Oct. 25, 1922-May 7, 2012
Palo Alto, California
Eileen Berg, a Palo Alto resident since 1996, passed away on May 7 at the age of 89 in Palo Alto, Calif.
Eileen was born in the small town of Tabor, S.D., to Adolph Mach and Martha Ronish, the youngest of five children. Favorite childhood memories included listening to the music of the Friday night dance bands, playing with her brothers and sister, participating in SOKOL gymnastics (a local Czech gymnastic club), and riding Lola, the family's beloved pony.
She was an avid participant in 4-H and won a trip to Chicago from the Chicago Mail Order for the clothing she designed and sewed. Eileen was always proud that she and all four of her siblings received a college education despite living through the hardships of the Great Depression. She was a great advocate for education and encouraged others to be life-long learners.
She graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in home economics where she first met the late Wallace (Wally) Berg, her future husband. He went to serve in the Army Airforce in World War II while she started teaching in the Indian Service in Colorado on a reservation teaching Navaho and Sioux.
From Colorado Eileen followed her dream to move to New York. She moved to New York by herself without knowing anyone and with very little money. She enrolled in the Barbizon Modeling School in New York City and became a fashion model. After War War II, while in New York, she reunited with Wally who pursued an MBA at Columbia University.
They got married and moved to Southern California where she worked as a Buyer for Hagerty's Department Store and Wally established his accounting practice. They eventually settled in San Pedro and then Rancho Palos Verdes where they lived and raised four children. Always devoted to her family and encouraging education, Eileen volunteered in the schools and as a Girl Scout leader. After Wally died, Eileen eventually moved to Palo Alto.
Eileen traveled extensively throughout Europe and especially Czechoslovakia. Her passion was folk dancing and traveling abroad to see many folk dance festivals. She loved hiking and traveling with family and hosted family adventures to see Machu Picchu, Peru, and to hike in Australia and New Zealand and Europe.
She believed in volunteering for causes (hers was medical research and she participated in many research projects at UCLA and Stanford University). She loved music and studied voice at Columbia University and sang in Pro Musica groups and church choirs and attended many classical music concerts.
In Palo Alto, she was active in American Association of University Women's Gadabouts and Genealogy sections as well as Avenidas' Senior Center where she enjoyed meeting friends for lunch.
Eileen is survived by four children, Alan Berg, Brian Berg, Cara Rudolf and Donna Noyman; 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Eileen will be remembered for her courage, her drive to learn and explore, and her devotion to family.
Please consider a donation towards the "Palo Alto Medical Foundation Pre-Medical Scholarship Fund," which is awarded annually to local students seeking to pursue medical careers. Donations may be sent to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Office of Philanthropy, 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301.