Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Merle Henry ‘Bergie’ Berger Memorial
Merle Henry ‘Bergie’ Berger Memorial

Merle Henry ‘Bergie’ Berger

Merle Henry ‘Bergie’ Berger

Thursday, July 20th, 2023

Merle Henry ‘Bergie’ Berger, resident of Sedro-Woolley, Washington since 1969, passed away peacefully at age 92 at the home of his loving partner, Kathleen, in Burlington, WA on July 20, 2023.

Merle was born in Webster, South Dakota, in June 1931 to Henry Carl and Elizabeth (Hendrickson) Berger.  He had two sisters, Mavis who is 97 and Betty Mae who died as a young girl.  Merle lived a life full of adventure and hard work.  From an early age, he had a strong sense of purpose.  He began his journey, first as a farmer on his parents’ land in South Dakota, as an enlisted soldier during the Korean War and as a land surveyor in Alaska.  After his service, he worked as a professional welder in Seldovia, Alaska, then as a millwright at Sedro-Woolley Lumber, where he could be found repairing and inventing machinery as was needed.  His work ethic was unparalleled, and he gained the respect of his peers and community for his exceptional skills and knowledge.

Merle married twice, both Lillian and Barbara predeceased him.  Merle was blessed with nine children whom he loved unconditionally, Victoria, Marlon, Kenneth, Daniel, Betsy, Raymond, Tess, Timothy and Wesley.  Two of his children, Marlon and Kenneth passed away years before him, tragic losses that weighed heavily on his heart.  He was blessed with three grandchildren, Scott, Michelle and Alyssa and he was a beloved grandpa to Kathleen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Beyond his professional and familial roles, Merle, who was also known as Bergie, was an active and joyful member in his community.  In the fall, he loved participating in the local Pumpkin Pitch.  He drove his John Deere tractor in the Fourth of July parade in Sedro-Woolley.  He was on a pool team (and won many turkeys and steaks), and he played (very) competitive pinochle at all the local senior centers.

In bidding farewell to this extraordinary man, we are reminded of the lessons he imparted upon us: to work diligently and to cherish every moment with family.  Merle’s memory will forever remain alive in the hearts of his children, grandchildren and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

In honor of his memory, a Funeral Service will be held at Noon, Saturday, July 29, 2023 at Lemley Chapel, Sedro-Woolley, followed by the Committal at Union Cemetery, with Military Honors, Pastor Jim Cannon presiding.  A time of Visitation will be available from 9:00 to 5:00 Thursday and Friday at Lemley Chapel.  A reception at the Sedro-Woolley American Legion will be held from 2:00 to 4:00.  Please join us in celebrating the remarkable life of Merle Berger.

The family would be grateful for any contributions made to Hospice for the loving care they provided to the family and to Merle in his final days.  Hospice can be reached at 360-814-5550.



  • Brandy Nicole Yates (Cloud)

    Merle was my grandpa. it saddens me about his passing. he was married to my grandma barbara, and after her death we lost touch. all my best memories was with grandma and grandpa playing on the farm, feeding the chickens, and going with him to bale hay.

  • Alta robinson

    I only knew Merle for a short time but I enjoyed the time that we shared,
    playing cards with him and Kathy was something I always looked forward to.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this trying time.
    Alta Robinson

  • Elwood John Watson

    A great friend and a good teacher of skills in the game of Pinochle. We would trade books on early Alaskan history. We talked about mutual friends and acquaintances from Seldovia during his time there. We both built King Crab pots, he in Seldovia, me in Kodiak. He loved to reminisce of the old days and times.

  • Barbara Hojnacke

    Merle was my last living uncle. He was very important and special to me. I miss him so much.