Berton, William Kurt, Saginaw, Michigan


Beloved husband of Shirley (Weinberg) Berton for 67 years, he passed away peacefully on February 11, 2015, at his home surrounded by loved ones. He was 94 years old. William Kurt Berton (originally Willi (Wolf) Berlowitz) was born August 8, 1920 in Berlin, Germany. Bill left Germany in 1933 for schooling in France and Italy at the request of his parents, Julius and Else, who foresaw danger in Germany. His parents were later taken to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. He emigrated to Cuba in 1938 because of the War in Germany. From Cuba, Bill emigrated to the U.S. in 1940. After a short stay in LaCrosse, Wisconsin he moved to Milwaukee, and in 1944 joined the Army. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Second Lieutenant. On February 15, 1948 he married Shirley Weinberg after meeting her at a social function in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and winning her heart. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1951, and held engineering positions in Wisconsin and Michigan. He then entered Wayne State University Law School while working full time and raising his family. He graduated with a JD cum laude. Bill worked until his first retirement for Second National Bank in the Trust Department. He then continued his career doing legal work for the City of Saginaw and retired again when he was 84 years of age. Bill spoke seven languages and had a large number of interests. Most notable were writing (authored the book “Tol’Dot Mishpachat Berlowitz” …a personal writing endeavor that spanned over 30 years). He also enjoyed traveling, walking, photography, stamp & coin collecting, history, reading and kayaking. Bill typically walked 3-5 miles per day even during the most difficult weather conditions in Saginaw. He was a long standing member of Temple B’nai Israel and then Temple Beth Israel. Bill was preceded by his sister, Dina Weil of Haifa, Israel whom he loved dearly and vacationed with frequently. Bill is survived by his wife, Shirley; and their four children: Bruce Berton (fiancee, Sherry Henning) Troy MI, Elliot Berton (Lori) Shields MI, Robert Berton (Julie) Raleigh NC and Tamara Benkert (Tom) Shields MI; nine grandchildren: Aaron Berton (Bethany) Haslett, MI., Amy Kay (Jared) of Clinton Twp. , MI, Dayna Cary (Chad) Sandwich, MA, Gheric Berton (Elaine) Charlotte, NC, Nathan Berton (Renee) Charlotte, NC, Jacob Berton Atlanta, GA, Jordan Berton Tampa, FL, Ryan Benkert Tampa, FL and Megan Benkert Shields, MI; six great grandchildren: Tessa, Benjamin and Rebecca Cary, Cameron Berton, Haiden and Nora Berton. Bill is also survived by his wonderful Israeli family of nieces: Nava Efrony, Rona Taoz, Schlomit Cohen and their families. Bill leaves a legacy of honor, a wonderful moral and work ethic, and a family that will cherish his memory. A Funeral service for Bill will be held on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Road, Saginaw. Rabbi Karen Companez will officiate. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the funeral home on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service. Burial and Military Honors under the auspices of V.F.W. Post #1859 and the U.S. Army will follow at the Hebrew Cemetery on Washington Avenue, Saginaw. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Fischer Center for Alzheimer Research Foundation, http://www.alzinfo.org/. Share your thoughts and memories with the family at the funeral home or through www.deislerfuneralhome.com.