Friends gathering to remember Jack Berga | VailDaily.com
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Friends gathering to remember Jack Berga

Cliff Thompson
Special to the DailyJack Berga, 53, died in Truckee, Calif., earlier this month of a massive heart attack, leaving behind a wife and two young children. He was an avid outdoorsman who liked hiking, biking and fishing as well as nordic and alpine skiing.
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Friends of Jack Berga will gather at Vail’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Sunday to remember the man who built it and many other structures in Eagle County.While Berga was an accomplished project manager, it was his people skills that struck those who knew him, and he is well remembered in the Vail Valley.Berga, 53, died in Truckee, Calif., earlier this month of a massive heart attack, leaving behind a wife and two young children. He was an avid outdoorsman who liked hiking, biking and fishing as well as nordic and alpine skiing.His wife Wauneta said she wants those attending to make the event a celebration. Berga arrived in the Vail area in 1973.”We want it to be fun,” she said. “Bring blankets and be prepared to sit on the lawn.””He was a real mentor to me,” added Web Atwell, a former co-worker of Berga’s. “He taught me about construction and how to deal with people.”Berga supervised the building of a number of prominent structures in Vail and Avon including the amphitheater and the White River, Slifer, Smith & Frampton and Wells Fargo centers in Avon. He also helped supervise the renovation and expansion of Mid-Vail on Vail Mountain and worked with the Eagle County School District.Berga supervised the construction of the Ford Amphitheater and also helped oversee its extensive remodeling five years ago.Berga and his family moved to the Lake Tahoe area to oversee development of the new $250 million base village for Northstar at Tahoe.Structures aside, it was how Berga did what he did, said East West Partners’ Roger Lessman.”We all talk about Jack and his talent as a construction guy,” Lessman said. “Aside from that, he was plain and simply a first class human being. He had an easy-going manner and was able to find common-sense solutions to difficult problems.”Dick Funk, also of East West Partners, met Berga in the early 1980s when they worked on developing some of the core properties in Beaver Creek.”He was one of the nicest and most pleasant and down-to-earth people to work with,” Funk said. “He had a wealth of information and experience and he also had the personal skills to act as a liaison between developer and customers.””We’re going to miss him,” added developer Jim Veile, who has been a developer in Eagle County for more than 25 years. “He was conscientious and a real professional.”Berga’s partner in an Avon development, Al Williams – who first met Berga as a construction manager – said he found him to be not only a good partner but one who actually became a mentor and a friend.Berga is survived by his wife Wauneta; son Brook and daughter Kristi; and two sisters, Mary Powell and Betty Bowen.AT A GLANCEA memorial celebration is scheduled for former Vail resident Jack Berga.When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., SundayWhere: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, VailRSVP: Organizers of the event want to have an idea of what the attendance will be. Please call Web Atwell at 476-1099 if you’re planning on attending. Refreshments and food will be available.Donations: Donations to defray the expense of the memorial service and for funding continuing educations needs of the Berga children may be made to: Avon Town Square Joint Venture, P.O. Box 18420, Avon, 81620.Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com


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