Jerry Berg's Death is Loss to Snow Pro Community
Snow pros around the world are mourning the untimely loss of Donald Jerome “Jerry” Berg, who died this week at the age of 61.
The man known as “Bergie” to the countless instructors he befriended, coached, and inspired reportedly died from injuries sustained during a bicycle crash near the town of Red Cliff, Colorado, on Monday, June 4.
In a long and illustrious snowsports career, Berg served PSIA-AASI’s Rocky Mountain Division as an examiner and as a member—then chair—of its Alpine Committee. He was a member of the PSIA Alpine Demonstration Team (now known as the PSIA Alpine Team) from 1988–92. A certified ski instructor in the United States, he was also certified by France’s Ecole du Ski Francais and was the founder of the Aspen Diva’s demo team.
“I’ve known him for 25 years or more. He was a guy that always wanted to make the demo team and finally got there and got that job done,” said Bob Barnes, a close friend and director of the Winter Park Ski & Ride School. “I was a two-time demo team member, and I made it after he did. We kind of had a connection, being alumni demo teamers. Jerry was always upbeat, real passionate, and a guy who called it like he saw it. He was real fun and energetic and I’m really going to miss him because he was a lot of fun to hang with.”
Since his death, condolences, memories, and tributes have been written in newspapers such as the Vail Daily, published on websites such as EpicSki.com, and posted to numerous Facebook pages, including the Snow Pros page, where new AASI Snowboard Team member Tony Macri wrote, “He is not only a legend in the ski world, but also the snowboard one as well.”
“He was always making the sport better—he was never content. And he was just fun to be around,” said Mike Porter, a former coach of the PSIA Alpine Demonstration Team. “He was charismatic and obviously he was a phenomenal skier. And he was always working on improving his skiing. He was always driving forward and never gave up.”
“I remember meeting Jerry—with my sister Megan—at CU Boulder when we took an early season day to Vail and went up and skied,” said Katie Ertl, a former PSIA Alpine Team member (1996–2004) and teams manager (2004–12). “We bumped into this group of supervisors from Aspen and met this new guy, Jerry Berg. What was really neat was getting introduced to everyone and skiing. At the end of the day, he said, ‘You guys are the next generation; you guys need to try out for the demo team.’ That was his character—he got really excited for other people and the opportunities that they had.”
Known as much for his blunt, straightforward style as he was for his passion for individual improvement and athletic excellence, Berg will be remembered in many ways, beginning with a memorial service on Sunday, June 10, at 3 p.m. at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion, located between Vail and Beaver Creek at 538 Eagle Road in Avon, Colorado.
“There will be void around him,” said Porter. “So many people today go to work and do their job and leave. He was 100 percent engaged—in the locker room or on the chairlift.”
A fund has been established to support Jerry Berg’s family, and donations—to the Dina Berg Donation Account—can be made at any branch of US Bank. Or, donations may be sent to:
c/o US Bank
Attn: Clare Dowd
34353 Highway 6 Side C-101
Edwards, CO 81632
(For more information, call 970-926-6130)
In addition, a Bergie’s Best Scholarship Fund (named after a website that he co-founded) is being set up in his name through the PSIA-RM Education Foundation. To learn more, contact the PSIA-RM office at 970-879-8335, or send donations to PSIA-RM Education Foundation, P.O. Box 775143, Steamboat, CO 80487.
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