Alameda: USS Hornet Museum's Chaplain Dies - NBC Bay Area
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Alameda: USS Hornet Museum's Chaplain Dies

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    The chaplain of the USS Hornet Museum, located in Alameda, died on Sunday, museum officials announced.

    Chaplain John Berger would have been 95 next month.

    Berger was a WWII veteran and had served as the Hornet's chaplain since 1998, when the museum opened to the public, according to museum officials. He conducted nondenominational services and invocations at public events, museum officials said.

    The USS Hornet is an aircraft carrier, which was in service in WWII. The ship recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule and first men to walk of the moon, according to the museum's website.

    Berger was known as "Chaplain John" and he came from a line of military chaplains that goes back to the Civil War, museum officials said. His father served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army.

    Berger was best known for his tremendous kindness and sense of humor. But during his life he also stressed the motto "Service above self," museum officials said.

    "Chaplain John felt very much at home here on the Hornet," museum CEO Randall Ramian said. "We're planning a future shipboard memorial service that will be held in the same positive spirit he fostered among everyone."

    A funeral service is planned for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Willow Glen Funeral Home, 1039 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose. A viewing will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Bill Crystal, a man Berger mentored more than 30 years ago, will conduct the service.  

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