Alvin Curtis Berg - born March 8, 1913 in Esmond, Illinois, died December 2007 in
Kissimmee, Florida. Son of Henry and Alice Berg, Creston, Illinois.
Alvin's father was Uncle Henry Berg, brother of George Berg, my grandpa. Alvin's mother was Alice Vesta
Berg, first cousin of my grandma, Sadie Vesta Berg. So, he was double-related to my dad - they were first
and second cousins at the same time.
Alvin's grandfather was called Albert Vesta in this country. However, Lisa Berg found out from a
Norwegian that his real name was Albret Abrahamson (1862). His brother, Sam Vesta's (my great grandpa)
real name was Eliseus (1857) and his other brother (Louis) was born Lars (1853). They all had another
brother in Norway named Adolf who was born in 1864. Their father was Abraham Larsen and their mother
was Anne Bergithe Svensdatter (aka Swanson). They lived in Hetland Parish, Randaberg Annex, Vested
(Viste) Farm, Norway. Abraham's father was Lars Stedjedal. Anne's father was Sven Vistehage.
Front Row: Ludwig and Sarah Berg, and son, Norris
Back Row: Their other children: Lily and Leonard (twins), HENRY, GEORGE and Grace
Alvin Curtis Berg -- (1913 - 2007)
This picture on the right totally fascinates me because
when I laid eyes on it the first time, I was surprised and
thrilled to see what my great-great grandfather looked
The people in this picture are Sam Peterson father of
Sarah Peterson Berg, who is the mother of Grace Berg
Busse, who is the mother of Fred Busse, who is being
held by his Grandma Berg (Sarah).
Grace and great Grandma Berg are wearing the same
dresses as in the picture of the whole family that is down
below. Very interesting because it makes me wonder if
any other pictures taken that day still exist somewhere
in a box in someone's closet?
Sam B. Peterson was the great grandfather of Alvin and
my dad, Sarah Berg was the grandmother of Alvin and my
dad, Grace Busse was the aunt of Alvin and my dad.
Freddie Busse was one of the oldest grandchildren and a
first cousin of both Alvin and my dad. I don't know
exactly what year Fred Busse was born - maybe 1910?
I made these picture fairly dark so that you can see their
faces better, otherwise, they look kind of washed out.
Sam Peterson, Grace Berg Busse, Sarah
Peterson Berg, holding Freddie Busse, circa
"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is
destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2 Cor. 5:1
You're probably wondering WHY I'm putting this
picture in here. Don't wonder any longer, I'll tell
you and it's actually relevant.
As I looked at the names on the back of the
photograph (many thanks to my Grandma Berg for
writing them down), I noticed that Alvin's Uncle
Oliver Vesta is in the back row next to my Grandpa
Sadie's in the front row between the two smallest
boys which makes her white dress even more
noticeable (it is quite pretty though). She was 14
years old and Grandpa Berg was 15. They were all
probably around the same age.
At St. John's Lutheran Church in Creston, they
have all of the Confirmation pictures ever taken still
there at the church. When I was at Verna
Gittleson's funeral (another cousin of Alvin and my
dad), a few years ago, it was fascinating to look at
all of them.
My plan was to go back and take pictures of them
because they do have a lot of the various
ancestors in them. Haven't done that yet...
This picture of Sarah and Ludwig Berg with
Henry, Grace and George (on his dad's lap)
was taken circa 1894. Henry would be 6
and Grace would be 4.
St. John's Lutheran Church, Confirmation Class, May 3, 1908 (100 yrs. ago)
Front Row: Rev. K.O. Ettreim, Elmer Larson, Sadie Vesta, Joseph Askvig
Back Row: OLIVER VESTA, George Berg, Elmer Vesta, Ernest Larson
Alvin Curtis Berg married Vallie Jane Ulrey
on November 12, 1939 in Paw Paw, Illinois
This was included in the program for Alvin's ordination on November 28, 1965 at
St. John's Lutheran Church in Creston.
The following information was printed on the back of the program for his ordination (November 28, 1965):
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Berg of Creston, Alvin Berg was born near Esmond, Illinois on March 8, 1913. He was
baptized and confirmed in St. John's Lutheran Church where he is now a member of the congregation.
After graduation from Rochelle High School, he drove a gasoline truck for the Leader Oil Company in Creston for several
years. He was married to Vallie Jane Ulrey of Paw, Paw, Illinois in 1939. During World War II he was a radar operator on
the aircraft carrier Cape Esperance in the South Pacific.
Since 1950, he has been a missionary of the World Mission Prayer League. For three years, he served on the home staff
of the mission in the Minneapolis office as promotional secretary. Then, he and his wife went to India where they
served two terms in the Darjeeling District of North India.
He graduated from the Chicago Lutheran Bible Institute and has studied at Northwestern College, Minneapolis; Wheaton
College; University of Illinois Division of University Extension, Champaign; and Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque.
He and his wife will return to India next month (December 1965).
On March 22, 1991, Alvin sent out a ten page document with a cover letter detailing the family tree of his parents,
Henry and Alice Berg. It's interesting to me because many of those same people are related to me! He also writes
about the "Christian faith my mother and dad practiced not only in life but while going through the valley of the shadow
of death." It's quite a moving testament.
When they retired from the World Mission Prayer League, Alvin and Vallie moved to the Good Samaritan Health Care
Center in Kissimmee, Florida, where Alvin became consulting chaplain. My dad and mom used to go out every once in
a while to visit them. They always enjoyed their visits because they were both such lovely people.
When Vallie died a few years ago, they went out to her service. It was kind of sad to think of Alvin without Vallie since
they were together for so long, but I'm sure he was able to keep a positive attitude, and he knew that one day he
would once again join her and as he says in his letter, "...there is still the blessed hope that we can all meet in heaven.
God has provided for all of us the WAY in his free gift of salvation by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Henry and Alice chose that WAY and are looking forward to meeting us all in that happy reunion in heaven."
I imagine it was quite wonderfully awesome for him to be back home. God bless Alvin. ~djb