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Phillis Berg

Oct 2, 2021

Jan. 25, 1927-Sept. 23, 2021

Phillis Berg, 94, passed

away peacefully with her

daughters at her side on

Thursday, September 23,

2021, at the Heart of

America Care Center in

Rugby, North Dakota.

Phillis Marie (Cruden)

Berg was born January 25,

1927, the first child and

first daughter of Pam-

philus Jr. and Mary (Barr)

Cruden. She was born at

home on the farm known

as the Marucheck farm in

East Barton Township, Pi-

erce County, N. Dak.

Phillis was born with a

birthmark on her face

which caused her much

heartache throughout her

life, especially as a young

girl. It concerned her not

so much during her adult

life for it taught her “to ac-

cept all things as they are”

and not to question God’s

Will or His Ways or His


In 1928 the family

moved two miles west to

the farm where she lived

for 74 years. She attended

Banner School District #2

through the grades and

graduated from Barton

High School in 1945. She

attended the University of

North Dakota in Grand

Forks until 1947, then

worked at Griffith Dept.

Store in Grand Forks as a

cashier in the business of-

fice. She spent a brief

time in Waterville, Wash.,

but returned to Rugby

where she worked at the

Northwestern Bell Tele-

phone Company under

the supervision of her

Aunt Rachael Bardell, the

chief operator. After a

year she went back to

Grand Forks where she

worked at the Grand

Forks Herald and Bridge-

man Creamery. It was

there, at a Saturday night

dance in Grand Forks,

that she met her husband


Phillis and Lawrence

were married April 12,

1953, at Bethany Lutheran

Church, Rugby. The cou-

ple started their married

life on her parents’ farm,

assisting with its opera-


The family lived in

Modesto, Calif., from 1959

-1961, seeking care and

education for their two

sons that had been born

with Down’s syndrome.

Finding nothing, the fami-

ly returned to the farm at

Barton and resumed farm-

ing. Phillis and Lawrence

were instrumental in

starting the GCARC (Geo-

graphical Center Associa-

tion for Retarded Chil-

dren) and remained active

in the organization until it

dissolved many years

later. She was an active

member of the VFW Auxi-

liary and Rugby’s Bethany

Lutheran Church

women’s groups. In 1989,

Phillis completed a family

history book on her

mother’s side, the Airth-

Hamilton Book, then start-

ed working on her father’s

family tree, the Crudens,

which her daughter Pam

helped her complete in


The couple retired from

farming in 1996, and in

2002 moved into Rugby’s

Haaland Manor. Lawrence

passed away in July 2008,

and Phillis continued to

reside at the Manor until

2015, when she moved to

the Haaland Home. In

September 2019 she

moved to the Heart of

America Care Center.

Phillis was a devoted

wife, mother and grand-

mother, a letter writer, a

picture taker, a gardener

(both vegetable and

flower), a genealogy

enthusiast, a gracious hos-

tess for family and holi-

day dinners, and a quiet,

sweet soul who will be

greatly missed. She was

very proud of the family

farm that was her parents,

hers, and now is her

daughter Penny’s home.

Phillis is survived by

daughters Pamela (Dave)

Anderson, Rugby, and

Penny (Jim) Pollman, Bar-

ton; five grandchildren,

Travis (Lisa) Anderson,

Chippewa Falls, Wisc.,

Joshua Anderson, Chelan,

Wash., Kirsten (Dan) Lee,

Lakeville, Minn.; Heather

(Blake) Schaan, Harvey,

N.Dak.; and Cody King,

Devils Lake, N.Dak.;

great-grandchildren Tiege,

Tenley, Parker, Collin,

Bentley, Gracelyn, Beck-

ett, Isabelle, Boston, Kade,

Reign, and Lyrical; a

niece, Theresa (Cordell)

Atkins, and nephew, Tom

(Kathy) Rodgers, both of

Colorado Springs, Colo.,

and numerous cousins

and friends. Phillis was

preceded in death by her

husband Lawrence W.

(July 2008); sons David L.

(November 2004), Daniel

R. (July 2014); a sister

Donelda Rodgers (August

2013), and her parents.

Funeral services were

held at 2:00 p.m. Thurs-

day, Sept. 30 at First

Lutheran Church in Rug-

by with burial in the Per-

silla Watts Cemetery, Rug-



Craig Wollenburg

Scripture Reader:

Theresa Atkins

Casket Bearers: Travis

and Lisa Anderson,

Joshua Anderson, Kirsten

and Dan Lee, Heather and

Blake Schaan, Cody King

and Tom Rodgers

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:



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