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INA "MARIE" KLINGAMAN BERGER

LEAH RACHEL LOZMAN BERGER

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THIS PAGE CREATED MARCH 2002 AND UPDATED JANUARY 2009

PHOTO TAKEN ABOUT 1960

EZRA "EDWARD" MANDEL BERGER

BIRTH: Ezra "Edward" Mandel Berger was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 9, 1900 to Abraham Isaac Berger and Leah Rachel Lozman Berger. He had two brothers and three sisters but he was the first child born in this country. His two sisters, Minnie and Bessie were born in Poland/Russia, probably at Lipsk. Edward or Ed never liked being called Ezra so he announced while still in grade school that he would be called Edward from then on. His children only learned of his actual given name when he was in his old age.

MARRIAGE: Ed married late in life on May 2, 1936 to Ina "Marie" Klingaman who had been married and divorced earlier from Julius I. Puente. They were married in Cheyenne, Wyoming but made their home in the Denver area.

CHILDREN: When Ed and Marie married she had an eight year old daugher, Marie Elaine Puente and then they had the three children listed below:

Lois Jane Berger was born to Marie and Ed Berger on July 29, 1937 in Denver, Colorado. She married Donald Marion Rhoads in 1959 in Colorado. They had a son and a daughter. They were divorced in 1976. She married Dale Dean Eggers in 1982 in Sedona, Arizona.

Edward Franklin Berger was born to Marie and Ed Berger on June 29, 1939 in Denver, Colorado. He married Marsha McInnes and they divorced after a short marriage. He later married Joanne Hindlemann in Colorado and they had two sons.

Claire Elizabeth Berger was born to Marie and Ed Berger on August 7, 1947 (which was also her mother's birthday) in Denver, Colorado. She married Clark Reed and they had one son. They divorced and she married Guy Wagner.

LOCATIONS: Edward grew up with his parents and brothers and sisters on the West side of Chicago around Lawndale and surrounding areas. It was about two miles from downtown. Nearby there was a park (West Park #1) that had a playground and a swimming pool. But the family moved a lot and the nicest place they lived was on Wood street. It was a two storied place and they lived on the second floor. The people on the first floor owned the United Dairy and their name was Dick. The original Cub's ball park was a block away but the County Hospital sits there now or did in the 1980's. Edward attended the John M. Smythe school and there were lots of Irish kids along with the Jewish ones there so there were lots of fights. The school was about one mile from his home.

In 1917 the family was living at 1630 S. Ridgeway Avenue. This is where Leah, his mother, became seriously ill and was taken to the Michael Reese Hospital where she died 10 days later of myocaraditis and complications of diabetes. Edís family life changed very quickly. With their father off working in another state, maybe at the shipyards of Pennsylvania, Minnie, the oldest daughter took charge. Ed remembered her as being very bossy as she was forced into this new position as head of the family, although only about 21. The family moved into a building across the street from their former one, presumably still on Ridgeway Ave. Minnie took on the responsibility of her younger siblings and held down a clerk/typing job at an electric company as well. Ed recalled the new building was colonial in style with big porches on the front. He rememberd he had liked it very much but recalled that coal had to be hauled up from the basement for heating and cooking. This remnant of the family was barely making ends meet and when Bessie, the second oldest daughter, pulled out to get married the family income was cut even more, for she had been working and contributing too. They had to give up the place. Edís little sister, Faye,stayed with her dad and step-mother at least for a while and Ed and his two brothers, Jule and Harry went to live with Sarah Dulsky Barnett, his mother's distant cousin and her husband, Frank. They treated him well he said but his mom and Sarah had not been close. He stayed there for 3-4 months.

When Ed was about 19 he had been on his own for a while taking odd jobs to survive. He was walking down the street in Chicago one day and a man asked him if he'd like to learn to fly. It sounded great and before he knew it he was in the Army and stationed in San Antonio, Texas at Kelly Field where he watched the dawning of the air age take place with men like Billy Mitchell in precarious test flights. He never became a pilot but took many wild rides in those wind blasted, open cockpits of the time. Next he left the Army Air Force as it was called, and went to Colorado with a friend to homestake a place near Cripple Creek. It was a great time but they needed an income and tried to raise potatoes. But at that altitude they had no luck. He and his pal decided to throw in the towel and Ed returned to Chicago where he started his funiture refinishing business. In 1936 Ed and Marie married and he relocated himself and his business to Denver. With their family Ed and Marie moved many times around the East and then the South side of the city and later to the suburb of Cherry Hills. Each time they would buy a home, upgrade it, sell it for a profit and move to a better one. About 1946 they designed, built and lived in a new house at 20 South Ash in Denver. And in about 1950 they designed and built another house at 3777 South Albion in Denver where they lived for less than two years. In 1951 he and Marie bought 50 acres south of Denver which included a pond, a bunkhouse, several barns, a huge, two story, rock stable with tile roof and a swimming pool with a large, rock barbeque and lounging area. Beside the pool there was an expansive flagstone patio for parties surrounded by lawns and decorative trees. It was the old Kistler Stables in Cherry Hills at 4601 East Belleview which at that time was more rural than now. They moved into the bunkhouse and with the help of the whole family they opened a business of catering to private parties in the evenings and opening the pool to their private club members during the daytime. They remodeled the bunkhouse and made it into a nicer home where they lived for a number of years until about 1971 or 1972. After selling the property and business, they lived in three more homes in Colorado, the last of which they designed and built even farther south of Denver at Castle Rock. Ed was 75 when they built this place. They stayed in Colorado until 1981 when he and Marie moved to Sedona, Arizona to spend the remaining years of their lives near their daughter, Lois and other family members who arrived soon after.

DEATH: In 1985 Ed fell and broke his hip and was more or less an invalid after that. His emphysema caused him to be on oxygen all the time and he lived off and on with his daugher, Lois and her husband as Marie was not able to care for him very well. Ed died on December 7, 1988 in Sedona, Arizona the morning after he arrived at a nursing home where he was scheduled to recover from a short hospital stay with a kidney infection and complications from his severe emphysema. He had given up cigarettes in his mid seventies but he already had lung damage from the many years he had smoked. His ashes were scattered in Sedona, Arizona. Marie died in 1993 and her ashes were scattered near his.

FURTHER NOTES:Ed seemed to have been in poor health for a while when he was about 5 years of age. He didn't want to run and play with the other children. Then he was told he was going to be making a trip to Gary, Indiana with a family friend who was in his 30's by the name of Harris. They said he needed the fresh air out there in the countryside. Years later a doctor told him that his lungs showed scars from tuberculosis. Gary was just a small country town and Harris was a cobbler. It was in the summertime and they took the train out there. But this was just for a short time. He seemed to have recovered well. Always drawing in his youth, Ed got a job making Peace posters about 1914. He had been bar mitzvad the year before. As a young boy he was active in the local synagogue where he was taught to sing and had a wonderful voice even into his old age. He rejected High School after graduating from the 8th grade because he thought he didn't need a "higher" education to become an artist. He worked at many jobs that he didn't like just to keep some money in his pockets and then he was happily able to attend the Art Institute of Chicagoís night school. About the same time, he lost his mother, the family broke up and he was unable to continue with his art education due to the financial strain. After leaving the army and the time spent in the Colorado mountains near Cripple Creek, Ed returned to Chicago and needed a job. He ended up working for an upholsterer. Soon he was doing some furniture refinishing as well and later opened his own shop and specialised in furniture refinishing. His interest in art helped him and he was very talented at matching colors which helped him immensely. He worked with interior designers to custom finish pieces of furniture for their clients. By 1928-29 He did well enough to hire a very attractive young woman named Marie Klingaman ( her maiden name). She was a gentile woman. She came into his shop needing a job. She was artistic too so he put her to work painting designs on some of the furniture. She had a baby daughter, Elaine, and had been divorced recently from Elaine's father. They fell in love eventually but things didn't work out for them for some time and Marie and Elaine moved to Denver. A few years later, Marie contacted Ed to see if he was still single. He had not been serious about anyone else in the years they were apart. He went right to Denver and they were married in 1936. During most of the early years of their marriage Ed ran his own furniture finishing business in north Denver and later at 387 Corona Street which he started soon after arriving there. But after suffering some health problems due to the the spraying of paints and using dangerous solvents in his work, Ed decided to close the shop about 1948. After a short stay in Arkansas to help Marieís sister and brother-in law upgrade their farmhouse, the Bergers returned to Denver and made several more moves around the city before purchasing Belleview Park which provided them with income and another home. Ed had been devastated with the sudden loss of his mother when he was just 16. He couldnít understand how God had allowed his mother to die. In this state of mind he was greatly influenced by his cousin, Louis Loseman (Spelling uncertain) who was about five years older and was an atheist. Edward began to think in this way too and did so until he met a mind reader in the army who showed him there was a lot more to the spiritual side of life than he had realized. This started him on a search for more spirituality and led to a profound belief in God. He never went back to the synagogue but did quietly honor the Jewish traditions of the Holy Days. His greatest joy was in studying the mystical and spiritual side of life and discussing these ideas with others. Marie had been raised as a Presybterian but she was open to Edís differing background and beliefs and was influenced by his faith as well. Eventually Ed studied and became a Mason and was active in the Denver area for a while.

IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONS OR CORRECTIONS PLEASE send an email to ljeggers@yahoo.com

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