June K. Berg's Gifts of Music - Residents of the Benedictine
- Published on Friday, 13 February 2009 21:31
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
Arrangements have been made to provide periodic small music group concerts to the residents of the Benedictine Health Care Center at Innsbruck (New Brighton, MN) as memorial love gift's of music from June K. Berg and as a reflection of God's love. Each concert will be at least one hour in length.
The purpose of this memorial gift is to provide music to the residents at regular intervals composed of four (4) special occasions every year. The gifts of music are in honor of and memory of June K. Berg a former resident.
June was a resident of the Alzheimer's "Villa" at the Benedictine Health Care Center from March 24th, 2006 until she passed on from the complications of Alzheimer's on October 23rd, 2008. (2 years and 7 months later.)
The four (4) occasions every year will be:
1. Valentine's Day February 14th. (June was Stan Berg's wife as well as the love and light of his life.)
2. Mother's Day - second Sunday of May. (June was the mother of four (4) children, 10 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.)
3. June and Stan Berg's Wedding Anniversary - 16 August. (June and Stan were married for 56 years before Alzheimer's took June's life.)
4. June Berg's Birthday on 8 November. (June was born on 8 November 1927 and was just 16 days short of her 81st birthday when she went to her heavenly home.
June and Stan were both appointed as Purple Angel World Dementia Ambassadors (October 2013) for the purpose of promoting world wide awareness of Alzheimer's and the dementia diseases. Such an awareness will in turn promote funding for research to find a cure and to promote proper care practices. June was appointed an honorary Purple Angel Ambassador with Stan as her representative in order to promote her many charitable programs that all have an Alzheimer's and dementia awareness connection. June is the only resident of Heaven to have received this honor...and who actually lives among the Angels...The Purple Angel world headquarters is in Devon, United Kingdom.
The music concert to be provided will be music of the 40's and 50's, traditional Gospel music and classical country - western and Bluegrass music. This was June's favorite music and is the music that appeals to the largest representative age group and temperament found in most nursing homes. While there will be many songs played during the hour long concert, five (5) songs will always be included as a standard among the songs perfomed during the concert.
Click on the below "blue" links to hear the five (5) songs that will be standard at every performance of June's little concert. Some are by the artists that made the original song's famous. Elvis Presley sings "Take My Hand Precious Lord", Jimmy Swaggart sings "Peace in the Valley". Both of these Gospel songs were written by Thomas Dorsey, the song writer that coined the term "Gospel Music" and who was himself a victim of Alzheimer's. Patti Page sings "Tennessee Waltz". Kim Hopper, David Phelps and the entire Gaither Gospel Team join together to do a rousing rendition of " I'll Fly Away." Finally, Vera Lynn the original WWII singer who made this song famous, sings "We'll Meet Again."
The Gospel songs - "Take My Hand Precious Lord" and the 50's song - "Tennessee Waltz" (June and Stan's song),- "Peace in the Valley", "I'll Fly Away" and "We'll Meet Again" will be standards at every performance by June's small concert group. "Take my Hand Precious Lord" and "Peace in the Valley" were both performed at June's funeral services.
Take My Hand Precious Lord was also played at the funerals of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson.
(Latest Alzheimer's Association figures show that 69% of all residents of nursing homes have Alzheimer's or some other dementia impairment. This type of music has been determined to be very compatible with this age group and type of impairment. Studies have shown that music is therapy for Alzheimer's and dementia patients and for the elderly.) To review the essay on the therapudic value of music as found on this website, click on the below link:
The small group music concert will normally be performed in the Oakview Neighborhood Dining Room at the Benedictine Health Care Center. The timing will normally be during the noon hour (12:30 PM to 1:30 PM) as this fits the operational schedules of the various neighborhoods in this nursing home.
Because the sound of the violin has special meaning to June, the small 2-5 piece group performing the hour long concert will always have a violinist as a key performer. June's father (Henry Rolstad) and her favorite uncle (Jake Varnes) both played the violin during their lifetimes. (Both have also since passed on.) I am sure that they will all three (June, her father Henry and her uncle Jake) be looking on from their heavenly home and nodding their approval at the music they hear.
I recall very clearly how on one occasion as June and I walked into a Bluegrass session just as twin violins struck up their soulful sounds...
June looked up at me, smiled and said "I am so happy." (June was then already well into the shadows of Alzheimer's) These gifts of music in June's behalf will make her very happy..
At the present time our violinist is a talented young lady from Ramsey, MN. (Photo on right) This young lady is Katelyn Ek. Katelyn also performed at June's funeral services. Currently the other members of our small concert group are: Dan Fish (Guitar), Sylvan Hilber (Banjo), Richard Lee (Base), and Roy Westlund (Dobro)
Note: Since our violinist Katelyn Ek has left our group to attend college in Iowa, we have been fortunate to have Gilmore Lee join our group as a violinist. (8 November 2012) Gilmore is a very accomplished and noted violinist. Sherrie Stombaugh has joined our group as our violinist for our Valentine's Day Performance on February 14th, 2013. Sherrie not only is an expert violinist but she also teaches the violin as a part of her job at Schmitt Music Co..
We have named this accomplished group of "BlueGrass" entertainers and artists: "June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five." Dan has assumed the duties of the MC for all of the presentations
Note from Kathy Ek about her daughter Katelyn (6/2/2012)
”Wartburg College in Iowa has awarded her (Katelyn) with the highest scholarship to have; The Meistersinger Music Scholarship in Strings Performance. She is going in the fall to pursue her dream to be a Music Therapist and Music Education Major. She realized from all these performances here at the Benedictine Alzheimer’s Villa that her true dream is to help people heal and to see the happy faces that it brings to the residents at the home. She would like to give thanks to Stan Berg (June Berg) for asking her to play the violin back 3 years ago for his wife June, later at June’s Funeral and then to start the tributes to June; 4 times a year… (June’s Gifts of Music to the Benedictine Residents)” Dan Fish then added a note: “It will be a blessing to Stan…surrounded with the wrapping of June Berg’s love for the style of music we are performing.”
Stan’s Note: (25 August 2012) Katelyn, our violinist who has performed at all 16 of June’s Gifts of Music concerts for the residents of the Benedictine Nursing Home, performed her last regular performance with our group on 16 August 2012. In September Katelyn will be leaving to attend college in Iowa. There may be future times that there will be openings in her schedule that would permit her to perform with the group as “special occasions.” I saw Katelyn today at the Culver’s Blue Grass Jam session in Blaine. Katelyn presented me with a “thank you card” addressed to both June and myself. I was touched by the contents of the card and the inclusion of June. The message read:
“Stan and June,
Thank you for the wonderful times playing at the Villa…thank you for the gifts of money. It is really nice and will help me through my college. Thank you for helping me find my career in life. Love, Katelyn.”
Katelyn has a special connection to this Gift of Music memorial for June…The violin had special meaning to June and reminded her of her Dad and favorite Uncle. Katelyn has been with our group since day one in the year 2008 and also played for June at her funeral. I am very happy that Katelyn gives credit to June for helping her find a future career in “Music Therapy”.
The below photo of the group was taken during their performance at the Benedictine Health Care Center on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2011. (L-R - Katelyn Ek, Roy Westlund, Dan Fish, Sylvan Hilber and Richard Lee.) This performance was also recorded in a surprise visit by a KARE 11 TV - News team and the video was aired on their afternoon news that day....
The below link is to the KARE 11 - TV - News Team's coverage of this event as a Valentine's Day feature item on 14 February 2011:
The photo below was taken following the Mother's Day performance in May 2013 at the Benedictine Nursing Home by June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five...(from left to right) Sylvan (Banjo), Dick (Bass), Gilmore (Violin), Stan, (June's Norwegian troll earthly assistant) Sherrie (Violin) and Dan (Guitar and MC) All are also vocalists.
It is with a sad heart that I report the death of Roy C. Westlund, a friend and one of the musicians that performed in most of the past 22 quarterly performances of June’s gifts of music to the residents of the Benedictine Nursing Home…
Roy passed away on 31 March 2014 but I did not learn of his passing until today…Roy performed both as a vocalist and played a DoBro…
Roy was age 89 and I will be age 86 in two months…Roy and I were both Lutherans and because of our ages I often wondered which of us would be called home by God first…it was Roy…
I have placed the following comments in Roy’s online guest book….
“Roy was a long time member of "June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five" that performed hour long quarterly concerts for the residents of the Benedictine Health Care Center in Innsbruck, New Brighton...he performed in most of the past 22 concerts performed at this nursing home...He was sponsored by June K. Berg along with four other musical artists as June's Memorial Gift to the Nursing home where she lived her last few years before dying of Alzheimer's...I am sure that June has already met Roy in her heavenly home and if musicians like Roy continue to exercise their talents in Heaven, then June is listening to Roy's music in person...Roy was a man of faith and I used to enjoy watching Roy when the Gospel Song "I'll Fly Away" was performed and Roy imitating the flying away motions suggested by the song...as June's earthly assistant, I have done the necessary coordinating of "June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five" over the years...Because Roy and I were both in our 80's I could not help often wondering which of us would be called home by God first...Roy has gone first and I will very much miss both his musical artistry as well as his warm personality and friendship...thanks for the years and the songs you provided to the residents of the Benedictine Roy, you were great!! “
Stanton Berg… 8 April 2014
Julie Berg, my daughter and the neighborhood coordinator for the Oakview Neighborhood at the Benedictine where the performances were all held, on hearing of Roy's death commented: "I am so sorry to hear that. "The Residents really liked him and I will miss that kindness in his smile."
Current Members - Performers
June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five
Daniel "Dan" Fish - MC - Guitar - Vocalist
Sherine "Sherie" Peterson - Violin - Vocalist
Richard "Dick" Lee - Bass - Vocalist
Sylvan "Syl" Hilber - Banjo - Vocalist
Nathan "Nate" Fjeld - Guitar - Vocalist
(The above photo of "June's Benedictine Blue Grass Five" was taken at June and Stan's Anniversary performance on Sunday 16 August 2015...L-R the group is Syl on Banjo, Nathan on Guitar, Dan our MC and Guitarist, Dick on Bass and Sherie on Violin.)
Past Events Log:
1. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Saturday November 8th, 2008. 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM (2 Guitars and 1 Violin.)
2. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Saturday February 14th, 2009. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Bass player, Vocalist and a Violinist. )
3. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 10th, 2009. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Bass player, vocalist and Violinist.)
4. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 57th Anniversary, Sunday August 16th, 2009. 12 noon to 1 PM. (Bass player, Guitar, vocalist and Violin.)
5. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday Sunday 8 November 2009. 12 noon to 1 PM. (Mandolin, Do Bro, Guitar and Violin.)
6. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Sunday February 14th, 2010. 12 noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Violin, Bass, Guitar and Dobro.)
7. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 9th, 2010. 12 noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Guitar, Dobro and Violin.)
8. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 58th Anniversary, Monday August 16th, 2010. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
9. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Monday November 8th, 2010. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
10. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Monday February 14th, 2011. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Violin and Bass.) Channel 11 one of the local TV stations video taped the entire performance and it was on their afternoon news that day...
11. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 8th, 2011. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
12. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 59th Anniversary, Tuesday August 16th, 2011. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Guitar, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
13. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Tuesday November 8th, 2011. 12 Noon to 1 PM. (Guitar, Bandjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
14. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Tuesday February 14th, 2012. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Bandjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
15. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 13th, 2012. 12:30 to 1: 45 PM (Guitar, Bandjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.) The group voluntarily played an additional 15 minutes because of the occasion and having additional songs that they wanted to play for the group.
16. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 60th Anniversary, Thursday August 16th, 2012. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Bandjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
17. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Thursday November 8th, 2012. 12:30 to 1:35 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
18. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Thursday February 14th, 2013. 12:30 to 1:40 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Violin and Bass.)
19. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 12th, 2013. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, 2 violins and a Bass.)
20. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 61st Anniversary, Friday August 16th, 2013. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Bass, 2 Violins and a dobro.)
21. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Friday November 8th, 2013. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Bass, violin and Dobro.)
22. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Friday February 14th, 2014. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Violin and Dobro.)
23. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 11th, 2014. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (Guitar, Banjor, Bass and Violin)
24. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 62nd Anniversary, Saturday August 16th, 2014, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. (Guitar, Banjo, Bass and Violin.)
25. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday Saturday November 8th, 2014. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (2 Guitars, Mandolin, Bass and Violin.)
26. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Saturday February 14th, 2015. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (2 Guitars, 1 Banjo, 1 violin and 1 bass.)
27. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday May 10th, 2015. 12:30 to 1:30 PM. (1 Banjo, 2 Guitars, 1 Violin and 1 bass.)
28. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 63rd Anniversary, Sunday August 16th, 2015. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (1 Banjo, 2 Guitars, i Bass and 1 Violin.)
29. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Sunday 8 November 2015. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (1 Banjo, 2 Guitars, 1 Bass and 1 Violin.)
30. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Sunday 14 February 2016. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. (1 Banjo, 1 Bass, 2 Guitars and 1 Violin.)
31. Music at the Benedictine on Mother's Day, Sunday 8 May 2016. 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (1 Banjo, 1 Bass, 2 Guitars and 1 Violin )
32. Music at the Benedictine on June and Stan's 64th Anniversary, Tuesday August 16th, 2016. .(12:30 to 1:30 PM (2 guitars, 1 Violin and 1 Bass.)
33. Music at the Benedictine on June's Birthday, Tuesday 8 November 2016, 12:30 to 1:30 PM (1 Banjo, 1 Bass, 2 Guitars and 1 Violin.)
34. Music at the Benedictine on Valentine's Day, Tuesday 14 February 2017. (12:30 to 1:30 PM (1 Banjo, 1 Bass, 2 Guitars and 1 Violin.)
Christine Pickard - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (8 November 2012): "I like what you are doing. This wonderful tribute carefully thought about with love ..."
Alzheimer's Disease Research - Clarksburg, Maryland - (14 February 2013): "This is great. Thanks for keeping us posted with everything you are doing to further the cause!"
Maxine J. Bailey - Rotherham, United Kingdom - (14 February 2013): "We will meet again is close to my heart too."
Terry Shepherd - Warsaw, Indiana - (15 August 2013): "Just beautiful, the whole thoughts and actions beautiful."
Donald Hiatt - Clovis, California - (15 August 2013): "I will be listening for the echoes of June's gift to the people in that nursing home. My prayer just now is that it will give you peace for the day and fond memories in the evening ... Blessings... Don."
Jacqueline Crowther - Manchester, United Kingdom - (16 August 2013): "Top effort well done enjoy, am sure you all will."
Bonnie Seip - Ottsville, Pennsylvania - (8 November 2013): "What a Beautiful Memory for you and June .... Enjoy your Special Day Mr Berg ... I'm sure this means so much to you but yet brings tears ... Happy yet sad ... I'm sure she is MISSED by many .. God Bless you and yours ..."
Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc. - Mount Pearl, Canada - (24 February 2014): "Thank you so much for passing this along; we hope you'll continue to share valuable resources with us! -Amelia White, Events Coordinator."
Shibley Rahman - London, United Kingdom - (11 May 2014): "I wish to do a section on music and humour in my next book."
Louise Ann Howard - Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia - (11 May 2014): "Wow what a lovely page...Love her beautiful smile , hope you and your family had a very lovely mothers day"
Bernadette Brady - Dublin, Ireland - (12 May 2014): "Stan...I have a little gift of some music for you! We have a wonderful lady who visits the hospital where Mom is a patient. She visits every Monday afternoon and she plays all sorts of music for the patients. Her favourite music is Bluegrass. She plays the Autoharp. I remember seeing a post by you before where you mentioned liking Bluegrass music. So, I told this lady about you and about June and last Monday she handed me an envelope and said it was for you! She Recorded a CD with some fellow musicians and she brought me a copy for you. I don't have your address but if you would private message me with it here on Facebook I will mail the CD to you. I think you will enjoy it. You bring Junes gift of music to so many and now I have a small gift of music for you from an Irish musician who was so touched by Junes story. And by your love and devotion to her... I'm so happy that this brought you some joy on a sad day. The musicians name is Maeve Tonor and we spoke of you and June this afternoon again during Maeves music session at the hospital. I have been on this journey with my Mom for almost 13 years. And while it has broken my heart so much, it has also allowed me to meet some amazing people along the way. June's story touched me from the first time I read about her. Your love for each other and how you walked the journey together right to the very end. And how June is still touching lives today, through your sharing her story with others. Now more people here in Ireland know about June and about you and Maeve wanted to reach out to you with her music. I am so happy that we can do this. Yourself and June have now become part of our music on Mondays here in Dublin where we will always remember both of you."
John Stevens - Twin Falls, Idaho - (12 May 2014):"There is no better way to go than in the arms of God."
Joyce Toone - Bolton, United Kingdom - (17 August 2014):"Awww Stan your lovely June shares the same birthday as my Daddy, they can have a party in heaven."
Rose Elley - San Diego, California - (17 August 2014): "So touching Stan to hold a concert for June's birthday, Mother's Day, June and Stan's wedding anniversary, and Valentine's Day .."
Jane Vertenten - Okehampton, United Kingdom - (17 August 2014):"Thank you Stan I could imagine you and June dancing to the Tennessee Waltz it was beautiful...Precious memories."
Kim Casper Turney - Watertown, Wisconsin - (17 August 203): "Precious Lord, Take My Hand' is a song I picked out years ago as one song for my funeral. Thank you for sharing this Stan!...Wow, Stan, i didn't realize all those facts. I cannot sing this in church because I cry. It's a very powerful song."
Lorraine Womack - Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom- (8 September 2014): "Stanton what a lovely tribute to June those concerts are too. At the Music for Memory group where I used to take my lovely late husband and where I now volunteer we also always end with 'We"ll Meet Again" and "Thank You for the Music...your wife had a beautiful smile, I'm sure she was a wonderful person."
Kim Casper Turney - Watertown, Wisconsin - (8 November 2014): "Thinking of you today, Stan. June's memory lives on as you continue to share her life with so many. Wish I could run to Minnesota to hear the performance and see the faces of those listening...And someday when I visit my daughter and son-in-law in Mankato, I would love to take a drive out to see you, and June's resting place"
Catherine Jones-Hatcher - Richmond, Virginia - (8 November 2014): "This makes me smile... just to think of the smiles going on there earlier today."
Louise Ann Howard - Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia - (8 November 2014): "Oh Stan so lovely to hear. Yes June would have had the best seat in the house. Celebrating life oh we all cannot wait to enjoy life for our own beautiful eternity together singing playing our instruments and sure there is much more in store for us when it is our turn to reach that other shore oh what paradise."
Jan Allen - Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom - (14 February 2015): "I continue to be very moved by all that you do in June's name . It is particularly moving for me as my MIL ( diagnosed since 2001 ) is called June and my husband's father is Stan . May you continue to feel God's blessing in your life as you rejoice in what you had and cope with your dreadful loss."
Marie Langley - Victoria, British Columbia - (10 May 2015): "Stanton this is a wonderful bequest and perfect way to keep June's spirit remembered for a long time. Nothing in the world.has the power that music does to both soothe and animate the mind and refresh memories. With so many care facilities cutting budgets for the arts, I wish more families would consider this kind of bequest."
Tom O'Neill - Santa Clara, California - (10 May 2015): "Music is such an important part of life Stan, ...good ...to continue the memories."
Patrice Kohn - McKinney, Texas - (16 August 2015):"God bless you for what you do daily to honor your dear wife June. Happy Anniversary and may tomorrow be another special musical performance!"
Louise Scanlon - Ebbw Vale, United Kingdom - (16 August 2015):"Have a wonderful time Stanton, everything will go well you will have June on your side, so a beautiful thought and gift to the home now and in the future, happy anniversary, big warm hug best wishes Lou."
Sharon Kay Carey - Grand Terrace, California - (16 August 2015): "Nice! We share the same anniversary date! I love my Martin like you love your June. We are 17 years of happiness tomorrow, August 16th."
Janet Ashenden - Derby, United Kingdom - (16 August 2015): "Happy anniversary. The concert sounds wonderful. Enjoy."
Lyn Young - Elgin, Moray, United Kingdom - (16 August 2015): " What a tribute to June and your marriage that I'm sure gives others lots of pleasure! Enjoy and have a good day. June will be proud. Take care."
Catherine Jones-Hatcher - Richmond, Virginia - (16 August 2015): "Have a wonderful time! I know it must give you such pleasure, and also to see all the residents enjoying it so!!!"
Toots Scudder - London, United Kingdom - (16 August 2015):"Stanton what ever you put your hand to will go well, especially as you have your beautiful June watching over you...
Jackie Irving - Liverpool, United Kingdom - (18 August 2016):"I trust you had a fabulous time as always at these concerts Stan ...when your listening and enjoying the music do you get lost in thoughts about June and how she would love it ...no doubt she is right beside you enjoying right along with you ...I truly believe our loved ones remain close to us Stan just waiting to be reunited...this band looks fabulous ...music seems to reach the inner soul ...my mum loves music and still knows the words and sings along to all the songs on the playlist we compiled for her...take care Stan and God bless."