Marga Bergie, 84, Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Marga Bergie passed away suddenly, after a short illness, on Dec. 11, 2006 at her home in Shadow Hills, California. Her loving daughter and son-in-law were at her side. Marga lived with them since leaving Albert Lea, Minn. on Oct. 25, 2005 to arrive in a land where she said the trees were so alive, they reached out to dance with her.

She was born Marga Julianne Friederike Schenk on Feb.15, 1922 in the ancient city of Worms, Germany to Paul and Maria (Mang) Schenk. There she graduated from the Eleonoren Schule high school in 1940. She attended college in Darmstadt and graduated with a teaching degree.

Marga was a much-loved teacher in Burstadt and in Rosengarten, Germany until 1948. She inspired her students of all ages. She was awarded recognition as the most creative and effective teacher in her state.

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In 1948, an airplane hobbled over the Atlantic Ocean to bring Marga to the U.S.A. to marry true love Romeo N. Bergie on Oct. 29, 1948 in Albert Lea, Minn. They felt blessed with twin daughters in 1950.

Until Romeo&8217;s death on Feb. 25, 2004, Marga and Romeo were married 56 years. They felt &8220;at home with each other&8221;, and they made their physical home in apartment 404 on 133 West William St., downtown Albert Lea, for most of those years. They were never bored inside their &8220;four walls&8221;, but they also enjoyed exploring the world outside, including several European trips for months at a time.

Marga was a prolific, gifted, original arist in pastels and oils. She displayed and published her art and recieved awards in Albert Lea and elsewhere in Minnesota, including the Albert Lea Art Center, The Loft in Minneapolis, colleges, and New Rivers Press.

Marga enjoyed culture which she said &8220;is all of the forms of the arts&8221; and &8220;thinking which allows a person to be less dependant.&8221; She was an avid reader of literature, art, philosophy, religion, history, etc. She daily devoured the L.A. Times and also read a variety of newspapers, including German ones.

Marga was compassionately and passionately concerned about the ills of our world. She was a humanist activist with herpen and with her presence at demonstrations in Minnesota and in Los Angeles.

She was a gourmet cook in a long matrilineage. In fact, her approach to tending to the little and the big things of life had the gourmand&8217;s care and flair. She moved in life with tenderness, with kindness, with much thought, with patience, with fervor, with awe, with charm. Marga was exquisitely attuned to what was happening around her in the moment. Even as her eyes and ears and body failed her, she seemed to have spare parts.

She believed that God is the God of love. She loved her life, even when life was difficult. She flew to Germany to nurse her mother for 6 months until her death; back home in Albert Lea, she cared for her father in his last years until his death. And finally, Marga (with daughter Sigrid&8217;s help) took care of her husband for 4 years until his death. She cared for us with a love bigger than love. She loved and was loved by many friends and family.

She is survived by her daughters Sigrid and her husband John A. Feliciano of Los Angeles, Calif., and Astrid of Minneapolis; her brother Dr. Paul-Werner Schenk and his family of Bad Kreuznach, Germany; her nephew Bradley Bergie and his wife Marcy and their children Josh and Sonja of Lake Elmoo, Minn.; and her nephew Brett Wamsley, her niece Marcia and Gerald Cefalo, and her niece Marilyn and Frank Dobmeyer of Cincinnati.

In addition to her husband and her parents, Marga was preceded in death by her brothers-in-law Murdoc and Bidne Bergie and his wife Marie; sister-in-law Virginia Wamsley and her husband Richard of Cincinnati, OH; nephew Barry Bergie of Albert Lea; and niece Becky Powers of Glasgow, Ky.

We utterly miss our Marga. Our world is less colorful without you and more colorful because of you. We struggle with our pain. We love you so much, but you always knew that.

Marga, thank you for creating a world with your soul.

May we always walk with you.