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Berta E Shrum

January 26, 1928 ~ May 8, 2022 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Berta entered the peaceful forever after on the poetically appropriate day of Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2022. At 94 years of age, Berta passed due to natural causes after 6 months at Vista Manor nursing home in Titusville, Florida. She had been a Brevard County resident of 58 years.

Berta was born in Bad Königshofen im Grabfeld, Germany. She lived there with her parents, older brother, and younger sister until her father passed when she was 9. She lived for a short while with her grandparents in Rodach, Germany, which is where she was when WWII broke out.

She was able to return home when her mother found steady work at the post-office during the war. During this time, to assist with providing for her family, Berta worked as an office apprentice for a local feed and seed warehouse chain and attended vocational school on alternating days. Her time at vocational school ended when the hour train ride commute to school became too dangerous due to air raids and attacks by low-flying enemy planes.

Despite the challenge of finding work for women once the war had ended, Berta took up several more office jobs and eventually found herself working for the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper in Frankfurt. It was there that she met her future husband of 70 years, William. He was an American soldier working as a B-bag editor, whom she met while delivering teletype messages around the office.

In 1951, Berta left for North America to join Bill in Pennsylvania. She first immigrated to Ottawa, Canada. She and Bill were married soon after her arrival, with a sensible elopement before heading to work for the day. She worked as a bank clerk by day and restaurant staff by night until she was able to immigrate to the US in 1952. Bill and Berta lived in Pittsburgh, where Berta worked in the office of a Stock Brokerage house until their daughter, Cheryl, was born in 1955.

Berta and her family moved to Noblestown, PA and then to Aliquippa, PA a few years later when Cheryl was school aged. Steady work was hard to come by at the time and a friend suggested they might find more opportunities out of state. A fateful investment of building land at Port Charlotte on the West coast of Florida from a newspaper ad they had seen while living in PA led them to move to the state in 1964. Enroute to their destination, they stopped to visit friends outside of Orlando and enjoyed the area so much they decided to stay for a while, ultimately settling down on the Space Coast.

Berta worked at several notable and locally-owned restaurants in Cocoa Beach and Titusville, including Cocoa Beach Ramon’s, The Moon Islander, and Lamplighter South Lounge. She later became a Real Estate Associate until her retirement in 1982. Berta was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Titusville, serving on the treasury team for several years. A Jill-of-all-trade, Berta was a revered matriarch, passing on her work ethic and keen knowledge of investing money. She will be remembered for her creativity and self-taught DYI skills, which include woodworking, upholstery, oil-painting, landscaping, knitting, stained-glass, sewing and more. An unidentified feminist, she was head strong, confident, and courageous, instilling the same qualities in her daughter and granddaughters. She was a doting and supportive grandmother and will be dearly missed.

Berta is survived by her husband, Bill; daughter Cheryl and her husband Tom, granddaughter Talitha and her husband Phillip; granddaughter Tessa and her husband Francis; great-grandchildren Opal and Fox. Also surviving Berta is sister-in-law Marianne, nephews Claus and Hermann, grand nephew Thomas and grand niece Christiana, all of Germany.

Interment will be at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida.



Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
5525 U.S Highway 1
Mims, FL 32754


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