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Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Hadel) Berger, 98, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at Beautiful Savior Nursing Home in Belton, Missouri.
Betty was born on December 6, 1922 to Joe and Mamie (Mary Elizabeth) Hadel in Kansas City, Missouri. Betty was the oldest of five siblings and she attended Guardian Angels Catholic Grade School. She went on to graduate from Loretto Academy and even scratched her initials in the bell tower that is still on campus.
Following her dream to become an airline stewardess, Betty attended and graduated from St. Marys Nursing School and became a registered nurse, which at the time, was a requirement to become a stewardess. During that time, she had also joined the Navy Reserve after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She was called to active duty on April 1, 1944, which changed the course of her career and her life.
Betty was stationed at the Naval Medical Center, located on the grounds of Balboa Park in San Diego, CA where injured servicemen were being treated from the Pacific. It was there that she met her husband, Thomas G. Berger, a United States Marine injured at Tarawa and who was under her care. Tom first saw her from a window, skipping and singing with another nurse, and was instantly smitten. He told the other injured servicemen, "Im going to marry that red-headed nurse!" Five months later, they were married in Coronado, California and discharged from the military.
The couple moved to Toms hometown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then eventually to Bettys hometown in Kansas City, Missouri with their 5 children in tow: Tommy, Dick, Cheri, Mary Beth, and Janet.
Betty had a long and fulfilling career as a Registered Nurse. She worked with Dr. Carrier early in her career and was trusted to learn and perform "cutting edge" therapies and procedures like hypnotherapy in order to assist Dr. Carrier with expectant mothers and other patients. These procedures were often reserved for doctors only and seldom were RNs privy to that level of care. Betty then worked for the Westport Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic; and finished her career as the RN for the Jackson County Juvenile Court, where everyone fondly knew her as Nurse Berger.
After retirement, Betty continued to be active in mind and body. She enjoyed walking several miles a day and attending Daily Mass. She loved to volunteer at the food pantry and helped with the Friendship Club at St. Elizabeth parish with Sister Pat. Betty was an avid traveler and would take road trips with friends and family often in her retired years.
In the last few years, Betty found great joy in her family, spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildrenplaying card games and eating good food were always at the top of her list. She was an accomplished storyteller and had a delightful sense of humor, her laugh was infectious and often included a snort or two for posterity. Although she is missed dearly by all who knew her, we are confident she is somewhere with a plate full of hot wings and a glass of red wine with an ice cube, being dealt into a game of Pineapple with all those that passed before her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; her parents Joe and Mamie; siblings JoAnn, Bob and Jim; daughter, Cheri; son, Tom; and grandson, Rick.
Betty is survived by son, Dick Berger; daughters, Mary Beth (Tom) Denzer, and Jan (Art) Frank; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; her brother John Hadel; as well as numerous extended family members.
Due to concerns surrounding the health and safety of others, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
. Private Family Funeral
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