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105-4715 13th Street NE
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Johansen (Berg)

October 26, 1923 – October 17, 2018

Margrethe Johansen
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services
"Forever remembered"
— Tom & Debbie Wenham

Obituary for Margrethe Johansen (Berg)

Margrethe Johansen (nee Berg)
October 23, 1923 - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

During a spectacular sunset on October 17, 2018, and in view of her beloved Rocky Mountains, our beautiful “lille Mor” slipped away peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by much love. Mom was predeceased by her husband Neils Johansen; her parents Peter and Juliane Berg; and her siblings Inge, Simon, Kedde, Jonne, Majse, Aksel, Mary, Andreas, Henry, Irene and Lily.

Her surviving family includes her son Kurt Johansen (Louise) of Toronto, and their sons Neil (Perry) and their little girl Gianna who is lovingly welcoming her great grandmother; and Mark (Diana) and their son James; daughter Birthe Parker (Gary); daughter Bente Nelson and her daughter Nicky Ng (Chris) and their daughters Chloe and Abby, and her son Christopher Nelson; daughter Irene Johansen; son Henning Johansen (Eileen) and their daughters Jill Johansen, Lisa Reese (Steve) and their daughters Alanna and Brianna; son Fred Johansen (Janice Whitby) and his sons with their loving mother Pat Cooper (Bob) – Greg Johansen (Heather) and their daughter Maria, and Jeff Johansen (Jackie); and happily, her recently found first-born daughter Birthe Roslin Thomsen (Hugo) of Ikast, Denmark, and their sons Tyge and Ulrik; along with many beloved nieces and nephews near and far.

Mom was born in Erlev, near Haderslev, Denmark on a lovely farm by Haderslev Dam (now a protected Crown park area known as “Bergs Plads” or Bergs Place) where she developed her love of nature and painting at a very young age. In her youth she also loved gymnastics, swimming, bicycling, kayaking, spending time with many of her siblings and farm life in general with her father Peter. While she eventually left the farm to move into Haderslev, the farm never left her. Mom continued to love nature and painting throughout her life and was an avid reader and learner; she especially loved books and articles on local history as well as nature and geography (her favourite school subject). Learning through her powers of observation often amazed the people around her, seeing things others simply overlooked.

Immigrating to Canada in 1957 with five small children between the ages of 2 and 12 (with one more soon after), was one of the many acts of Moms love and courage; giving up the relative comfort of her home, family and friends in Denmark to move to a new country, with a new language and customs; in the hopes (which were realized) that the sacrifices she made would provide better opportunities for her family. Mom overcame the many challenges and embraced our new Canadian home, while maintaining and blending in our Danish heritage, making wonderful family traditions.

Mom was the shining example of kindness and love, always making sure the family spent many special times together to enjoy picnics, outings, special events like the Calgary Stampede, card games (that she loved to win), puzzles, beachcombing and, of course, visits with friends and relatives near and far, giving us so many great memories. Many others felt her warmth and welcome over the years, along with a pot of coffee (kaffe) or tea and her wonderful home baked Danish goodies. All were welcome - whether neighbours, family, friends, or the many many friends we would bring home and who often adopted Mom as their own.

Mom herself was so talented which was demonstrated in so many ways. She took many painting courses through the years and her beautiful artwork was shared or sold for others to enjoy. Her creativity also played out in every aspect of day to day life – like designing and making clothes for the family, special meals, knitting her famous teddy bears, her flowers, gardening and a warm home décor. Mom loved to travel around our new country, including Ontario, Manitoba, camping and fishing throughout Alberta and BC (with frequent visits to her sister Inge and family), many trips to the USA including Florida, Hawaii and Arizona, along with many visits back to Denmark.

Mom used her talents, courage, strengths and hard work to make things happen, often with a subtle sense of humour that would always have us laughing, but always with love in her heart. She inspired and touched the lives of everyone who knew her, and she naturally drew people to her. Mom leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, caring, quiet courage and many wonderful traditions, along with her shared life stories, that are now are captured in our 2016 family book “Our Danish Heritage”; for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews to remember and celebrate.

So now how do we say goodbye to this special woman?

Mom will be missed more than words can express, by all who knew her; but we will do our best to carry on her legacy of kindness and love; and celebrate a life lived to the fullest. If she were here with us now, we know she would want us to take the focus off of her and put it on us as she always did in life. She would love nothing better than to know her family continues to get together sharing stories, love and fun whenever possible.

We let you go mom - knowing you will find peace and happiness just watching over your family – because, whether in body or spirit – that is who you are. We love you always and forever – fly free our mor, our momma, our grandma, our friend, our angel xoxox

Our special thanks:
We want to offer our special thanks to some important people on behalf of mom and ourselves. First, the Danish Canadian Club of Calgary, who provided refuge, assistance, and support when the family arrived in 1957; and has been a constant in our lives ever since. One of her favourite things in the last many years has been to have Peter‘s Saturday brunch at the Mermaid Inn, and attend the annual Danish Church Christmas Bazaar at the club.

We also are so grateful for the doctors, nurses, healthcare aides and the caring staff at CareWest Garrison Green; and the Rockyview General Hospital, especially unit 71. Their exquisite care and kindness provided such comfort to both Mom and her family as her abilities and/or health declined, providing us all with peace of mind. They are often unsung heroes and we wanted to make sure we sang their praises.

Last but not least, her many friends and management at Bethany Village, where she spent so many wonderful years of independence and fellowship, you have our undying gratitude, particularly for the last few years of watchful care and consideration.

Services will be held privately with the family; however, if you would like to honour her memory or contact the family please leave a message here, or donations can be made to Vision Canada, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association, or Salvation Army with our deep thanks. She was all about helping those in need as directly as possible.

To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Margrethe please visit Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services (403) 277-7343.