Cover photo for Frederick Sven Berg's Obituary
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1928 Frederick 2023

Frederick Sven Berg

October 13, 1928 — September 7, 2023

North Ogden, Utah

Frederick Sven Berg passed away September 7, 2023, in North Ogden, Utah. He was born October 13, 1928, in Butte Montana, the youngest of six children of Nils Berg and Josephina Berggren from Sweden. The family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1933, where Fred attended Lowell Elementary School, Edmond Meany Junior High, and Broadway High School, graduating in 1946. Fred enlisted in the Navy and served as an electronic technician aboard the USS Huntington and USS Albany cruisers attached to the Atlantic fleet. After his two years of service, he first attended the University of Washington in Seattle, and then Washington University Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, learning to become an oral teacher of the deaf and speech correctionist, beginning to study audiology, and receiving a Bachelor of Education degree in 1952. He then taught deaf children in Spokane, Washington for a year, after which he served two years in the Northern States Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which he had joined while in the Navy. Fred received a Ph.D. degree in Speech Correction and Audiology from Southern Illinois University in 1960. He married Edna Clawson (deceased) in the Mesa, Arizona LDS temple on May 18, 1959.

Between 1960 and 1991, Fred was an assistant professor at Oregon College of Education, an associate professor at Wayne State University, and became a full professor at Utah State University, where he pioneered the specialty of educational audiology for hard-of-hearing children, working to enhance listening in school classrooms, provide precision speech development, and teach Cued Speech to enable development of spoken language earlier in life than with just cochlear implants or hearing aids. Fred spearheaded the formation of the Educational Audiology Association and became a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association. He authored or edited seven professional books. After retiring from USU, Fred developed self-instructional materials for parents of very young deaf children and, with Edna, served an LDS mission in England, Wales and New Jersey, as well as a humanitarian mission in Hyderabad, India, after which he received an award from the Broadway High School Alumni Association.

Fred and Edna had six children, Sven Thomas, Louis Nils, Glenn Allen, Leonard Joseph, Karin Josefina (Fina), and Nathan Daniel, 30 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Fred helped Edna build a home on a 1-acre lot up the canyon in Smithfield, Utah, through which flowed a beautiful trout stream. Fred loved fishing, so this must have seemed the perfect spot to raise a family. There was plenty of room for a large garden and basketball/badminton court, where Fred both worked and played with his children. In addition to a strong work ethic, he taught by example the importance of showing kindness and respect to all, regardless of their background or beliefs. He would speak with anyone, showing genuine interest in what they had to say, even if their views differed from his. He was a man of strong convictions, to which he gave of his time and means; but he was willing to investigate opposing viewpoints of people he cared about, desiring to understand why they believed as they did. He admired people who were friendly and honest, regardless of their beliefs.

Fred was devoted to Edna. They moved to the Lodge at North Ogden in February of last year. Each day, for the last seven months of Edna’s life, Fred would walk from his apartment to the memory care area where she resided, and he would spend most of his day with her. After she passed away, he continued making the trek to memory care to eat his meals with the friends he had made there. During Fred’s final days, it became clear, from the number of visitors who came to see him, that he had touched many hearts with his kindness.

Per Fred’s selfless wish, his family will gather at a convenient time next summer to laugh and share memories of him and their lives together.
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