Senate honors former Sen. Charles Berger


FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Senate has adopted Sen. Johnny Ray Turner’s Senate Resolution 225 honoring the life of former Senator Charles W. “Charlie” Berger.

“Today we recognized former Senator Berger for his achievements and for the work he did for not only Harlan County, but the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Turner, D-Prestonsburg, who now represents Harlan County in the Senate.

A graduate of Harlan High School, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Tennessee College of Law, Berger began his law career in Harlan in 1962. He later joined his brother Robert’s law practice in Pineville and practiced in both Pineville and Harlan until he retired in 2004.

Berger served under Gov. Wendell Ford on the Kentucky Public Service Commission. In 1979, he was elected to the Kentucky State Senate, where he served four consecutive terms. His colleagues elected him assistant president pro tempore and then later elected him president pro tempore.

A lifelong member of the Harlan Baptist Church, Berger was a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Toastmasters, and the Sons of the Confederacy. He was inducted into the Harlan Green Dragon Hall of Fame in 2012.

Berger, 80, passed away on March 14, 2016 at The Breckinridge in Lexington.

Berger was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin Southard Berger and Rebecca Ethington Berger, and his sister-in-law, Mina Berger. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; daughters, Robin Magnani (Steven) and Betsy Williams (Chet); grandchildren, Lexie, Christian, and Caroline; brother, Robert Berger, and sisters-in-law, Diane Turner (Harold) and Janet Wilson (Claude).

When the Senate adjourned on Monday, it did so in honor and memory of Charles W. Berger, the senator from Harlan.

Sen.Turner represents the 29th senatorial district that includes Floyd, Harlan, Knott and Letcher counties.

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