Holger Thomas Berthelsen, 71, passed away on September 28, 2018, at home surrounded by his family. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor.
A native of Berkeley, California, Holger’s family was of proud Danish heritage. His grandfather and father ran a car repair business in Berkeley, and Holger grew up working in the repair shop. As an adult, Holger lived for more than 40 years in Contra Costa County. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic, and then spent 30 years working at BART. He was active in the Northern California chapter of the Model T Ford Club of America for over 50 years. He also loved the outdoors, and volunteered with local environmental organizations, including SPAWNERS and The Watershed Project. He enjoyed camping and hiking, especially along the California coast. He had fun stories of family trips from when he was a child, and passed on these traditions to his children to help them create their own memories.
A truly generous soul, Holger lived his life helping and providing for others. He made friends with anyone, and was always willing to provide a helping hand or share his knowledge. He was happiest when collaborating with his friends on a car restoration project. An artist as well, he saw the world around him in a different light, and was able to find beauty and utility in things that others couldn’t. He could turn rusty pieces of metal into art, and appreciated nature’s smallest things: the color and texture of foliage or rock, insects, and even fungi. He had a quick sense of humor, and will be remembered for his ability to crack a joke – or play a sneaky prank.
Holger is survived by his wife of 37 years, his son, daughter, and three older sisters.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Muir Heritage Land Trust, Model T Ford Club of America, the Melanoma Research Foundation, or a charity of your choice.