Anna (Ann) Berger, age 88 passed away peacefully on April 13, at Evergreen Hospice, in Kirkland, Wash.
Ann was born in Schaffhausen Switzerland, and grew up with her sister Yvonne helping her parents run the Restaurant Warteck. This restaurant/hotel was beautifully situated with a terrace overlooking the Rhine River. However, between school work, and helping with the restaurant, there was very little free time in her childhood. She often said that she would never marry a man who owned a restaurant or a farm, as the work was all encompassing.
When she was done with high school, she moved to the French part of Switzerland for six months, to become fluent in French. Upon her return, she enrolled in medical classes and worked for a doctor’s office. These were happy times for her, and she stayed in touch with this doctor until his recent death.
While at the Restaurant Warteck, she then met a handsome man in uniform that often came to the restaurant. He was in the Swiss military at the time, and after finding out that he did not own a restaurant or farm, she fell deeply in love. Bill and Ann were then married in 1954, and remained happily married until his death in 2002. After their marriage, they moved briefly to New Jersey, then to Minnetonka, Minnesota.
While in Minnetonka, Ann was an active member of the Minneapolis Swiss Club. She was an avid Jass (Swiss card game) player and hosted the Annual New Year’s “Jass” Party which would last well into the mornings. She often would play cards with her husband in the evenings, keeping score over the entire year. They owned a ski chalet in Michigan, which Ann decorated with hand painted coat of Arms for each Swiss canton. She and Bill enjoyed travel, taking many trips to Switzerland, Florida, Hawaii, and Arizona.
After retirement and the birth of their granddaughter Nicole, they decided to leave Minnesota and move to Woodinville to be closer to family. She and Bill also joined the Seattle Swiss Club, meeting new friends and continuing the Jass tradition. She was very close to her granddaughter, always remarking on all her achievements, and sending her home painted cards as Nicole grew older and moved away. She later “adopted” the neighbor’s children as well, and got a second family which she cherished.
Ann had a passion for painting, both acrylic and watercolors, and has a beautiful collection of paintings and cards that live on in her memory. She was an avid gardener, always planting germaniums, and other flowers, and had a prolific tomato plant collection that fed the whole neighborhood. She knit the most beautiful sweaters, clothing her family down to her daughter’s dolls and teddy bears. She passionately loved her home, and appreciated the love and support of her neighbors, relatives and friends.
Ann is survived by daughter Edie Ochandarena, granddaughter Nicole Ochandarena and sister Yvonne Gantenbein. A memorial service for will be held at Evergreen Hospice on May 19 at 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception at Ann’s Home for all at 3:30 p.m. She will be laid to rest at the family plot at Groveland Cemetery in Minnesota on May 27.