Obituary for Klare Berntson (Rump)
ORONO – Klare Luise Berntson, 86, of Colburn Drive, Orono, passed away September 16, 2017 in Watertown, MA. She was born July 31, 1931, in Hamburg, Germany to Hans Wilhelm and Marie P. Rump.
As a young child, and as World War II destroyed her family home, she and her brother were sent to the Schwerin-Mecklenburg region to stay with relatives. At the war’s end, she left the region, walking out unaccompanied at the age of 13, only two days ahead of Russian troops. Later, while staying in Saint Goarshausen along the Rhein River, she found herself dodging American sniper bullets. She was reunited with her family in Volksdorf, Germany in 1945.
Klare showed a talent for languages and as a young woman, worked for the German Post Office as an international operator speaking fluent English and French. On a trip to London, England she met Earl Berntson at the Tate Gallery, and after a long correspondence, they married in Upstate New York 1960, honeymooning in Province Town, MA, and the snowy Maine Woods. They settled in Bangor where Earl was stationed at the Bomarc Site, Dow Field AFB and enjoyed living in town and out-to-Camp at “The Chalet” on Pushaw Lake.
Ever prepared for adventure, in 1962 they drove the Alaskan Highway to settle near Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. They lived through the Alaskan Earthquake in 1964, with their son, Eric, joining their lives shortly thereafter. Over the years, the family lived in Mobile, AL; Hamburg, Germany, Wiesbaden, Germany, ultimately returning to settle in Glenburn, where Klare remained for four decades.
Klare avidly fed wild birds all her life, reporting the most diverse list of bird counts to the Maine Audubon Society. She loved her pet dogs and cats including Maxie, Princess, Sam, Bootsie, and Sara. Music was a daily joy to her and she knew the classical pieces by name. In Bangor, she worked as an Assistant- Manager at Rines clothing store in the Airport Mall and Mim Hart’s Gift Store. Later Klare and Earl moved to Orono to enjoy living in town as she nursed her husband. She moved to live with her son and his wife in Boston in 2012, to their delight and the delight of their many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Berntson. Klare will be sadly missed by Eric and Teresa Berntson of Watertown, MA, her son and daughter-in-law; brother and sister-in-law, Hans and Hete Rump of Bremen, Germany and their extended family including Thorsten, Axel, and Birte; nephew, Robert and his wife, Laura Berntson, of Toronto, Canada and their daughters Andrea & Stephanie; niece, Barbara Berntson of Warrenton, VA. In the Orono area, her adopted American family gave her great joy and will miss her: Sylvia “Tillie” Dodge, along with brothers, David and Clayton, and daughter, Ruth Dodge-Corbell, and good friends Brigitte “Gitta” Schlosser and Diane Coose Littlefield of Stockton Springs.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Orono Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 72 Main St., Orono. A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at the Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main St, Orono, with the Rev. Lorna Grenfell, Celebrant, officiating. Burial will be at the Maine Veterans Cemetery, 163 Mt Vernon Rd., Augusta, on Friday, September 22, 2017, near her husband, Earl. Those who wish to remember Klare in a special way may make gifts in her memory to either The Animal Orphanage, P.O. Box 565, Orono, ME, 04473, or Together Place (food bank), 150 Union St, Bangor, ME 04401.