|Gus de Berdt
Dr. Augustus (Gus) Josephus Julianus de Berdt, age 85, of Rome, Ga. passed
away on Monday July 15, 2019 of natural causes at his home.
Dr. de Berdt was born in Brugge, Belgium on Feb 19, 1934. He earned three
graduate degrees -- his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee. He lived a full and
very interesting life that yielded so much. And his footprint can be best described
as a lifetime of service. First in his capacity as a priest, and then as a Protestant
minister. Continuing on this path of service he began teaching – sharing with
others his love of knowledge and language, which culminated with him as
Associate Professor of German language and German literature at Berry
College. He spoke seven different languages. He was instrumental in the
formation of the Foreign Language Department and was at its head from 1972 –
1985. He also established Berry’s Study Abroad Programs -- an idea inspired
by his students. He was actively involved with the Goethe institute, created Berry’
s first computerized language programs, and was President of the American
Association of Teachers of German – Georgia for 3 years. He also was Berry’s
first soccer coach (an amusing story for anyone who knows it). In retirement,
after thirty years at Berry, he continued to serve his community and he
volunteered in Rome’s ESL program at the Public Library teaching English to
Rome’s Spanish speaking residents.
His passions extended beyond the classroom, and creatively onto the canvas
and woodworking lathe. His beautiful and original pieces of art were expressed
in mediums ranging in wood and tile, to oil and watercolor, and pen and ink.
“These are the Ways One Must Walk.” was the theme for his art show at the
Area Council for the Arts in Rome. He showed works in aquarelle, and “shapes
in wood” sculptings. Also, he together with his wife Christa de Berdt created art
and participated in handcraft fairs.
August had a wonderful sense of humor, he loved to laugh, create, sing and
dance, cook for family and friends. He had great insight and wisdom into many
subjects. He had boundless energy, and chased life wherever possible – in the
streets of Paris, Yellowstone National Park, in his neighborhood atop the seat of
his bike, South Africa, and in the classroom. He also enjoyed quiet moments
sitting on his front porch watching his birds and squirrels. “Indeed, I am very
much at peace with the walk I walked” August writes reflecting on his life. He
deeply loved his wife Christa and was a dedicated father to his two children. He
will be remembered by many others, including his students and colleagues.
He leaves behind a daughter, Barbara de Berdt and her life mate Larry Prince; a
son Paul de Berdt and his friend Mike Hughes; a brother and his spouse,
Michiel and Trudy de Berdt (Kentucky); a sister, Marilou De Vries (Netherlands);
a sister-in-law, Ulrike Kahrig (Austria); as well as several nieces and nephews
in Austria, Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, Japan, The United States,
and Great Britain. He was preceded in death by his parents, Camille Rene de
Berdt and Damida De Clerk de berdt; by his wife Christa Herma Zimmer de
A private memorial service will be held with only family attending. In lieu of
flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital.
Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, has charge of the