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Obituaries » William Raymond Berger II

William Raymond Berger II

January 11, 1952 - February 2, 2018

Burial Date February 7, 2018

A gathering in celebration of Buzz Berger’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Road, Fitchburg, MA, from 6—8 pm, with a brief service at 8 pm. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leominster High School Band Boosters, C/O Barry Hudson, 122 Granite Street, Leominster, MA 01453.


LEOMINSTER – “Buzz,” as he was always affectionately known, 66, passed away on February 2, 2018, after a brief illness at HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, MA, surrounded by family and friends.

William Raymond Berger II was born on January 11, 1952, in Boston, MA, son of W. Raymond Berger and Barbara W. (Straker) Berger. After his family moved to Leominster, Buzz began attending Leominster public schools in the fifth grade and graduated from Leominster High School, Class of 1970. He attended Graham Junior College and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, where he studied golf course architecture and design under Robert Trent Jones Sr. Subsequently, he worked as the superintendent of the Fort Devens Army Base golf course from 1974—1984 and then joined the Leominster Public Works Cemetery Department, where he worked at Evergreen Cemetery. He retired in 2009.

Buzz enjoyed a lifelong passion for music that included being a founding member of his first band, The Henchmen, in seventh grade. He developed a unique guitar style and distinctive blues voice. Over the years, The Henchmen evolved into the still-performing local band Neurotic Gumbo, with whom he played bass from 1994 to 2003. He always continued to be a close and loyal supporter of his former band mates and the Gumbo “crew.”

He loved motorcycles and owned various machines through the years; he was meticulous in keeping the chrome in pristine condition. Sun and surf always had great allure, and he enjoyed many trips to the beach and his favorite island, Aruba. Along with the music, beyond the beach, and beneath the motorcycles, and always with humor was his love for growing and maintaining creeping bent grass, the finicky grass of golf course greens. For Buzz, a successful growing season meant a lush, perfect lawn and a deep George Hamilton tan.

Buzz leaves the guiding, anchoring focus of his life, his beloved daughter Kelly B. Berger, and her partner Meghann E. Holloway, both of Baltimore, MD. He is also survived by his former wife Carol P. Shields of Sterling, MA, and his closest friends, Artie (Jay) DiGeronimo and David Demar.   His quick wit, his unique and quirky take on things, and his charming ways are deeply missed by all who knew him.