Wilbur Elliott Berger, 82, of Atlantic, died at home February 27, 2016. He was born July 16, 1933, in Oakland, Missouri, to Wayne Elliott and Nellie Virginia (Hough) Berger. During his childhood they lived in various places in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. As a young adult, he worked for several farmers in the Atlantic area before being inducted into the Army in 1953, serving at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri and Ft. Carson in Colorado.
He married Karen Marie Smith September 2, 1956, at her parent's home near Anita. During their 59 years of marriage they worked on farms near Wappinger's Falls, NY and North Liberty, IA before moving back to Anita in 1967. Wilbur enjoyed farming, particularly raising cattle, and was a good shepherd to his herd-the cattle were always cared for before anything else was done. After retiring from farming, he drove a bus for Southwest Iowa Transit Agency where he was known to his riders as Cowboy. He felt strongly that everyone should have food to eat so he and Karen operated the Anita Food Pantry for 10 years, retiring in 2014. Wilbur had a life-long love affair with motorcycles, participating in races in his early years and riding one into his 70s.
He was preceded in death by his son, Ross in 1980; his parents, Wayne and Nellie Berger; his parents-in-law, Ross and Marie Smith; and sister-in-law, Judy Smith.
He is survived by his wife, Karen of Atlantic; his daughter, Virginia of Adel, IA; brothers-in-law, Robert (Glenda) Smith of Whitefish, MT, and Guy Smith of Wiota; nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 1, 2016, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Hockenberry Family Care in Anita, Iowa.
The funeral service will be at the Wiota United Methodist Church, Wiota, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. (please dress casually), with a private burial in the Evergreen Cemetery, Anita.
Memorials may be given to the Anita Food Pantry, the Wiota United Methodist Church, or to the family for their discretion.
Hockenberry Family Care in Anita, Iowa, is in charge of the arrangements.