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Gladys De Berg

Gladys Grace De Berg passed away April 7, 2010, at Liberty Terrace Nursing Home in Liberty, Mo. An only child, she was born Jan. 20, 1916, to Frank and Clara (Pernitke) Karnatz in Chicago, Ill. Gladys led an active and sometimes adventurous life. She knew Al Capone, whom she met at a club she frequented, and was taught to swim by Johnny Weissmuller. She loved big band music and dancing, her favorite partner being Harold De Berg, whom she married in 1938. Harold worked for the Chicago and North Western Railway as a general roadmaster. Their first home was in a camp car with kerosene lamps and a coal stove—no electricity or running water. Their first son was born there. They soon moved to Palatine, Ill., where a second son was born. Gladys took care of the children and worked with Harold’s mother in her restaurant. She and Harold followed the railroad jobs as he was promoted, moving to Redfield, S.D., Ames, Iowa, and back to Palatine. Besides working in the restaurant, Gladys was employed as a house mother in a sorority house in Ames, and from Palatine she worked at Crawford’s Department Store and managed the Jewel T cafeteria. Her dear Harold died in December 1973. Gladys then met and married Jerry McFarland, who had four children. Jerry died soon after that, and Gladys was left to raise a second family alone. Her next companion treated her royally and they traveled all over in a motor home. After buying a home in Mountain Home, Ark., he died and Gladys was left alone again. She later married Merle Grafe and they enjoyed their time in Mountain Home until he passed away and she moved to Kearney, Mo. Gladys’s strong personality was born of adversity and survival. She made many friends over the years, some of whom didn’t always agree with her, but through it all she maintained a deep faith in her Savior and His promise of eternal life. Wherever she lived, her participation in the Lutheran church was extremely important to her, especially in Mountain Home, Ark., where she was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran for many years. Gladys was a member of the Chicago and North Western Women’s Club and Women of the Moose No. 104, Boone, Iowa. She loved antiques, fine jewelry, fancy clothes and especially her grandchildren, for whom she always made time. They remember fondly the special holidays, trips to Arkansas, adventures in the rail yards and ice cream treats. She loved her children and grandchildren very much. Gladys is survived by her sons, Douglas, Kearney, Mo., and Richard, Cumming, Ga.; grandchildren, Chris Armstrong, Cheryl De Berg, Mike De Berg, Lynn Patterson and Kerry Paquette; and four great-grandchildren.

Interment was held Monday, April 12, in Ames, Iowa. Arrangements are through Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home in Kearney, Mo. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Stephen Lutheran Church Building Fund, 205 N. Forest Ave., Liberty, MO 64068.

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