William C. (Bill) Berg, 71, of Wapakoneta, died on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Bill died as a result of extensive farm accident injuries occurring one week earlier.
He was born on Nov. 25, 1940, in Lima, the son of Egon Jr. and Dorothy (Knierim) Berg.
On Nov. 28, 1963, he married Judith Truitt Berg, and she survives him.
He is also survived by a daughter, Trudy Berg (Mike Redix) of Houston, Texas; a son, William Kess (Amy Joy) Berg of Chesterfield, Mo.; two brothers, James F. (Carol Bauer) Berg and John E. Berg of Wapakoneta; a sister, Judith A. (Berg) Mason of Louisville, Ky.; three nephews, Mathew Berg, Scott Hittepole and Monte Berg; a niece, Bridget Hittepole.
Bill graduated from Blume High School in 1958. His youth activities included 4-H and FFA, where he served as chapter president. After graduation, he attended Ohio State University.
Bill was a life-time activist for agriculture. He farmed with his father, Egon, for more than 30 years and had been a full-time farmer with his brother, Jim, since 1989. Bill and Jim farm more than 1,400 acres of corn, soybeans and winter wheat as W&J Farming Partnership. Berg retired from the United States Postal Service (Wapakoneta) in 1992, with more than 30 years of service.
Bill served 16 years on behalf of his fellow farmers as a board member of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association in 1997 (then called the Ohio Corn Growers Association). Bill’s commitment to his work was unquestionable. He tirelessly carried the agriculture message to Washington, D.C., for 16 years, where he sat face-to-face with Congressmen and Senators to lobby for sound agriculture policy on behalf of his fellow farmers.
Bill hosted meetings in his county and on his farm for elected officials, foreign corn buyers and his fellow farmers to tell the agriculture story. He served at the national level as a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Production and Stewardship Action Team working on issues such as U.S. Transportation Infrastructure (locks and dams) and Environmental Issues (balancing food production with a clean U.S. water supply). Most recently, Bill served as vice chairman of the NCGA Growers Services Action Team, focusing on increasing membership in the organization, communicating agriculture’s message to consumers and lawmakers and providing scholarships to college students studying agriculture. Bill’s service and respected leadership in Ohio and U.S. agriculture has built a large network of friends across the country.
Berg was president of the Auglaize County Advisory Committee and a member of the Endowment and Legislative Subcommittees of the Extension Advisory Committee. Bill held many positions with the Auglaize County Cattlemen’s Association and was chairman of the Auglaize County Cattlemen’s Food Stand at the Auglaize County Fair for more than 20 years, where he enjoyed seeing many of his lifelong friends. He was honored as the Auglaize County Cattleman of the Year in 1995. Berg also received the Ohio Extension Agents Association Appreciation Award in 2001. The award was in recognition for the leadership and support of the Ohio State University Extension Educational Programs. Other memberships include the American Soybean Association and American Farm Bureau.
Bill was a life member of St. Paul United Church of Christ of Wapakoneta. He served on the church council and was council president numerous times. Bill enjoyed being Mr. Fix-It with other members of the congregation. He especially enjoyed playing in the bell choir and on the dart-ball team throughout the years and cherished the fellowship that was characteristic of those groups. Bill was an active bowler for more than 50 years in the Wapakoneta area.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 101 S. Perry St., Wapakoneta, with the Rev. Jeff Davis and Becky Sunday officiating.
Friends may call after the service until 7 p.m. Thursday in the Timmermeister Hall at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Paul Adult Bell Choir or to the St. Paul U.C.C. Living Endowment Fund.
Condolences may be expressed at SchlosserFuneralHome.com.
Arrangements are being handled by Schlosser Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Wapakoneta.