BRENDA ANN BERGER was born on March 7, 1971 to Wesley and Louise (Miller) Nielsen in Pipestone, Minnesota. She was raised in Lake Benton, Minnesota where her childhood days were spent waterskiing and tubing in the summers and skiing in the winters. She loved spending time with her family, friends and neighbors. It was small town life at its best. She attended public school and graduated from Lake Benton High School in 1989. She then attended Minnesota West for cosmetology in Pipestone. On August 25, 1990, Brenda married Michael Berger at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. The young couple put down their roots on a farm near Lake Benton. Brenda worked at a beauty shop, Clarkfield Outdoors, and Equestrian Clothing Outsourced Sewing, before settling into her favorite job of all, homemaker to her three children. Brenda was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2001. She was a proud cancer survivor and became a fierce advocate for those continuing the fight. She was involved with Lincoln County Relay for Life where recently, she and Michael were noted in the paper for having raised the most donations to the organization many years ago. On Monday, November 7, 2022, Brenda passed away at the Tyler Avera Hospital in Tyler, Minnesota at the age of 51 years and eight months.
Brenda was a member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. She held onto God closely throughout her life and instilled the importance of faith in her family. She was loving, caring and also knew how to be quite stubborn at times. Brenda had a way of making people feel welcome. She enjoyed sewing, gardening, swimming, watching the Minnesota Vikings, fishing, bowling and playing cards, especially the game Pepper. She was always a TOP contender in the Annual Berger Peep Contest. She was very talented in learning and perfecting crafts. She was a former women’s Auxiliary member and was involved in 4-H throughout her life. She powered through and had all three of her children married within 13 months. She loved being a part of their lives and cherished her role as grandma to her six grandchildren. Brenda’s kids knew they could call her anytime for anything. They will miss the sound of her voice telling them, “call when you get home!” She supported and loved her family unconditionally. She will be remembered for how she always encouraged people to do their best and found ways to make things fun. She championed others to always be yourself!
Brenda is lovingly survived by her husband, Michael of Lake Benton; daughter, Kayla (Andrew) McLain, and their children, Alexander and Aiden of Hutchinson, Minnesota, son, Cory (Laura) Berger, and their children, Dylan and Layla of Lake Benton, and daughter, Kelli (Joshua) Choudek, and their children, Clayton and Carston of Holland, Minnesota; mother, Louise (Bob) Van Leeuwe of Marshall; two siblings, Dave Nielsen of Lake Benton, and Dawn Nielsen of Pipestone; mother-in-law, Marlis Berger; close friends, Dave and Kari Peake and their family; and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Wes Nielsen; and father-in-law, Larry Berger.
Memorials may be directed to Lincoln County Relay for Life in Brenda’s honor.