Wednesday, December 19, 2007

John Berg - a brother, a friend and a fine human being

John Edward Berg was my brother. He left us this last week to move on to where he will feel no angst or depression. We will all miss him. Here's his obituary:

John Edward Berg, age 58, died in his Valley Glen (suburb of LA) home on December 16th. John died peacefully in his sleep in his home.

John was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on April 5, 1949 to parents Dr. Owen C. Berg and Evelyn van Emden Berg. John graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1967. John attended the University of Chicago, Tulane University and the school of life.

During his life, John had a diverse career path - holding many jobs including restaurant manager, rock and roll band manager, bartender, Top 40 and Country Western DJ, ski resort marketing manager in Crested Butte Colorado, production assistant for Wide World of Sports, and writer for publications such as Sports Illustrated. He also became a graphic artist for Merrill Lynch in NY, did voice-over work for radio and television commercials as well as being the voice of Dial-a-Pope. John became an actor appearing in recurring roles in General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, Port Charles, Passions and The Young & the Restless. John moved to LA and became increasingly more active as an actor appearing in movies such as Star Trek Nemesis and It could happen to you. More recently, John made guest appearances in series television on shows such as Monk, Brothers & Sisters, Navy NCIS, Boston Legal, House MD, and many others.

John’s most recent focus was to create a world peace movement named "Unplug for Peace" which encouraged people to unplug and listen to the small, still voice inside for one day per month in order to create a more peaceful world. The effort was backed by people such as Jean Houston (one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement) and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul). The target goal for Unplug for Peace was one National Day in which people would unplug on January 28th, 2008-- the 60th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death. John was also very active in Alcoholics Anonymous, helping others reach sobriety and peace in their lives.

John’s other passions included snow skiing, travel, trapeze, hiking and mountain climbing. In recent trips, he visited Havasu Falls, hiking about 10.5 miles each way with about 2500 feet of vertical. He also took a cruise to Istanbul. One of John’s big achievements in the last few years was his climb of Mt. Whitney for which he prepared for weeks. John and his friends actually made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Continental United States.

John is survived by his mother, Evelyn Berg in Harker Heights, Texas, and by four siblings: Charles Berg in Chicago, Illinois, Bill Berg in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Ann Berg Turchick in Loudonville, New York and Mary Lou Berg in Taylor, Texas. He also had three nieces and one nephew. He also had three Bengal housecats which he adored.

John’s remains will be cremated. An informal memorial was held in Studio City, California on Saturday the 22nd of December of 2007.

If you wish to make a contribution in John’s name, please make it to Getting Out by Going In which can be reached by going to . John’s life can be summed up as live your passion, follow your dream. It was a choice he made throughout his life, and he would want all his friends and family to do the same.


Evie said...

John's passing surprised me but did not take away the incredible insight, compassion or love he gave with so much enthusiasm whenever I'd see him. I treasure the years that I and my son, Dylan, knew him.

The BBQ's, the lunches to talk about 'things that bother us.' Hands down, his smile lit a room up with that infectious glow and his laugh hit the highest of notes.

Thank you Mary for putting a place up to honor a special brother, which tells me, his sister is one hell of a woman too.

John had integrity that I find so rare in men along with raucous, bawdy, silly humor. Walking contradiction? Yep and loved him all the more for it because I knew he was one of the 'few' who could be trusted in a world that loses sight of those that have separate paths, yet don't wish to be separate so much as to make a difference. And that? He did in a BIG way, as Johnny only could.

May all his dreams come true, Johnny we miss ya.

For the family, John and all who contribute to this page.

With love,


Mary Lou said...

Thank you Evie - your kindness is appreciated. Please feel free to step into the light and write a post of your own.

cap said...

Hi Mary Lou, You won't remember me because you were still very young when I started sailing with your Dad and John about 40 years ago. We sailed at Lake Wichita and Eagle Mountain. I was so sorry to hear about John's death, but it sounds like he did a lot of wonderful things in his life, both for fun and serious. My best memory was from the day your dad got a new spinaker for the old Morgan, and we were supposed to help him get it up in the middle of a race in which we were doing well. Something went wrong, and we ended up with the new spinaker out behind the boat, dragging us to a dead stop (like some kind of parahute break floating out behind us.) I can still hear John's laughter when he realized what happened. Only your dad's loud curse of his worthless crew stopped all the laughing, and when wefinally got the spinaker back in the boat, he took us all up to the club for a gin and tonic and a lot more laughing all around.
I tried to email John a couple of months ago to find out how I might contact your mom. but the email bounced back. it was probably an old address.
anyway my husband and I now have a little cabana at the boat club and would love to take your mom out there sometime. for lunch or whatever. It's a great place to watch the sunset and has so many wonderful memories for me - most of them involving your family.
We once sailed with icicles hanging from all the shrouds. If you can get me a phone no or email for your Mome, I want to send her a card and invite her to visit if she is ever in Fort Worth.
Again, I am very sorry to hear about your brother and will keep your family in my prayers. Sincerely, Carolyn Poirot

Anonymous said...

As the founder of Getting Out By Going In, I can report that John's legacy lives on in ongoing education of women who are changing their lives and regaining custody of their children. John was a huge support of my vision and I love and appreciate him. And i miss our conversations......
Coach Taylor

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad to learn of John's passing and send my deepest condolence to his family, whom I've never met. I had the pleasure to work with John when he was featured as a doctor on Law & Order in 1998. He got to wear a hazmat suit costume which I believe was particularly fun for him. If memory serves, he showed up to set on a motorcycle and made a positive impression on everyone he came in contact with. He's only one of two people who ever sent me a thank you card after years of running first team on the show which is a testament to how professional and considerate John was. We stayed in touch and he was cast in a radio drama that I produced with Stage Shadows. When I visited LA some years later we met for a meal and he told me all about the launch of for which he seemed very proud. I'm remembering him fondly and sending white light to all who loved him. Esmee

Mary Lou said...

As we approach 8 years without John, it is lovely to look back at the positive impact he left in the world. I miss you, brother!