WAUKESHA

Florence M. Berg

Aug. 11, 1920 - April 29, 2008

Florence M. Berg of Waukesha died Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at Heartland of Pewaukee at age 87. She was born Aug. 11, 1920, in Pewaukee, the daughter of Sabel and Mary (nee Michalsky) Meidenbauer.

Florence was united in marriage to Arthur Berg; he preceded her in death in 1957. Florence was a GI chauffeur during World War II at the Laredo Army Air Force base in Laredo, Texas. She then worked at Dresser Waukesha Engine Division for 32 years, retiring in 1983, and became a member of the Dresser Old Timers Club. She was a member of the Machinist Aerospace Workers Local 1377, was a Golden Life member of the New Berlin Historical Society and a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church in Waukesha. During her life, she traveled extensively in Europe and America, from the Yukon Territory to Brazil, recording all of her trips with many photos.

With an avid interest in researching family history and genealogy, Florence wrote many stories about her family. After her grandparentsí log house was donated to the New Berlin Historical Society in 1987, Florence had a whole new goal in life: it was to help maintain and tell everyone the story of her family living in the 1848 log house. Her father was born in the house Sept. 19, 1890. She had spent many wonderful times visiting the log house as a child. In 1987, Florence visited the log house every day until it was dismantled and then reconstructed at the historical society location. She then focused on getting monetary donations to restore the log house. After the building was completed and open to the public, she cleaned and maintained the interior as neatly as if it was her own home. For 18 years, Florence greeted visitors at the New Berlin Historical Society and gave them a tour of the house. She had an unending number of stories to tell about that house.

One day, as she sat in the old log house, an idea came to her: to make the historical setting more complete, there should be a Victorian-style gazebo centered on the grounds. Then she had a new goal in life. She started the gazebo fundraiser with a generous donation. The following year, she was so proud to see a beautiful white gazebo constructed in Historic Park.

Florence was a great collector of items, pictures, information etc. For 40 years, she collected information on the Meidenbauer genealogy. She had more than 600 names, pictures and details of the family. Her cousin, Roy, and his computer condensed this information into a 250-page book called the "Meidenbauer Descendents Chronicles." She wrote many stories about growing up on Coffee Street in New Berlin. Several stories were published in the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museumís "Landmark Publication." Stories were written about many local people, but she just did not find the time to write her own life story.

Florence will be sadly missed by her brother, Kenneth (Thelma) Meidenbauer of Waukesha; her niece, Lori (Louis) Boehmke of Waukesha; great-nephews, Brandon and Eric Boehmke; and other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her sister, Bernice Heeren.

Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until the 7 p.m. funeral service Thursday, May 1, at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. The Rev. David Ellis will officiate. Private burial will be at New Berlin Center Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 810 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186 or the New Berlin Historical Society, 5390 S. Edinborough Drive, New Berlin, WI 53146.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035 or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave an online tribute.

Afterglow

Iíd like the memory of me to be a happy one,

Iíd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

Iíd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,

of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.

Iíd like the tears of those who grieve,

to dry before the sun of happy memories

that I leave when life is done.