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Jim Berg: 1950-2018

Jim Berg
Jim Berg

OTTAWA — James Edward Berg Sr. left this world Tuesday morning, March 13, with his wife and cousin by his side.

Jim's legend began when he "mysteriously" arrived in Ottawa, Dec. 15, 1950. From an early age Jim figured out how to charm and work his way through childhood on his own. He not only completed school, he did so while holding down multiple jobs and working for free at a junkyard.

It's the junkyard where Jim's passion for muscle cars was born. His love for muscle cars would ultimately lead him to meet his wife Mary Ann. Married in 1973, Jim and Mary Ann purchased their first resort "Point a Pines Resort" on Kabekona Lake in 1974. Jim and family would later move to Park Rapids in 1982 where they purchased "Whippoorwill Resort." Next Jim felt compelled to move to the "Booming" town of Laporte and purchased "Pine Beach Resort." Finally in 1987 Jim found what he thought was the premium location for him at "Bay View Lodge" in Crosslake.
Jim was passionate about entertaining people. Whether they were guests at the resort or friends from the area everyone was always welcome to eat and drink from Jim's table. If you knew Jim well enough you knew he was close to the Lord. Jim enjoyed spending time with his "Many" friends and family working on cars, boats, cabins, docks, picking up garbage, wiring commercial buildings, along with expediting the removal of boats that somehow found themselves on Manhattan Beach and County Road 16. Jim very much enjoyed "Getting into another fine mess" with the company of friends and family. Simply put if you were a friend of Jim's you knew he had your back.
Jim was also a skilled and highly talented pool shark, and had a deep desire to help the community through the Lions Club which landed him the Melvin Jones award. Jim loved being a sportsman which allowed him to be an award winning fisherman. Didn't matter if Jim was fishing the Whitefish Chain, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Atlantic, Jim "Always found the fish". He was also a marksman behind the scope of his rifle. No deer, Antelope, Elk, Pheasant or Moose had a chance with Jim in the woods. He never lost his love of muscle cars as evidenced by his passion to drive fast trucks and he "Never" missed a NASCAR race.
Jim will be missed by his wife of 44 years, Mary Ann; sons, James Berg Jr. (Jennifer) and Tim; nephew, Gregg (Carla) Gribbin; and grandchildren, Nicholas, Autumn, Bryson, Brooklyn and Braxton.
He was preceded in death by Dale Earnhardt Sr., John Wayne, Johnny Cash and many other close friends whom we are certain he is happy to see.
Per strict instructions by Jim we will be holding a Celebration of Life from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, June 4, at one of Jim's favorite spots, Moonlight Bay in Crosslake, Minn. We encourage you to wear your favorite Canadian Tuxedo or Salmon colored Columbia fishing shirt in Jim's honor. This is to be a "Celebration" one last time "Jim Berg" style where we can gather to share stories of his Legend and be happy we were all lucky enough to have known such a great man.
In lieu of flowers or plants we ask you join us Monday, June 4, willing to make a donation to the Crosslake Police Department on behalf of Jim.
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