Our wonderful mother, Donna M. Berg, passed away unexpectedly, on May 3, 2023 at her Mt. Vernon home with daughter-in-law, Ann by her side at the age of 87, and has triumphantly entered her heavenly home.
Donna was born in Everett, WA on February 16, 1936 to Ernest G. and Lucille M. Gallagher. Due to her parent’s divorce and her dad’s military service she was raised by a farming foster family, and so began her lifelong love of animals, especially horses. However her greatest childhood joy was having a baby brother, Michael Gallagher born on May 10, 1947 to Ernest & Alice Gallagher.
She attended Everett High School, where she met several lifelong friends, including her future husband. She graduated in 1953, and married Eugene W. Berg on September 30, 1953. And so began her lifelong tolerance of auto racing, as their first date was at Aurora Speedway. She loved the Berg family for their stability and was adored by her new in-laws, Sidney & Golda Berg. Gene was then drafted into the Army, and they moved to Denver, Colorado.
In 1956, after the military commitment they relocated to Everett and Gene went to work for Lucille’s husband Vic Conaway at his towing and auto repair business. They started their family with Sheree, Scott and Eric in rapid succession, relocated to the Marysville countryside in 1964, adding horses, cows, chickens, dogs and cats…and Brett came along in 1967. Donna was an amazing stay at home mom. Meals were on time, clothes were pressed, floors were polished and us kids were greatly loved. Occasional discipline came in the form of a yardstick to the butt until it broke, and we laughed. Donna and Sheree went on to compete in numerous horse shows for several years with great success and family vacations were usually camping in the Methow Valley often with the Iffrig family.
In the early seventies Donna’s Catholic roots and Lutheran religion changed dramatically as she encountered a Living God. She immersed herself in bible study with her good friend Charlotte and became a respected bible teacher. Her newfound faith influenced numerous people and brought salvation to her entire household. In the later seventies as Sheree went to ECC and Scott to WSU, she decided to follow her desire of higher education, obtaining an associate degree from ECC with a 4.0 GPA and becoming an RN. Most of her nursing career was spent at Snohomish Family Medicine where she enjoyed all of the staff relationships especially as she worked for Dr. Jonathan Bishop. Donna did not travel much but she was included in the delivery of a brand-new Boeing 747 to Hong Kong, riding in the cockpit as the plane landed.
In late 2000 Donna fulfilled another dream by purchasing property in the Methow Valley in Carlton, where the population is 3 people per square mile. Donna and Gene put up fencing, assembled a barn, and created a place to retire. Horses and possessions were moved, and the process was underway. Unfortunately Gene’s ongoing heart disease manifested itself again and he passed away July 29, 2002. Donna moved back to her Marysville home alone. In 2004 she sold her home and moved the equine, canine, feline operation to Skagit County, put up fencing and built another barn. For the next 13 years she stayed active caring for all of her animals. And much credit goes to her first and most patient grandson Josh, who helped with all of the chores. She joined a new church and was active in bible study, prayer ministry and a weekly drive to the Everett jail to minister to the women inmates.
In 2017, after the passing of the 35-year-old horse and her two large dogs, and giving away the 26-year-old horse, re-homing the two barn cats, the country girl moved to town, relocating to a 55+ neighborhood. She continued to be healthy enough to live independently on her own. She was well known for her talkativeness and if you were to have met her today, she would say, “Hi my name is Donna and I have had shingles for over a year.”
She is survived by her brother, Michael Gallagher (Arlene); her children, Sheree (Steve), Scott (Ann), Eric (Carmen), Brett(Tracy); grandchildren, Josh (Ashley), Brittany (Joe), Jake (Addie), Larissa (Daniel), Alicia (Owen), Ashlee (Nate), Dalton (Hailey), Ryan (Janet); 8 great grandchildren; her dog Eli and cat Tabitha.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene W. Berg; father, Ernest Gallagher (Alice); mother, Lucille Conaway (Vic)
A memorial service will be held at 2:00, Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Big Lake Community Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Dennis Spinnie presiding. Interment was held at Tahoma National Cemetery on May 16, 2023. Share your memories of Donna and sign the online guest register.
I remember Donna and the entire Berg family from my many years as a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Everett. I joined the church as a teen and remember how warm Donna and Gene were in greeting the many young people who joined the church’s folk music group even though our families did not attend the church. Donna and Gene made us feel like we were a welcome part of the church family. I’ve also heard fond memories from the pastor’s daughter, Annette Getzendanner Janka, about the many times Donna would invite Annette to come to her home to ride horses, since Annette loved horses but lived in town and didn’t own one.
Dear Berg Family , I am so glad that we were neighbors for 20 years. Your Mom, was a Special lady.
I remember your Mom and Sheree always helping in the 4-H community. Your Mom was always supportive of me.
I am especially greatful and Thankful that Donna shared Jesus with my Mom, and in turn my Sister and I asked Jesus to be our Saviour. Praying Blessing on your family as you go through these next days and weeks.
I was so sad to hear of Donna’s passing when I received the call from Brett and spent the rest of my week in shock thinking about Donna and many memories. I can tell you that Donna loved 1. The Lord Jesus 2. Her children and grandchildren. 3. All her animals 4. Carlton 5. Color full clothes with sparkles 5. New fun colored nail polish every 2 weeks!
Donna loved everyone and it showed in her demeanor. Her children and their families where her pride and joy and she let all know their wonderful qualities.
Never without a pet I don’t believe of some size when I knew her from horses to kittens, I think her dogs were her favorite.
I am sad that I will be out of town for the service and not get to hug all the family, but please know how much I loved her and will so miss not seeing her again.
What a joy it was to have the loving presence of Donna at Snohomish Family Medicine. Our patients and those of us working there were all touched by her genuine compassion.
I could see her influence when getting to know her wonderful family over the years. Her latest adventures with horses and other animals sparked many conversations and broadened my understanding. Thank you Donna
Donna and her family play a joyful part of your time in the Pacific Northwest and Donnas influence spread as she assisted in providing care to Nationals and missionaries alike in Papua New Guinea.
I had the privilege of working with Donna at Snohomish Family medical center. She provided excellent care to our patients and always brightened your day. Having lived on a farm I always appreciated her love for all animals especially the joy she received from her horses.
Her family can find comfort knowing that she is in the presence of her savior. Donna earthly presence will be missed.
Carl and Carol Luther
Condolences to the whole clan. She was an awesome lady! Many memories of her at Trinity Lutheran
Amazing lady and teacher! She definitely made a difference in the lives of those she met.
DONNA BERG was a hard working,resilient woman. She was the matriarch of the
Berg family and raised 4 children who have become stalwarts in their communities. She leaves this world knowing that her guidance has been rewarded
with the benefits they have added to their communities. She will be missed!
So sorry to hear of your loss Sheree! but rejoicing with you in the hope and confidence that this is but a temporary separation–Jesus gives us such peace and comfort! Thank God for your Mom’s wonderful testimony!