Donald Jerome "Jerry" Berg, known to many as "Bergie" passed away on June 4, 2012. Jerry was born on Oct. 23, 1950, and was raised in Auburn, Indiana. He later met Krista at a small Midwestern ski hill and they married and had two children.A natural athlete, Jerry excelled in all chosen sports over his lifetime. He found his true passion in downhill skiing and moved with his family from Wisconsin to Colorado in the early 1970s to become a Vail ski instructor. He soon served as a Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Trainer, Examiner and PSIA-RM Alpine Committee Chair. In 1988-92 he achieved the highest honor by being named a member of the PSIA National Alpine Demo Team. He was also Ecole du Ski Francais certified, France's equivalent of the highest U.S. certification. In 1989, Jerry moved to Aspen and would live there for about 10 years working as the director of training of the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen. His expertise in skiing was an avenue for him to meet so many of his friends and colleagues and it took him around the world to China, Japan, Australia, France, Austria and Italy. He also lived in Crested Butte for a short time before returning to the Vail Valley and married his wife, Dina, and was currently residing in Minturn with his family.Passionate was often a word used to describe Jerry. He was the consummate "tinkerer," restoring cruiser bikes, sports cars and even houses. He was a visionary, gifted with the talent and skill to create whatever he imagined with his own hands. He always created a "home" with thoughtful touches for every family member, a place for everyone to feel comfortable, including his own zone - the garage. Jerry loved the outdoors, from the northern lakes of Wisconsin to the plains of Indiana to the Rocky Mountains. He celebrated them through hunting, fishing, camping, cycling and of course, skiing. He was so many things to so many people - a husband, a father, a mentor, a coach and a friend. He was very invested in everyone he knew. He was an honest friend - always blunt, yet charming. He had an ability to irritate yet motivate, inspiring one to do better than they knew they could. He was a friend to all ages. A kid at heart, he was able to relate to children on their level, having fun while setting boundaries and creating structure.He is survived by his adoring wife Dina, brother Michael, and his loving children Jessica and Kiffor. He also leaves behind stepchildren Natalie and Ian, and grandchildren Malcolm and Augusta. Jerry and Dina were soul mates, their story started 25 years ago and their marriage in 2009 brought together the family members that became the family that Jerry always wanted. He and his eldest daughter, Jessica, shared a great relationship - he was a friend, a coach and a father. He taught her how to not only enjoy the view around her but to step into it and experience it. To his son Kiffor, Jerry was his hero. Kiffor always emulated him. They were constant competitors chasing each other up passes on their bikes or down the hill on their skis, each one taking a turn at being the champ. They were father and son and they were great friends. With his little girl, he knew Natalie's potential and always helped her become more aware of it. He always used to tell her that she "had the world by its tails" and he believed it. He would tease her endlessly, always with love. For Ian, his little buddy, he couldn't shake his shadow. Jerry took Ian under his wing and always appreciated moments to teach Ian something new. These teaching moments were where their relationship fostered. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed.A service is being planned in Vail for Sunday at 3 p.m. Please share your memories of Jerry in the Facebook group, "Friends of Jerry Berg - We Love you Bergie."
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