In loving memory of

Philip Jeffrey Berger
June 28, 1943 - February 11, 2020

Philip Jeffrey Berger (June 28, 1943 - February 11, 2020)

Philip Jeffrey Berger of Ames, Iowa died on February 11, he was 76 years old. He was born June 28, 1943 in Newark, NJ, to Philip Graham and Jean Weller Berger. He grew up in Pittstown, NJ, and was active in 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts, and was elected president of his high school class. He graduated from North Hunterdon High School. He received a B.S. from Delaware Valley College in 1965 and received his doctorate in philosophy from The Ohio State University in 1970. For 38 years, he taught graduate students and conducted research in Dairy Cattle Breeding at Iowa State University. He was a fellow of the American Dairy Science Association. He was awarded the J.L. Lush Award for Animal Breeding and Genetics by the American Dairy Science Association in 2008.

In 1965, he was united in marriage to his wife of 54 years Frances A. Williams. From this marriage two children were born: Sarah and Philip. Jeff was an active member of Collegiate United Methodist Church and was a supportive father and 4-H and Cub Scout leader. He enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening. He was a skilled woodworker. He enjoyed reading historical non-fiction and mystery novels.

His parents preceded him in death. Jeff is survived by his loving wife, Frances; daughter, Sarah (David) Selkovits; son, Philip Berger; and four sisters Jennifer Stanley, Kim Berger, Susan Berger, and Sally (Emily Mode) Berger; and many beloved former graduate students.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. prior to a funeral at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 16 at Collegiate United Methodist Church in Ames. Committal will follow at Nichols Chapel. A light lunch will be served at the church afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The ALS Association, Iowa Chapter, 3636 Westown Pkwy, Ste. 204, W. Des Moines, IA 50266 or Collegiate United Methodist Church, 2622 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014.

Online condolences may be directed to


Kenneth C Vliet wrote on Feb 25, 2020:

"I, Ken Vliet, have good memories of Jeff Berger, a classmate at North Hunterdon High School in Flemington New Jersey. We spent 4 years together in Vocational Agriculture program there. We usually ate lunch together every day. Jeff was president of our 1961 Senior Class. On our class trip to Washington, DC, he did us proud by sneaking out after 9 pm curfew and buying food for myself and our 2 buddies Glen Sliker and Ron Batson. Jeff got caught and the chaperones at our food. I am so glad to have continued our friendship for all these years. Our deepest sympathy to Fran, Sarah and Phillip from Annette & Ken."

Laura Bestler wrote on Feb 24, 2020:

"I am grateful that I got to know Professor Berger while taking CyRide red route to campus each day. He always had a good story, perfect advice, and a smile that just helped the world shine a bit more. I know that he loved his work at Iowa State - and especially loved his family. My prayers out to you all and all who knew him - Peace, Laura Bestler"

Jackie wrote on Feb 23, 2020:

"Dear Frances Ann and Family, We?re sorry to hear of Jeff?s fight with ALS. And I?m very saddened to hear of the sorrow the family has been going through. It tough as my dad suffered for 10 years with it. Jeff?s resting in Gods hands now . My prayers with you and your family. Love Don and Jackie"

Mary Hegland Kennedy wrote on Feb 20, 2020:

"Sarah & Philip, so sorry to hear about your father's passing. "

Pamela Riney-Kehrberg wrote on Feb 17, 2020:

"I am so sorry to hear about Jeff. For years, we rode the same bus to, and often from, work. He always had something kind to say. He?d light up with a smile, and we would have a lovely conversation. He was such a good man."

Denny Funk wrote on Feb 15, 2020:

"Jeff was a wonderful, kind, and thoughtful instructor, adviser and friend. I recall many times sitting in his office while a graduate student, never ever being told that he was too busy to help you right now. He always had time for students. I fondly remember Jeff and Fran opening their home to my family for a reception following my graduation from graduate school. Scores of other graduate students could share similar stories. My sincere condolences to the family. He will be missed by so many. "

David Kelley wrote on Feb 14, 2020:

"If you look in the dictionary for the meaning of gentleman or gentle man, both should include a picture of Jeff. He always had a smile, always greeted you warmly whether you had last seem him five minutes ago or five years ago. Never a frown, always a smile. Always ready to lend a hand or offer a suggestion, no matter how small or large the request. The world is a darker place with him no longer in it. My deepest sympathy to Fran, Sarah and Phillip. David Kelley"