and especially enjoyed going for a short ride with his daughter almost every day to wherever. He learned to carry a comb and toothbrush with him because those “short” rides could be 380 miles in a day. These rides brought a headshake and a huge smile to his face. He also loved to spend time with his friends and grandchildren and delighted in his great-grandkids. Survivors include his daughter, Melodie Heisler of Great Falls; a son, Kevin Berg of Gladstone, Queensland, Australia; a daughter-in-law, Elaine Berg; sisters, Francis Ringen of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Shirley Bradford of Pasco, Wash.; six grandchildren, Stormi Beutler, Kiyana Compentente, Dustin Berg, Tinaya Berg, Travis Berg and Kristen Schindele; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley F. Berg; sons Kristian Berg and Rik Berg; his mother, Julia Rosendahl Berg; his stepmother, Selma Rosendahl Berg; his father, Mauritz Moen Berg; three grandsons; a son-in-law, Jim Heisler; brothers, Morris Berg and Stanley Berg; and sisters, Julia Berg, Marion Wines, Amy Martens, Ruth Stefanowich and Lillian McPherson. Memorials are suggested to the Silver Beavers, P.O. Box 7315, Great Falls, MT 59406; or to DAV Chapter 2, 600 Plaza Central Ave, Great Falls, MT 59401. Dad, you were not only the best father, you were also my friend, my guidance counselor and my rock. My world is shattered right now without you, Mom and Jim, but I will pick up the pieces and go on. I made that promise as I did to be with you until your final breath. I love you, Dad. We all love you, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa! Condolences may be posted online at and/or .