Thief River Falls - Virgil Mathew Burger, 83, of Thief River Falls, passed away peacefully the evening of Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., from Alzheimer’s, surrounded by his family.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, with Father Rick Lambert presiding. Interment was held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls.
Virgil was born Aug. 27, 1930 in Rockville, to Adolph and Magdalena (Niedhardt) Burger. He attended John Clark Elementary in Rockville, and graduated from St. Cloud Cathedral High School. As a young man, Virgil played amateur baseball in Rockville, leading the Lakewood league in hitting in 1949 with a .447 average.
Virgil obtained a BS in History and Social Science from St. Cloud State University in 1951 and later obtained his Library Science degree. He taught in Holloway, Holdingford and was a Librarian at Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, for 28 years. For many of these years, he also coached football, basketball, and baseball. In 1975, Virgil was named Pennington County High School Teacher of the year.
Virgil married Bernelda Dietman Oct. 11, 1951 at Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Rockville. Together, they raised four children. Virgil was an avid Twins and Vikings fan and loved a round of golf with his friends. After retirement, Virgil and Bernie enjoyed winters in Mesa, Ariz.
He was a member of St. Bernard’s Church, Golden Pioneers and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus having served as Financial Secretary for 24 years.
Virgil is survived by his wife of 62 years, Bernelda Burger; Children: Linda (Steve) Larson of Grafton, N.D., Brenda (Rande) Smith of Little Falls, Tom (Brad Rystedt) Burger of Wilton Manors, Fla., and Ann Olimb of Warroad; grandchildren: Tony (Sherry) Larson, Rob (Angie) Larson, Abby Larson, Ben (Jaclyn) Smith, Blake (Stacy) Smith, Eric (Jessie Dugdale) Olimb, Melissa Olimb and Lindsay Olimb; great-grandchildren: Russell Smith and Austin Larson.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; brother and sister-in-law, Gene and Rita Burger; infant sister, Betty Jane Burger; and great-grandson, William Anthony Larson.
Memorials are preferred to the TRF Education Foundation or St. Bernard’s Catholic School. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.