James A. Berta age 76 of Dwight, passed away peacefully, Thursday, July 26, 2018 at his home.
Born February 28, 1942 in Joliet, Illinois, James Anthony was a son of Anton James and Mildred Frances (Trezek) Berta. He was raised in Coal City and was a 1960 graduate of Coal City High School. On August 17, 1963, Jimmy married Cheryl Watson in Assumption Catholic Church in Coal City. Together they made their home and began their family on a farm in Livingston County, outside Odell. In 1976, the family moved into Dwight, where they were able to establish their roots alongside wonderful neighbors in the best neighborhood to raise a family.
A man of strong work ethic, Jim worked as a coal miner for 15 years; farmed most of his life up until 1983, and owned and operated Berta Hardware in Dwight with his wife for 32 years. During those years in business he cherished meeting people from the community, as well as the surrounding area, which provided the opportunity to create lasting relationships. Also as a member of the business community, Jim was a member of the Chamber of Commerce for many years, and served as past president; he participated in the Economic Development Council, where he also led a term as President, and he served his community on the Village Board of Dwight. Not to forget, Jim was also a 4-H Leader for 2 ½ years, and a parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dwight.
In his spare time Jim took pleasure in fishing; had a passion for gardening, and demonstrated his ability to grow a pristine lawn. His greatest accomplishment however was being a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Above all, he cherished spending time with his family.
Survivors include his loving wife of nearly 55 years, Cheryl; three children: Brian Berta (Sarah) of Dwight, Sherri (Marty) Hatzer of Pontiac and Kevin (Stacie) Berta of Dwight; grandchildren: Anthony Berta (Shelley), Aaron Hatzer, Ashlee Hatzer (Trevor), Cody Hatzer (Baylee), Kathryn Berta and Elizabeth Berta; siblings: Beverly Rehberg of Lisbon, Diane (Ed) Hyer of Ft. Pierce, Florida, Jan (Dave) Ely of Kankakee, Bonnie (Dan) Kaye of The Villages, Florida and Barry (Sherry) Berta of Coal City; sisters-in-law: Betty Watson of Coal City and Lana Pogliano of Walnut; brother-in-law, Ronald (Rita) Watson of New Buffalo, Michigan; numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and great nephews, as well as his faithful canine companion, Maggie.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers-in-law: Bill Rehberg, John Pogliano, Jr. and Dennis Watson, Sr., and one niece, Roxanne Rehberg-Aper.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 100 West Mazon Avenue in Dwight on Monday, July 30, 2018 between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will follow on Tuesday morning, July 31, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Father Chris Haake, presiding.
Burial will be in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Dwight, and pallbearers will be: Anthony Berta, Aaron Hatzer, Cody Hatzer, Bret Berta, Marc Cieslak and Randall Rehberg.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Jim’s memory to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707, to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.
Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Jim’s memorial page online by logging onto: www.ReevesFuneral.com/notices/James-Berta
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Gardner (815-237-2526)