The Rev. Virginia (Ginnie) Joan Koepke Berg, made her transition to “Summerland” on Thursday, August 23, in Pflugerville, Texas, at the age of 70.
Virginia was born on July 2, 1942 in Jamaica, Queens, New York, to Gertrude and Henry Koepke. She was the oldest of four children. The family moved to Uniondale and then to Middle Island, NY. It was at a Lutheran youth rally in Patchogue on March 10, 1956, that she met the love of her life. She married Peter Berg three years later on October 4, 1959, in Ridge, NY.
Virginia and Peter built a house in Holbrook, NY, in 1962 where they raised their three children. She was a dedicated wife and mother who volunteered with the Ladies Auxiliary of the Holbrook Fire Department, as a Sunday School teacher and leader at St. John’s Lutheran Church, and both a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. With a high value on education, Virginia worked hard to finish her GED, and entered college as a mother with three young children. After persevering many years, she received her BA and MA (1980) from C.W. Post College in Speech Pathology. She worked for over twenty years as a Speech and Language teacher in Sachem School District. In addition to teaching she had a private practice as a Speech Pathologist.
Serving people, being a healer and teacher were core to Virginia’s character and life. Her spiritual journey eventually led her to the Spiritualist Church, and she was ordained as a minister in the National Spiritualist Association of Churches November 30, 1985. She served as a minister to the following churches: A Temple of Metaphysical Science (Patchogue, NY), A Sanctuary of Infinite Spirit (Smithtown, NY), and the First Spiritualist Church of Austin (Austin, TX). Under her leadership and vision, the Sanctuary of Infinite Spirit began meeting in her basement in Holbrook, before moving to the Masonic Temple in Smithtown. She was a Trustee and Secretary of the Pine Grove Spiritualist Camp in Niantic, CT, and served there faithfully as a spiritualist worker every summer giving readings, teaching, healing and preaching. As a missionary on the national level she has also served dozens of churches throughout the country. In addition to her church work, she was a member of the Eastern Star, Rosicrucians, White Eagle, and Lucis Trust.
In 2006, Virginia and Peter, built their dream house in Pflugerville, TX, complete with a swimming pool, hot tub and waterfall, and moved with their menagerie of parrots to the great state of Texas.
She is survived by: her husband, Peter (Pflugerville, TX); her children, Wendy and her husband Dwayne Bailey (Hamilton, NJ), Michael and his wife Terrie Berg (Holbrook, NY), and Matthew Berg (Chicago, IL); her grandchildren, Michael and his wife Amanda Berg (Medford, NY), Brandon Berg (St. Paul, NC), and Kathryn Bailey and her fiancé Ben Farmer (Denton, TX); her sister Marjorie and her husband Dan Maceda (Washington, DC), and her brother Richard Koepke (Amherst, NY). She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Robert Koepke.
Memorial Services for Virginia will be held both in Texas and New York as follows:
Saturday, September 1, 2012, 2:30 PM at the First Spiritualist Church of Austin, 4200 Avenue D, Austin, TX, 78751. The Rev. Shirley Williams of the Spirit Lights NSAC, Houston, TX, will be presiding. A potluck reception will follow the service.
Sunday, September 23, 2012, 2:30 PM at the Masonic Temple, 34 Nissequogue River Road, Smithtown, NY 11787. The Rev. Patricia Duffield of the Sanctuary of Infinite Spirit NSAC, Ronkonkoma, NY, will be presiding. A reception with light refreshments will follow the service.
Gifts may be made to the First Spiritualist Church of Austin in memory of Virginia.