James Richard Berger, 84 of Tiffin, died at 6:52 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, 2020, surrounded by his family at his daughter’s residence in Columbus, Ohio.
On a farm near Chatfield, Ohio (Crawford County) June 7, 1936, he was born to John and Charlotte (Schaefer) Berger. The family moved to Tiffin in 1940, where his father was employed at National Machinery Company. He married Lois Ann Thompson, November 16, 1958, at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Tiffin, and she survives.
Also surviving are four children, Dennis Berger of Tiffin, Kathleen (Kent) Zellner of Tiffin, Thomas (Janice) Berger of Tucson, Arizona, and Judi Berger of Columbus; five grandchildren, Brittaney Zellner of Tiffin, Briana Zellner of Atlanta, Georgia, Brooke (Ethan) Putsch of Delaware, Mira Berger of Tucson, Ariz., and Sean (Kinsey) Berger of Florida; two great-grandsons, Finley Putsch and Bryan Berger; a great-granddaughter expected in November; a brother, Ralph (Kathy) Berger of Gaylord, Michigan; and six nieces and nephews living in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Michigan.
He is preceded in death by his parents, an older sister, Ellen (Richard) Proplesch, and a nephew, David Berger.
James was a June 1954 graduate of Columbian High School, finishing 10th scholastically in a class of 100. In the summers of 1953 and 1954, he worked at National Machinery in an employee/student program as a machinist and maintenance man. After high school graduation, he applied and was accepted to the General Electric Tool & Die Training program in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
When entering into the program was delayed, Bud Ardner and Harry Bordner at National had him apply for the engineering program sponsored by General Motors Institute of Technology in Flint, Michigan.
Central Foundry Division of Defiance, Ohio, was the sponsor for the five-year program. After graduation in 1959 with a degree in Industrial Engineering, he returned to work at National Machinery, designing forging machinery, presses, and hot formers until his retirement in 1998. During his time there, he obtained a professional engineer’s license from the state of Ohio in 1963. He also was the holder of two patents on machinery design.
James and his wife are Faith United Methodist Church members in Tiffin, where he volunteered on the committees for noodle making and funeral lunches. During his younger years, he was active in the Boy Rangers program, enjoyed camping, fishing with his children, and riding his BSA motorcycle. He was a member of the Quarter Century Club. During his retirement, he volunteered at the Ecumenical Sharing Kitchen from 2003-2018 and worked daily in his workshop. He enjoyed purchasing tools and machinery at auctions, which he would re-condition and sell at area flea markets.
Visitation will be 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, September 16, 2020, followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m., at Faith United Methodist Church, Tiffin. Rev. Marilyn Coney will officiate, and burial will follow in Fairmont Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith United Methodist Church, Hospice of Central Ohio, 2269 Cherry Valley Rd SE, Newark, OH 43055, or a charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Traunero Funeral Home and Crematory, 214 S. Monroe St. Tiffin, Ohio 44883 (419) 447-3113. For out-of-town flower orders, or to offer condolences to the family, go to: www.traunerofuneralhome.com
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Faith United Methodist Church
75 N. Sandusky Street, Tiffin OH 44883
Hospice of Central Ohio
2269 Cherry Valley Rd. SE, Newark OH 43055
Charity of the donor's choice