2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient- ROSEMARY PETIG BERGER
Rosemary Petig Berger graduated from Johnson Creek High School in 1972. She has spent thirty years in the health care profession, twenty-eight of those providing health care for the people of Jefferson County.
Following high school graduation Rosemary spent a year at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and went on to receive her RN and BSN from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. After spending some time as a medical/surgical nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, and as a cannery nurse in Alaska, Rosemary returned to Wisconsin and began her career as a public health nurse with the Jefferson County Health Dept. During this time she spent time as a school nurse in Johnson Creek and worked with the Women Infants Children (WIC) program, Well Child Clinics, and Immunization Clinics. From there she went to Countryside Home, a skilled nursing facility, working with geriatric residents. She began teaching at Madison Area Technical School in Fort Atkinson in the nursing programs. Rosemary currently holds the position of manager of Fort Health Care Home Health as well as of the School Nurse Program. Rosemary is a lead instructor for the evening Basic Nursing Assistant Program at MATC.
Additional professional activities include membership in the Wisconsin Home care Organization, the Health Occupation Committee for MATC, and a past board member of Rainbow Hospice. Rosemary is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson, where she has served on the Church Council, Youth Committee, and taught Sunday School. She has been involved in fund raising for Relay for Life, Tomorrow’s Hope, and United Way. She is especially known for her pie making, which has become a large fundraiser at work and at church.
As the sixth of nine children, Rosemary credits her parents and older siblings with encouraging her and the younger children to pursue higher education. Although neither of her parents graduated from high school, Rosemary and all of her siblings earned college degrees. A strong work ethic and learning responsibility were part of everyday life growing up on the Petig farm. When she was seventeen, Rosemary’s father had serious health problems, and she and her sixteen-year-old brother took charge of the family farm for several months, while her father recovered.
Rosemary and her husband, Alan, live in rural Johnson Creek in a farm home which once belonged to an aunt. Rosemary muses that her aunt would be happy to have her living there, watching over her home and flowers. Rosemary and Alan have two grown sons, Benjamin of Jefferson, currently working toward a Medical Lab Tech. degree at MATC, and Matthew of Appleton, a graduate of University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, with a degree in Film Studies and English.