Martha Makebakken Berge 1888-1964
BERGE, MAKEBAKKEN, LEVELL
Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 5/20/2014 at 21:07:13
Mrs. John Berge, 75, Killed in 2-Car Crash
Accident 4 Miles N. on 17
Emmet County’s first traffic fatality of the year was recorded yesterday afternoon with the death of Mrs. John Berge, 75, Dolliver, who died of injuries she suffered in a two-car collision four miles north of Estherville.
She was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, John, 84, when it and a car driven by Philip Hanisch, 18, rural Ruthven, collided at the intersection of Highway 17 and a county blacktop road. The mishap occurred about 3:15 p.m.
The Berges had just attended graveside rites for Severin Johnson of Cedar Rapids, which had been held at the Lutheran Cemetery north of Estherville.
Officers said the Berges apparently left the cemetery and went north on a gravel road about a mile west of Highway 17, and continued north to Emmet Consolidated school where they turned onto the county blacktop and started east for Dolliver.
A passing motorist and witness to the accident, James Valen, rural Estherville, said he had just passed the intersection and looked in his rear view mirror and saw the two cars collide.
Both Valen and another witness, Gerald Pluth of Estherville, who was traveling south just north of the intersection, confirmed Hanisch’s account of the accident. Hanisch said Berge had allowed the Valen car to pass and then pulled into the path of the Hanisch auto, which was northbound on the highway.
Hanisch told sheriff’s officers that he turned his auto to the right in an effort to avoid the collision.
As the two cars ground together, the Berge auto spun around on the highway, throwing Mrs. Berge from the car and onto the embankment of the road at the northwest corner of the intersection.
The car driven by Hanisch, owned by his uncle Peter Waldron of Sherburn, careened through the ditch and came to rest upside down. The Berge auto halted on the roadway embankment.
Mr. Berge suffered bruises and Hanisch suffered abrasions of the leg and head, according to their attending physician. All three were taken to Holy Family Hospital where Mrs. Berge was pronounced dead upon arrival. Mr. Berge and Hanisch were treated and released.
Both cars were demolished, the Berge car suffering extensive front end damage and the Waldron car sustained extensive overall damage.
The accident was investigated by Sheriff Barney Reynolds, Deputies Bob Knox and Orel Young, assisted by Estherville Police and Highway Patrolman James Bonstetter.
Funeral services for Mrs. Berge will be held at 2 p.m. (DST) Saturday at the Palestine Lutheran Church near Dolliver with the Rev. V.A. Baderschnieder officiating, assisted by the Rev. Christian Notsund.
Family services will be held at 1 p.m. at the church. Burial is to be at the Palestine Lutheran Cemetery.
Friends may call at the Fuhrman Funeral Home in Estherville from 3 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Saturday when the body will be taken to lie in state at the church.
A memorial fund has been established by the family.
Mrs. Berge, the former Martha Makebakken, was born Oct. 1, 1888, in Makebakken, Bremes County, Norway, the daughter of Nels and Anne Makebakken.
She received her education in Norway and was baptized, confirmed and married in the same church at Bremes, Norway.
She married John Berge, Feb. 20, 1924, and the couple came to the United States and settled near Dolliver where they had lived for the past 40 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Berge made a return trip to Norway 12 years ago.
Survivors include her husband, a daughter, Mrs. Robert (Nora) Levell of Dolliver and four grandchildren, Robert Lee, Judy, Peggy and Mary Levell.
Mrs. Berge was preceded in death by a son Nels, her parents, a brother and a sister. (Estherville Daily News, Estherville, IA, May 6, 1964)
Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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