Hillsboro – Elton Berg, 87, died June 25, 2017 at Via Christi St. Francis Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice Unit in Wichita. He was born June 18, 1930 to Tobias and Lydia (Schmidt) Berg in Richey, Montana. He married Ella Reddig June 29, 1954 in Luster, Montana. Survivors include: sons, Steven (Sandra) Berg of Overland Park, KS, Samuel (Lisa) Berg of Nixa, Missouri, David (Jody) Berg of Yale, South Dakota; daughter, Deborah (Todd) Reynolds of Woodinville, Washington; sister, Dorothy Holzworth of Lynnwood, Washington; 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. Interment 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro M.B. Church Cemetery. Family to receive guests from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to the Church or Parkside Homes in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch Taken from the Funeral Folder
LIFE STORY Elton Berg was born on June 18, 1930 to Tobias and Lydia (Schmidt) Berg near Richey, Montana during a thunderstorm, delivered by a mid-wife. For his grade school education, he attended various one-room country schools. When he was 9 years old, a very sad experience happened – his dad died during surgery. He and his mother prayed right away as they cried. His dad’s death caused him to think of preparing to go to heaven. At the same time, God was preparing his heart for God’s call to be a preacher someday. When he was 15, his mother married a widower, Fred Holzwarth. He then had 2 brothers, Allen and Melvin and 1 sister Dorothy. The Bethlehem Mennonite Church was where he had his spiritual beginning. When he was eleven years old, revival services were held with Oscar Lowry. Elton went forward in response to the altar call for salvation. A lay pastor, Abe Unruh, knelt with him and prayed with and for him and shared I John 1:9 and John 1:12 with him. Elton attended Sunday School and VBS and also went to the Red Top Mennonite Church for VBS sometimes as well. Later on, he was baptized upon his confession of faith in Christ. Elton’s high school education took place in Glendive, MT where the family then lived. Things went well spiritually during his freshmen year, but not during the following years until December of his Senior year when his church held revival services. In the last service, he went forward in response to the altar call for cleansing and commitment. His parents and others met each night in prayer before the service, asking God to touch lives for renewal. The visiting speaker, V. W. Steele, spoke on Isaiah 55:6 – “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call on Him while He is near.” He had a message empowered by the Holy Spirit. After this, Elton had a new direction and goals. Elton’s education beyond high school was at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS, and the MB Biblical Seminary in Fresno, CA. On June 29, 1954, he married Ella Reddig in her home church in Lustre, Montana. They enjoyed sixty and a one-half years together. They chose the following motto for their wedding and life – “Together with Jesus”. God blessed them with four children. Elton enjoyed his family very much and had fun with all of his grandchildren and often played games with them. Under the MB Mission, Elton and Ella began their gospel ministry as missionary helpers in Austria for two years with an emphasis on child evangelism. The Gospel Fellowship MB Church in Wolf Point, Montana was their first pastorate. Elton was ordained to the gospel ministry there. The Atwater MB Church and the Raisin City Church of the Brethren in California were the churches they served during seminary days. Next they moved to the Yakima Valley in Washington and led the Outlook and Sunnyside congregations with the Church of the Brethren in further pastoral ministry.
Then it was on to North Dakota to serve the Rosehill MB Church for 9 years and also the Hannah Methodist church for 6 of the 9 years. The Rosehill Church gave an opportunity for deeper life messages to be given from God’s Word. Close fellowship with the people was enjoyed. There was an excellent youth group for the Berg children and an opportunity for them to sing in the choir and the men’s chorus. A highlight was participation in the Ralph Bell Crusade representing the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Elton was a member of the crusade planning board. The Hannah church, just one and a half miles from the Canadian border, gave further opportunity for pastoral ministry with different needs and a focus on having a personal relationship with Christ. The Bethel MB Church in Yale, South Dakota was their longest pastorate – 17 years, and it was the largest church they served. There was further opportunity to preach God’s Word, engage in visitation ministry, and encourage people with certain spiritual needs. As a church, there was an opportunity to reach out to the community at Byron Bible Camp and also through inter-church ministries. A highlight was to participate in the John Wesley White Crusade in Huron, also under the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Elton was also a member of the planning board for this crusade. Another highlight for Elton was to conduct two thirteen week men’s discipleship groups using the Golden Stairway material. Elton and Ella enjoyed two years of coast-to-coast traveling with their trailer, staying with relatives and friends, and also visited Dorothy, his sister, in Taiwan where she was a missionary. The last church that they served for 12 years was the Community Bible Church in Lushton, Nebraska near Henderson. This was a unifying ministry with an emphasis to build each other up in the faith and walk with Jesus. There were many opportunities to take time with individuals in visitation. The two-fold purpose of Elton’s ministry was to preach the Word and to love the people. Elton and Ella moved to Hillsboro, Kansas for retirement. During this time, a number of open hearts received encouragement on a personal basis. Elton spent a lot of time with love for Ella in her time of weakness, clinic appointments and hospital care. Ella’s death on January 29th, 2015, prompted him to look forward to heaven and to finish well. During his last two and a half years of serving His Lord and Savior, Elton continued to have a real sense of purpose. He enjoyed his church family and dear friends, his Sunday School class, and his Tuesday morning Bible Study group, often calling and sharing stories of what God was doing. He invested in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, loving and encouraging them in person and on the phone. He continued to pray for his family by name each day. While Elton said that he was ready to go to heaven when the Lord called him home, he also expressed gratefulness for each day here on earth, as it was an opportunity to encourage others and pray for them. Elton went to be with the Lord on June 25th, 2017. He is now again with his wife Ella, “Together with Jesus”.