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Official Obituary of

Philip Ole Berg

August 15, 1928 ~ March 16, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Philip Berg Obituary

On March 16, 2024, Philip Ole Berg left this earth and joined his wife, Bonnie, and the many others who had gone before him, at their heavenly home. Phil was a man of great faith and anticipated with certainty the joy that was waiting for him when he would meet his Savior face-to-face.

Phil was born on August 15, 1928, to Ole and Gladys (Kelson) Berg. In 1933, his sister Andrea joined the family and the two of them became lifelong friends. Phil attended school in Deer Lodge and graduated from Powell County High School in 1946. He served in the U.S. Army for a short time until he was called home from Austria because his father was ill.

Phil met the love of his life, Bonnie Cook, on a double date. They were married on Aug. 10, 1951, and spent 71 years together on this earth as a well-matched pair who relied on God as the foundation of their marriage. Phil and Bonnie were blessed with five children: Jim, Ole, Jon (JD), Paul and Lisa. Together they raised their family and took on many adventures in the mountains and at Rock Creek Lake. Later, Phil was a wonderful grandpa to Rip, Katrina, Callie, Ty, Griff, Laine, Kaehl, Candra, Karlee, Tyrel and Georgiana, and 24 great-grandchildren. He will be remembered for his love for the Lord and his family, his strong work ethic, his mischievous streak, and his sweet tooth.

Phil started working as a teenager for Williams & Polly in Helmville, first operating the winch during haying season and later as a ranch hand until his military service. Phil took over his father’s construction business in 1949 and created Berg Construction, which included excavation and concrete services. It’s estimated that Phil and his father built approximately 200 homes, business and churches in Powell County, and remodeled countless more. He also served as the county’s building inspector and operated the county landfill. He retired slowly in the 1990s. He was a familiar face around Deer Lodge and lived there for 94 years until he moved to Helmville in 2023 to stay with his daughter, Lisa. He loved his last year in Helmville being part of the ranch and was quickly embraced by the community.

Phil was a man with many friends and talents. He was genuinely curious from a young age and had the mind of an engineer. He enjoyed making things, which ranged from designing mining equipment for goldmining in the hills, building a life-sized electrical wooden horse, cutting gems, and creating intricate jewelry and clocks. Phil and Bonnie both loved dogs and for many years bred and raised cocker spaniels and shelties. Phil was never without a dog by his side.

Phil always made time for fellowship and coffee breaks. He was an elder and board member at the First Christian Church and later at the Assembly of God church, and also served as a greeter for many years as he welcomed people to weekly services. When he wasn’t working or spending time out around town, he could be found in the mountains around Deer Lodge, out at the Vanisko ranch south of town or in his shop—always with his dog.

Phil was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie; father, Ole; mother, Gladys ; and sister Andrea Lawrence and her husband, Bob. He is survived by his five children: Jim and Charla (Vanisko) Berg of Deer Lodge; Ole and Elizabeth (McKee) Berg of Deer Lodge; Jon and Sandy (Kratzer) Berg of Powhatan, Va.; Paul and Colleen (Gaub) Berg of Billings; Sam and Lisa (Berg) Bignell of Helmville; nephew, Dale Lawrence of Oceanside, CA; and his dog, Bella. His legacy continues through his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  

Services are pending and will be announced when set.

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Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Philip and his family.

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