Born February 28, 1942 in Joliet, James Anthony was a son of Anton James and Mildred Frances Trezek Berta. He was raised in Coal City and was a 1960 graduate of Coal City High School.
On August 17, 1963, Jimmy married Cheryl Watson in Assumption Catholic Church in Coal City. They made their home on a farm in Livingston County, outside of Odell.
In 1976, the family moved into Dwight, where they established roots alongside wonderful neighbors in the best neighborhood to raise a family.
A man of strong work ethic, Jim worked as a coal miner for 15 years; farmed most of his life up until 1983, and owned and operated Berta Hardware in Dwight with his wife for 32 years.
During those years in business he cherished meeting people from the community and the surrounding area, which provided the opportunity to create lasting relationships. Jim was a member of the Chamber of Commerce for many years and served as past president. He participated in the Economic Development Council, where he had a term as president, and also served on the Dwight Village Board.
Jim was also a 4-H leader for two-and-a-half years, and a parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dwight.
In his spare time, Jim took pleasure in fishing; had a passion for gardening, and demonstrated his ability to grow a pristine lawn. His greatest accomplishment, however, was being a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He cherished spending time with his family.
Surviving are his wife of nearly 55 years, Cheryl; three children: Brian Berta (Sarah) of Dwight; Sherri (Marty) Hatzer of Pontiac; and Kevin (Stacie) Berta of Dwight; and grandchildren: Anthony Berta (Shelley), Aaron Hatzer, Ashlee Hatzer (Trevor), Cody Hatzer (Baylee), Kathryn Berta and Elizabeth Berta.
Also surviving are his siblings: Beverly Rehberg of Lisbon; Diane (Ed) Hyer of Ft. Pierce, Florida; Jan (Dave) Ely of Kankakee; Bonnie (Dan) Kaye of The Villages, Florida; and Berry (Sherry) Berta of Coal City; sisters-in-law: Betty Watson of Coal City and Lana Pogliano of Walnut; brother-in-law, Ronald (Rita) Watson of New Buffalo, Michigan; numerous nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and his faithful canine companion, Maggie.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers-in-law: Bill Rehberg, John Pogliano, Jr. and Dennis Watson, Sr.; and a niece, Roxanne Rehberg-Aper.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Chris Haake Tuesday, July 31, at 10 a.m. in St. Patrick Catholic Church, Dwight.
Burial: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Dwight, with Anthony Berta, Aaron Hatzer, Cody Hatzer, Bret Berta, Marc Cieslak and Randall Rehberg serving as pallbearers.
A visitation was held in St. Patrick Church from 4 until 8 p.m., Monday.
Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707; to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105; or a charity of the donor’s choosing.
The guestbook may be signed, photographs upload-ed, or Jim’s memorial page shared online at:
Funeral arrangements were made under the direction of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd.