Surrounded by her family, Mary Lu Berger made the journey to join our Lord on January 17, 2012. The daughter of Clifford Rhea and Grace Chew, was born in Kansas City, Mo., on June 9, 1927. As a young girl, she attended Bryant Elementary and St. Theresa's Academy. Mary Lu graduated from Southwest High School in 1945. She graduated from Marymount College in Los Angeles, Calif. While attending Marymount she studied architectural design.
In 1952, Mary Lu married Peter W. Berger, her loving husband of over 51 years. Peter often described her as being the most beautiful, loving woman that he had ever met. Together they raised four children, Harry (Hal) Calvin Berger II (Maureen), Melissa Ann Neighbors (Michael), Laura Michele Mackey (Hank) and Mark Douglas (Laura). Mary Lu truly loved being a wife and mother. In 1961, when Peter moved his dental practice and family to Belton, she finally got to build the dream home that she designed while attending Marymount. It was in this home that Mary Lu stressed family values and togetherness to her four children. Entertaining her children's many friends always brought happiness to Mary Lu. She involved herself at her children's school in many ways, acting as room mother and serving on the school's PTA. She also was a Red Cross volunteer at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base. From 1977-1981, Mary Lu served on the Missouri Council of Aging Board, helping enact important legislation for Missouri's senior citizens.
Mary Lu's adventurous spirit and her curiosity of other cultures led to a lifetime of traveling with her husband and her family. Mary Lu enjoyed a variety of experiences. Her travels took her all over the U.S., Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean. Wherever her travels led her she would embrace the local culture and history. She enjoyed sharing her experiences with family and friends. Whether it was spontaneous trips to New Orleans with Peter, well planned family vacations to South Padre Island or Hawaii, Mary Lu always welcomed the opportunity to enrich old friendships and make new ones. She was kind and devoted to all that she met. Her sense of humor and her love of laughter will be missed by all. Her passing leaves a deep void for all that were fortunate enough to have spent time with Mary Lu.
She is preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Sally Ann, a grandson, Peter Matthew Mackey and her husband, Peter. Besides her four children, Mary Lu leaves behind 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren all of whom she adored.
The family would like to thank all of the health care providers at The Rehabilitation Center of Raymore and Southern Care Hospice.
Graveside services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Belton Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Cass County Dental Clinic in care of Research Belton Foundation, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., KCMO 64132 or Southern Care Hospice of Lee's Summit.
Condolences may be made at www.mcgilleygeorgebelton.com