Dwight H. Berg

Dwight H. Berg, 98, of Fayette, died Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Maple Crest Manor in Fayette.

Services and inurnment will be at a later date at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ocala, Florida. Memorials may be made to the Dwight and Trudy Berg Scholarship Fund at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Fayette is assisting the family. 

Dwight Hillis Berg, son of Charles H. and Myrtle E. Stockholm Berg, was born January 6, 1916, at Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania. He received his education at Montrose High School and Mansfield State Normal School, both in Pennsylvania and Ph.D from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Dwight was united in marriage with Gertrude Marjorie Robinson on December 4, 1943 at the home of her parents. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II and was a Biology Professor at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio for thirty years. He very much enjoyed his years at the college and was known as an enthusiastic educator. After retirement in 1980, Dwight and Trudy initially retired to a home on Tingley Lake, Pennsylvania near their childhood homes. To escape the northern winters, they moved to Ocala, Florida in the late 1980’s. Following Trudy’s death on March 1, 1999, Dwight remained in Florida until entering Maple Crest Manor in Fayette in September of 2011. He enjoyed Botany, gardening, reading, watching college football and basketball, and earlier in life enjoyed traveling.

He is survived by one son, Gary and wife, Jacqueline Bunke of Dayton, Ohio; one daughter, Debra McCarty of Fayette; and a sister-in-law, Elaine Berg of Montrose Pennsylvania.

In addition to his wife, Dwight was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, William and Clark Berg; and his son-in-law, Gregory McCarty. 


Phil Taber (79) on June 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM said:

Dr. Berg was a gracious teacher and mentor. He shared his love for life, be it flora or people, with us all. God bless him and his family!
Linda Wilson Fitzpatrick Class ' 70 on April 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM said:

To say that Dr.Berg was a great professor is an understatement. The enthusiasm he had for plants and life just
"oozed" from him. When I read that he'd passed away I sighed
oh...then smiled, thinking back on classes with him and my Cooks Forest adventure. My condolences and prayers to his family.
Judy Dean Godfrey '69 on April 25, 2014 at 1:35 PM said:

I fondly remember Dr. Berg, his excellent courses, memorable field trips, enthusiasm for botany, and his Have You Thanked a Green Plant Today? sign. I always appreciated his objective grading. I remember using eyebrow tweezers and a hand lens, learning to key flowers in my dorm room during his vascular plants course. On the Cook Forest field trip for the non-vascular plants course, I was in the fungus group -- didn't know then that I would study bryophytes for my Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, after an M.S. in botany at the University of Minnesota. While at UBC, I enjoyed a day collecting liverworts in the forest near Vancouver -- amazed to be with Drs. Sinske Hattori and Hiroshi Inoue, two distinguished Japanese bryologists, about whom I had taken notes in one of Dr. Berg's lectures on bryophytes (Takakia). I retired last fall from a career more broadly in biology and ecology, as a biologist/senior policy & legislation analyst for the Ecosystems Program, BC Ministry of Environment, focused on conserving wildlife habitat and valuable ecosystems. Now I'm back to thinking about liverworts. I was fortunate to be one of Dr. Berg's students, and I'm grateful for his influence on my botany/biology career. My condolences to his family.
len and marianne zazycki, ocala,fl on April 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM said:

Our sympathy for your loss. Dwight was our "meals-on-wheels client for many years. He was the most fascinating and interesting person to talk to.

We had many things in common. Our love for watching college sports, and the fact that we were originally from Warren, Ohio were just two. He loved to share stories of his teaching career at Hiram college.

We missed him when he moved as we are sure you will miss him now.
Linda Williams on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM said:

Dear Gary,
It's wonderful to see so many tributes to your Dad for the lives he has touched, and the knowledge he has spread. And now our family is touched as well, through you. Praying for all of you.
Love, Linda and Ben
Mary Brinson Amick Class '60 on April 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM said:

Biology was my first class at Hiram and Prof Berg became my adviser, mentor and friend shortly after. We kept crayfish in his office sink and he was the one who made me aware of graduate school and the joy of being outside in the field. Later I worked for him as teaching assistant which was a very rewarding time. He and his family gave me caring support for which I am very thankful. Lowell and I were blessed to know Prof Berg and I appreciate his teaching and his guidance.
Daniel J. and Martha Comstock Williams on April 24, 2014 at 7:44 AM said:

Professor Berg has a special place in our hearts and we wish to express our condolences. He was a mentor to both of us during our years at Hiram (1966-1970). We were especially thankful to be able to house sit for the Bergs during the summer of 1970 right after we were married and just before we headed to graduate school at the University of Georgia in the fall. It was a great start for us as a couple, and this June we will celebrate our 44th anniversary. Martha (Marty) was a Biology major and I was a Chemistry major, but because of Dr Berg, we both came to love plants and the great outdoors. He was a kindly man who deeply cared for his students. We are both retired professors now, but we owe a great deal to mentors and especially to Dr Berg for the way we interacted with our students. We will never forget him.
Candace Harker on April 24, 2014 at 7:42 AM said:

Class of 72 Dr. Berg was my advisor and major professor while I was at Hiram. It would take hours to regale you with all the wonderful plant adventures we had in his company. I fondly rememeber the summer spent in Mountains of southern Colorado collecting, identifying and preserving plants. The rattle snakes, I chose to forget. Dr. Berg was a wonderful educator and I put the knowledge to good use with a career in Botany and Horticulture. Thanks to DB I can still ID plants at 30 MPH.
Carol Donley on April 24, 2014 at 6:32 AM said:

Dwight Berg was my first prof at Hiram when my husband and I transferred here in the fall of 1959. At the time, Hiram was still on a single course study plan. We had botany lectures from 9:00-noon and labs from 1:00-4:00, with frequent field trips to bogs, old growth forests, Udall woods, Forty-foot Falls, and Cooks Forest. He had to be a good teacher to keep us interested in such an intensive course. He got me started in an independent research project which led to my giving my first paper at a conference in Michigan. He always had time to answer questions. Demanding but kind, he became a mentor and role model. After he retired, we exchanged Christmas greetings every year. My sympathy to Debbie and Gary. Your Dad was a wonderful man.
Ernie Neal - Hiram 1963 on April 24, 2014 at 6:29 AM said:

My earlier education in Botany was highly influenced by Prof. Berg. With the his many introduction to the plant field and his love for the flora world, gave me a real spring board to become significantly involved with aquatic plants. With his encouragement and wonderful capabilities in teaching, I went on to study and work in both the marine and fresh water biology fields. I will always remember the field trips and his insistence on knowing and identifying EVERY plant in the Hiram ecology area. THANKS PROF BERG!!
James N. Parsons, MD '71 on April 24, 2014 at 5:45 AM said:

Doctor Berg's classes were among the highlights of my education at Hiram. I still remember the great times we had tromping through the woods identifying trees and wild flowers. Doctor Berg and Doctor Barrow, by their examples, instilled in me the love of learning and the joy of sharing it with students. Thank you Doctor Berg. You made a real difference to me and to Hiram.

James N. Parsons, MD
Hiram class 1971
Susan Schnabel Sevy (76) on April 24, 2014 at 2:37 AM said:

Dr. Berg's passion with Botany along with the enthusiasm for always holding a captive audience in his classes forever changed my college experience. Dr. Berg was not only an educator but invested himself in each and every student and mentored ALL of us with wit and grace. I also worked in the greenhouse for him which was as educating as his classes. May he rest in peace as a perfect ending to such a wonderful and fulfilling life. My thoughts and prayers to the family.
Jennifer Amick Clevinger '93, plant systematist on April 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM said:

I am a second generation botanist in Dr. Berg's legacy. I learned my first plants as a child from my mom, Mary Brinson Amick '60 who studied and worked for Dr. Berg in the late 50's and early 60's. She still passes along the things that she learned from Dr. Berg when we are hiking in Ohio forests and tells the stories of field trips with Prof Berg. It was certainly a big influence in my attending Hiram to study botany with Matt Hils. I was honored to have met Dr. Berg on several occasions and to have been awarded the Dwight & Trudy Berg award in botany while at Hiram.
R Charles Larlham ('67) on April 23, 2014 at 5:13 PM said:

I matriculated at Hiram in 1960, and met Dr. Berg soon thereafter. Although never to be a Botanist, I always enjoyed classes with him. I learned from him that formal lectures were important, but learning came from time spent with the subject (and with him). When I returned in 1965 (after three years in the Army), I began again to learn my favorite discipline, taking a trip to Cook's Forest in PA in one of Dr. Berg's classes, during which he gave me advice I have always cherished: "Mr. Larlham, you may actually become a real biologist someday. Don't try to do it in Botany." I became a pretty good Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist. I will be forever in your debt, Dr. Berg.
Robert M. Jordan ('51) on April 23, 2014 at 2:26 PM said:

I was a junior bio major at Hiram in 1950 when Prof Berg arrived to become the second faculty member in the Biology Department. Although he was a botanist, one of his teaching assignments that year was the Comparative Anatomy course, for which I was his lab assistant. Working with him then, taking his Systematic and Morphological Botany course my senior year, coming to know him (and Trudy) in and outside of the classroom, have been among my fondest memories of my time at Hiram. As I read comments posted by others it is obvious that the Dwight Berg I knew continued his solid and friendly influence on many others during his career. My condolences to surviving family and friends.
Phil Spagnuolo M.D. '69 on April 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM said:

Dr. Berg was a wonderful and talented educator, full of enthusiasm and energy. I never knew plants could be so interesting and exciting. Believe it or not, the field trips And the field exams were a high point in my biology training. His courses sealed my interest in biology and, subsequently, medicine. My wife, Sara Townley Spagnuolo, M.D. '69, and I were privileged to house-sit for the Bergs over summer vacation after our marriage and graduation. It was an eventful summer for us with overflowing dishwashers and fallen trees in the back yard, but Dr. Berg and his wife were so gracious and apologized for all the problems. We will always remember him with the fondest of memories.
Janet Hutchinson Quilligan on April 23, 2014 at 11:32 AM said:

A giant tree has fallen, but will never be forgotten. Dr. Berg's passion for plants was contagious. He could scramble up and down hills like nobody's business, and could capture the interest of anyone within his circle. Peace to the family.
Laurie Menzel Bell ('80) on April 23, 2014 at 11:12 AM said:

Dr. Berg was by far, hands-down, the best and most influential teacher and professor I have ever had. Botany was a passion and a love that he shared. Today I am a curator of the large Teaching and Research Greenhouses of Binghamton University in Binghamton New York, and I owe every minute of this incredible career to Dr. Berg! I learned so much in his field trips - "gobs, and gobs of Marchantia!" Loved being told, "Class dismissed" in the middle of nowhere and following him out of the woods as he continued with another hour of informative discourse. Loved having our final exam a field trip that ended in his own backyard with a cook-out! Dr. Berg cared about us and loved to teach. When I graduated, Dr. Berg and his wife so generously gave me some furniture, mugs and other items to start my own apartment living. I still have them - I could as much give them up as I could ever forget embedding plant parts in paraffin to put through the microtome! My thoughts are with all the family, and I will remember Dr. Berg every day I look at these incredible plants in my care.
Marilyn Van Voorhis Voshall [class 1955] on April 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM said:

He was an excellent professor! I recall his very-educational field trips in 'Hiram Woods.' In class we learned to revive an almost-dead frog via heart massage. I found my results a thrill but never had to use it again.
Wendy Rosett '78 on April 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM said:

Dr. Berg was a wonderful teacher and a kind and gentle man. As an education major, taking biology as a requirement. and not being a 'science person,' he made the experience enjoyable and understandable. Thank you Dr. Berg.
Chris Cozad '77 on April 23, 2014 at 9:39 AM said:

Dr. Berg made me love plants. His enthusiasm and energy were contagious. I changed my area of concentration to botany - so that I could take more of his classes. I think of him every time I remember a Latin name for a plant or every time I dig in my garden. He was my adviser and my mentor as well as my friend. He molded me in ways to numerous to mention. I am sad to hear of his passing - but glad he had a long and wonderful life - he will be missed by many.
Carolyn Rees Stefani '57 on April 23, 2014 at 9:30 AM said:

Dr. Berg was one of my favorite teachers of all my educational years. His Bio class was as much life learning as science.
He will be missed by all of those who were privileged to study under him.
Willa Bennett Schrlau on April 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM said:

I thought of Dr. Berg constantly as I taught Plant Anatomy this Spring Semester at Hiram College. His Plant Anatomy class was my favorite course. I was fortunate to have taken many classes from him and he has had a huge impact on my life. I remember so much from all his courses! He had a life well lived!

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