Wilma Jean Berger
Wilma Jean Berger, 91, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones on October 31, 2022 at River Bend Assisted Living in Great Bend, Kansas.
She was born January 25, 1931 in Hays, Kansas, the daughter of Walter George and Olivia Margaret (Rupp) McIntosh. She married Walter A. Korbe on June 3, 1948, to which they were blessed with three children: William Allen, Debra Jean, and Walter Joseph. They later divorced. On March 17, 1976, she married Fred W. Berger.
Jean was a farm girl from Hays who attended rural country schools in her early years and Girls Catholic High School until her marriage in 1948. She later attended Hays High School to receive her high school diploma and attended college classes at Fort Hays State University and Barton County Community College in Great Bend. She worked as a secretary for Henry Pierce Insurance Agency, which Bruce Buehler purchased and changed to High Plains Insurance. In 1968, Fred Berger and silent partner Leo Dreiling formed Insurance Planning, Inc. Jean retired in 1987 as an underwriter and secretary.
Jean was a hard-working wife and mother, talented artist in oil painting, creative in a variety of crafts and ceramics, and an amateur photographer. She loved gardening and growing the perfect roses, traveling with Fred and many times with her grandchildren. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family and close friends and traveling to various places to support her children and grandchildren’s endeavors. She had a very tender heart and was always reaching out to those who were hurting or in need.
Jean was a former member of Insurance Women of Hays, Daughters of Isabella, Soroptimist International, Etudian Club, PEO Chapter HR, Cub Scout Den Mother, the Grandparents Program through Fort Hays State University, and a Senior Companion in Great Bend. She was a beloved child of Christ, former member of Celebration Community Church before moving to Great Bend in 2014, and currently a member of the First Christian Church in Great Bend.
Survivors include her loving husband and best friend, Fred of Great Bend, daughter: Debra J. (Clayton) Noffsinger of Great Bend, stepson: Brad A. Berger of Aptos, CA, brother: Francis McIntosh of Smith Center, sister: Agnes Hammerschmidt of Hutchinson, brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Charles and Sally Berger of Soddy, TN, daughter-In-law: Mary LaFlamme of Hays, grandchildren: Candi Pfannenstiel, Jeffrey Noffsinger, Jennifer (Nathan) Sullivan, Cory (Sheena) Noffsinger, Jacki Klug, Lana McClanahan, and John Kinderknecht, and 18 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sons: William Allen Korbe and Walter Joseph Korbe, stepson: Brent Berger, stepdaughter: Babette Kinderknecht, brother: Charles Oscar McIntosh, sister: Dorothy Fross, and one granddaughter: Emily Faye Noffsinger.
A Celebration of Life will be at 10:00 am on Friday, November 4, 2022 at Celebration Community Church, with Pastor Brant Rice and Pastor Josh Leu officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm until 7:00 on Thursday at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home and from 9:00 am until service time on Friday at the church. Memorials may be made payable to: Heartland Community Foundation for the Fred and Jean Berger, Insurance Planning, Inc. Charitable Fund or to Gentiva Hospice. Condolences and memories of Jean may be shared with her family at www.haysmemorial.com