Esther Berg
Esther Berg

Obituary of Esther Berg

Esther Berg, 94, passed away peacefully in Olympia, Washington on May 18, 2019, with members of her family at her side.


Esther was born on December 27, 1924 in Cuba Township of Barnes County, North Dakota, to Fred Ratzlaff and Magdalena (Lena) Rosenkranz Ratzlaff.


Esther grew up on the family farm with her four sisters and four brothers.  She attended elementary school in rural Cuba Township, and she graduated from Valley City High School in 1942.


Esther graduated from the Army Cadet Nursing School in 1946 as a Registered Nurse. She began a nursing career that would last 53 years.  Esther worked for hospitals and private practice physicians. She was a Pediatric Nurse with Pediatric Associates of Olympia for the last 28 years of her career.  Esther was a proud and respected professional nurse who served two generations of patients through her work at Pediatric Associates. Esther retired from full time work in 1987 and continued to work part-time for another 12 years.  An October 18, 1999 article in The Olympian described Esther as being the last nurse in Olympia who still wore her white nursing uniform and cap to work.


In 1946, Esther met Oscar Berg and the couple was married on February 1, 1947 in Valley City, North Dakota.  The couple had three children, Michael, Emily and Susan.  The family moved to Fullerton, California in 1957, where Esther worked at the neonatal unit at Anaheim Memorial Hospital. 


In 1965, the family relocated to Lacey, Washington, where Esther resided in her own home for 53 years.  She was a sports fan and enjoyed watching Seahawks and Mariners games.  


Esther was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  Her home was always open and welcoming to all and it was a true “grandma’s house,” often hosting the overnight stays of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a kind and generous person. Her family and friends will greatly miss her.


Esther is survived by daughter, Emily (son-in-law, Linn); daughter, Susan; grandchildren, Erik (Tamara), Ingrid (Bob), Hans (Janet), Ivan (Alicia), Jesse and Amanda (Kris).  She had 11 great-grandchildren, Gavin, Sophie, Kiara, Amelie, Noah, Tess, Hakon, Charlotte, Warren, Madeline and Emma; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Esther was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar, in 1976; a son, Michael, in 2010; as well as her parents and all of her siblings.


A graveside service is scheduled for Friday, May 31, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at the Masonic Memorial Park, Tumwater, Washington.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the North Thurston Education Foundation at


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Graveside Service

11:00 am
Friday, May 31, 2019
Masonic Memorial Park
455 North Street SE
Tumwater, Washington, United States
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