Rutherford Collins Berger died June 14, 2020. A private family service will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Dr. Berger was born May 11, 1925 in Greenville, Mississippi but was a life-long resident of Cleveland, Mississippi. He was graduated from Cleveland High School in 1942, and then served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, completing his duty with the rank of Ensign. He was graduated from Mississippi State University in January 1948 and in June, 1948, he and Mary Anne Horton were married at First Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, MS.
In addition to serving in World War II, Dr. Berger was recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict and served until 1952, honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant. Dr. Berger was a long time Cleveland retailer. In 1973, he became an assistant professor of business at Mississippi Valley State University, and then became a professor of marketing at Delta State University, after receiving his Doctor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University. He taught at Delta State for ten years. A lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Berger served faithfully as a deacon, an elder, Sunday school teacher, and a choir member.
Dr. Berger was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ruth Collins Berger, his brother, Lt. William Aaron Berger (USN), and a sister Shonnette Alexander. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Anne, daughter Mary Berger Carrick, sons Dr. Rutherford C. Berger, Jr. (Charlie), Dr. William Horton Berger. two daughters-in-law, Rebecca Berger and Sara J. Hughes; grandchildren Jason Carrick, Collin Berger (Karen), Aaron Carrick (Shannon), Anna Berger Copeland (Ryan), Sara Anne Berger, Mary Berger and Paul Berger. Great-grandchildren Emily Copeland, Edwin Copeland, Brayden Carrick, Teagan Carrick, Richard Berger, Julia Berger, and Kenzie Carrick. The family requests that any memorials be made to Helping Hands of Cleveland, P.O. Box 291, Cleveland, MS 38732.