Wallace Seward Berg, Jr.

wallace berg, jr.
Wallace Seward Berg, Jr, passed away on 8 June 2022. Wally, as he was known to his friends and family, was born on March 6, 1948, in San Diego, California. He received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation from the University of Maryland in 1970. After a brief stint as a high school biology teacher, Wally became an Environmental Health Specialist with Fairfax County, Virginia from which he retired after over 30 years of service.

Wally was a beloved father who doted on his family, ever present at his grandchildren’s and family events. He was always trusted to be kind, warm, patient, and generous. Wally adored nature and worked tirelessly to protect it, even in the urban areas of Northern Virginia. As a Professional Ski Instructor, he helped others see the beauty in the natural world and taught them how to dance upon the snow. Wally enjoyed dancing at Glen Echo, ice skating, reading and art.

Wally is survived by his father Wallace Berg, Sr.; stepmother Florette Berg; son and daughter in law, Scott, and Ticia Berg and their 3 children, Mary Ashleigh, Austin and Alec; sister Georgia Koontz; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his mother, Lois Berg.

Funeral services will be held at Money and King on 171 Maple Ave W, Vienna, VA on 27 July 2022 at 11am. For those unable to join the service in person, the service will be livestreamed via the link below.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Wally was a special, one-of-a-kind, genuine, wonderful friend. We either saw or called each other almost every day, sometimes more than once. I’m not a big talker, but somehow our conversations could last over an hour. It’s embarrassing to think two grown men could spend so much time on the phone. I thank my wife for her patience and understanding. Wally would “have” to tell me something on his mind. Often, he’d get diverted in mid thought by something he was saying, and he’d be off on another story. But, do you know, I actually got used to this, and could almost always follow his thread, no matter how disjointed. You may find some of Wally has rubbed off on me during these remarks. Wally wanted you to know his past, so you could help him understand his past, and I’m going to summarize what I know of his past for Scott, Ticia, Ashley, Austin, Alec and everyone here. Wally was born in San Diego, California, and, early in life, moved around the country wherever his dad, a career Air Force officer, was sent. The reason I like to say I’ve known Wally most of his life is because he’s told me so much, and we did figure out once that our fathers were both stationed at Fairchild Air Base in Spokane, Washington, during the Korean War. So, who knows, maybe we met before we knew we met. Wally had fond early recollections of his maternal grandparents who lived in Kansas. He and Gay spent quite a bit of time there. Wally’s dad was adopted by the Berg family, hence the last name. Wally’s dad sought out his birth mother who lived in Indiana. Her name was Goldie, and Wally and Gay met her when they were young. Wally lived and spent most of his school years in western Massachusetts. He lived first in Springfield, and later, after his parents divorced, in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Wally claims to have liked the big city of Springfield better, but, he did meet a lifelong friend, Russ, at Ludlow High. Russ was only there for freshman and sophomore year, but, Ludlow, being somewhat out in the sticks, was the perfect place for two guys to hang out together, inside and outside school. I figure Ludlow High must have been better than Wally made out, because, years later Wally and Russ went together to what was probably their 50th high school reunion; I also know Wally tried to reconnect with a few people once Facebook came on the scene. Wally didn’t speak too much about his junior or senior year of high school, but fondly remembered summer camp. Wally’s mom was a member of the local American Baptist Church, and it provided the money for summer camp each year, held, I think in nearby Maine. Camp was outdoor playtime, and Wally enjoyed every aspect of it. Again, he must have made some good friends there, as in his last year there, they all chipped in and bought him a sports jacket to take to college. He was very proud of that. Somewhere in this mix, Wally was in touch and conspiring with his dad to apply, and secretly take off, after senior year camp, to Montana State. I know Wally’s mom knew nothing of this father/son plan; not sure if he even told Gay. What a change from his years in New England. Wally loved the mountains, the outdoor sport activities, and the people he met in school, and he cried when he had to leave and follow his dad to Maryland after his freshman year Wally was a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. He always told me that passing classes was a struggle, but, I can tell you his memory of what he learned so many years ago would put most of us to shame. He had excellent recall. Wally had some good friends in college, but the only one he kept up with was his senior year roommate, Bob. They lived on campus during the Vietnam student demonstrations that brought out the National Guard and a tear gas event that permeated the dorm. Don’t know Bob’s last name, but I know he was smart, helped Wally on some papers, and lived many years in the Maryland suburbs, before moving to Florida. Wally was very impressed with Bob’s move to the west coast of Florida, and with his vow to never again wear long pants! Toward the end of college, Wally was in a very severe car accident that kept him in the Andrews Air Base hospital for about 6 months. He almost lost his life. He was hurrying to a date and went through a red light. The college heartthrob he was on his way to visit had a name that I don’t recall, but Wally often spoke about her and called her Wendy (a name he got from an old song he liked by The Association). The accident pushed his college graduation date into 1971. After graduation, Wally was again in New England, trying to relive his summer camp days, but didn’t experience the same friendly people when he was on his own. Wally’s first real job was as a science teacher in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Tough work for a young graduate trying to connect with students not much younger, several of whom had disciplinary issues. Met another good friend during this year. Again, I only have a first name, Joe. Joe practiced the B’Hai faith. Wally was always interested in different religions. I know he attended the Unitarian Church in Mt Vernon when he was living at his Belle View condominium home. Wally and I met 49 years ago this summer in Richmond, Virginia. He had just married and he had taken a new job at the Fairfax County Health Department We were in Richmond for a one week required orientation for all new Environmental Health Employees. Wally worked for Fairfax County, and I worked for Prince William County. The folks in Richmond told us what to expect in our new professions, but, they also wanted to know what we expected of our jobs. Not really knowing if this was to be our life’s work or career, Wally impressed me by announcing that work did not come first for him. His family did. Of course, at this time, that meant his wife. Scott was still two years away. Orientation only lasted a week, and then we all went our separate ways. As luck would have it, however, after about two months, I sought an open position in the Fairfax County Health Department. My first day on the job I walk into my new office with the Housing Division of the Health Department, located just across from where the Huntington Metro is today, and lo and behold there’s Wally. The fact we had recently spent a week together made it an easy friendship to establish. We had a small crew that included Connie Francis and Roy Eidem, still our good friends after almost 50 years. Wally was like the EverReady Bunny in his off hours. He was very active in the Washington Ski Club; skied all over the country. He loved to go to Glenn Echo and dance; swing was his favorite. He ice skated. He biked. But, as good as he was at everything, he always took lessons to improve. He loved to fish. He made incredibly intricate flies for fishing. Shortly after Scott was born he decided to build a large chest of drawers for his new son. Always on the go for the next 30 years. Wally wanted Scott to experience everything outdoors that he had, and more. The two of them took a special father/son trip to the Grand Canyon; a father/son tradition that Scott has continued. Wally would have all the best gear. Sometimes I think he went overboard. When he came over to bike one time I had on a shirt and a pair of shorts. Wally arrives in this blue and yellow skin tight outfit with a hood. I’m ready for a ride around the block; Wally’s ready for the Tour d’France. Wally got me into almost everyone of his sports. I skied with him; we canoed, Kayaked, ice skated, biked. We snorkeled and scuba dived on two trips to the Caribbean. I didn’t dance with him, but he did inspire me to talk Jeanne into taking a dance class with me. Unfortunately the instructor liked to use Jeanne to demonstrate dance steps, which she hated. I don’t think we lasted more than two classes. I’d help Wally out with moving his mother to several different apartments in Arlington and Fairfax. We moved his sister out of her house in Reston for her move to California. And, some time later we packed up his mom once again for her move out to join Gay in California. I can’t really remember how many times we moved Wally himself. I think we may have been the original 2 Men and a Truck! There’s a reason Jeanne and I have been in the same house for almost 50 years! When Wally wasn’t married he was a part of my family. My folks treated him like their 4th son, and he’d pick their brains about everything from cooking to finance. He loved to get my dad to tell him about his experience in World War II. Wally was my daughter’s Godfather. All my kids knew him as Uncle Wally. I think they may have been grown up before they realized he wasn’t really in our family tree! Wally attended all the Christenings, graduations, birthdays, family holiday dinners at my house, at my folks’ house, at my sister’s house in Arlington, and at my younger brother’s house in Ashburn. When I wanted to see my maternal grandfather’s house at the tip of Long Island, he made the trip with me. When I wanted to see where my dad’s relatives held their family get togethers, he went up to the Finger Lakes with me. When I had to go to Seattle to retrieve my mother-in-law’s car, he flew out with me, and drove all the way back with me. We took a trip to Little Rock, and the Gulf Coast, driving back through Atlanta so we could see his high school buddy, Russ. When my father passed in 2012, my family didn’t want the house to sit vacant, so Wally moved in and looked after it until my brother could sell his house and move his family in. Our last big trip was to Florida, to see my older brother in Daytona Beach. While in Florida I took Wally to see the Space Center at the Cape; we went to Epcot Center in Disney World; and on to Clearwater, Florida. Unfortunately, Wally was wearing down at this point, after so many years of extreme sports activity. His injuries from his college accident, and numerous ski accidents were taking their toll, and his distance walking days were over. Just before this Wally had begun his numerous surgeries. First his knees by Dr. Stinger, and then a couple of back surgeries that really put him out of commission. I’d go with him to doctors (so he could have another set of ears), I’d take him to surgeries, and visit him in the hospital during his numerous stays. The last 10 years often found Wally in bed or in a living room chair. He read volumes and found interests in everything from Crytocurrency to WWII history to space to Ancestry. com (where he discovered who his paternal grandfather was, and what the family name would have been had his dad taken his father’s name; something like Klopski; most of these relatives now live in Tennessee). However, he was very frustrated with a sedentary life; he fought demons from his childhood days; and, he was somewhat bitter about his disabled circumstances. I know this sometimes played out in emails to Eric and Scott that never should have been sent. Sometimes he’d call me and read the emails he planned to send. I’d listen and tell him I didn’t think that was a good idea, and that he ought to wait till morning and see if he still wanted to send them. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Believe me, for every unfortunate email Scott and Eric received I got 3 or 4 verbal lashings on the phone. I knew he didn’t mean it. He was frustrated and as mad at himself for his disability and for being unable to affect change as he was at the world news that provoked his attack. And, we rarely brought up the exchange when we talked the next day. Wally was very proud of Scott’s and Eric’s military service. Wally loved Gay, and her children, his brother, Eric, and his children, and especially, Scott, Ticia and the grandchildren, Ashley, Austin, and Alec. I’d get calls giving me a play by play of lacrosse and hockey games. Wally would tell me what he knew about Ashley’s prom date, and where she was applying to college. He’d arrange to give them stock shares in companies he found interesting. His generosity had no bounds when it came to his family or charitable causes in which he believed. I’d tell him he was a poor man’s Daddy Warbucks, and that he needed to save a little for his old age. And he’d tell me he had a pension and social security to cover his needs; and that that income would allow him not to have to depend on others. If he had extra money at the end of the month, he usually found a way to give it away to family or to a worthy cause. I know Scott and Gay are thankful he was able to go with them to New Hampshire last April, to see his father. I’m thankful Connie and I were able to have breakfast at the Silver Diner with him, just days before he passed. My 4 year old granddaughter, Rosie, and I were with him in his apartment just hours before he passed. Rosie was taken with Wally right off the block, and jabbered away while Wally laughed in his living room chair. We didn’t stay long. I put my arm around him, and told Rosie to say goodbye to grandpa’s best friend. She said goodbye Uncle Wally. Doug Woodward

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