James O. Berger, 85, Indianapolis

Jim BergerJames O. Berger, 85, Indianapolis, died Wednesday (July 24) in Indianapolis. He was born in Jasper on October 1, 1927, to Sylvester and Wilhemina Seger Berger.

Jim was a 1945 graduate of Jasper High School and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Indiana State Teachers College (Indiana State University). While at Indiana State, he was a member of the basketball team that won the NAIB Championship in 1950. John Wooden was his first coach at Indiana State. He was drafted by the Fort Wayne Zollners (which later became the Detroit Pistons) in 1951. He later was inducted into the Indiana State University Basketball Hall of Fame. He served in the U.S. Army immediately after high school for one year and again during the Korean War. James began his teaching career in Teutopolis, Illinois. He taught at Archbishop Paul C. Schulte High School in Terre Haute and spent most of his career from 1968-1989 in the Indianapolis Public School system at Northwest High School. He also coached football, basketball and baseball. He was a member of St. Mark Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council 3660 and the Indiana State Teacher’s Association.

Surviving are three sons, Mike (Joellen) Berger, Marty Berger, and Joe (Elaine) Berger; four daughters, Linda King (Jim), Beth Dodds (David), Barb Irwin (Jim), and Nina Eads (Jim); two sisters, Margaret Ann Holler and Mary Elizabeth Keller; one brother, William Berger; 22 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary H. Berger on April 5, 2012

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mark Catholic Church in Indianapolis. Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Daniel F. O’Riley Funeral Home in Indianapolis, where morning prayers will be said at 9:30 Monday prior to Mass. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

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