William H. “Bill” Berger passed away peacefully on the evening of Sept. 17, 2022, just four days after his 92nd birthday.
Throughout his long life and career, Bill made a positive impact on many people as a teacher, a Christian, a coach, a soldier, a Model A owner, a loving husband, father, and grandfather.
Born in 1930 to immigrant parents from Belarus and Australia, Bill grew up in Oakland, California. He attended UC Berkeley, where he was their iconic Mascot Oski for three years. In 1953 he started a family, and soon after served in the Korean War as a second lieutenant.
Upon his return from the war, he moved to Goleta, where he was gifted a 1931 Model A 400 Convertible, which started his lifelong love of the car, club, and culture of the Model A. Many in Santa Barbara County waved to Bill as he drove that pretty yellow old car in all those parades.
As an Army reservist, Bill served until retirement, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.
One of his most remarkable legacies was his dedication to innovating and mainstreaming special education. His renowned career began at Parma Special Education School in Santa Barbara. He then moved to Dos Pueblos High School, where he piloted a program to integrate his students into the general education classrooms.
Bill was always much more than a classroom teacher. He coached sports teams, supported the cheer and PEP squad, and was the field announcer of many of the Dos Pueblos Charger’s home football games, among many other legacies. Bill was also an active member of the Goleta Presbyterian Church.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Joyce; sons Randall and Daniel; daughter Judith; stepson David; and granddaughters Sarah, Bek and Matilda.
In lieu of flowers, it was Bill’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of In-Honor Donations to Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org or Hillside House Santa Barbara at hillsidesb.org/donate.
Bill Berger is immortal because of the hundreds of Santa Barbara hearts that will carry a memory of him forever,
A celebration of Bill Berger’s life will take place at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at Goleta Presbyterian Church, 6067 Shirrell Way, Goleta. If you would like to participate remotely, the celebration will be streamed online on the Goleta Presbyterian Church YouTube channel.