In Memory of

Cynthia

Jean

Berg

Obituary for Cynthia Jean Berg

Dr. Cynthia Jean Berg M.D., M.P.H was born July 7th 1948 in Chicago Illinois to Walter Henry Martin Berg and M. Garnette (Palmer) Berg. The family of four made their home in suburbs of Chicago, Brookfield and Western Springs Illinois. Cindy battled polio as a child but persevered through her school work and family support.

Dr. Berg graduated with a B.A. from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1970 where she was a National Merit Scholar. She later received her M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1974. It was in urban Philadelphia hospitals where she interned in maternity wards that she found her true professional calling; making the world a better place for expecting mothers. From 1976 to 1980 she was a resident in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Stanford University Hospitals of California where she served as chief OB/GYN Resident in her final year. She then was in private practice in Minnesota from 1981-1982 and was adjunct instructor at the Medical College of the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Dr. Berg then attended Graduate School at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health where she studied epidemiology and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar earning her Master’s in Public Health. Dr. Berg began her career at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 1985 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and continued as a medical epidemiologist in the division of reproductive health until her retirement in August 2013.

The “Godmother of Maternal Mortality Research” dedicated herself to women of all walks of life far and wide. Dr. Berg was an internationally recognized expert in pregnancy health. She delighted in working collaboratively with her colleagues and her research with them resulted in over 90 publications and technical reports. Additionally, she took great pleasure in training physicians, nurses, and other health professionals in the EIS training program, always bestowing on them as much time as they needed to advance their work. Her service to maternal health through the World Health Organization took her all over the world including Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia where she worked ever diligently defining prenatal care standards for the world.

Cindy’s spiritual life revolved around the Atlanta Friends Meeting. Dr. Berg was a founding Mother of The Friends School of Atlanta where she served as a founding committee member. The first mission statement was written at her home over Earl Grey tea. It was of the utmost importance to her that her son William and all children would know that they are always honored. Those words rang true as an early slogan at FSA became “where every child is always honored”. Her fierce commitment to diversity and inclusion in the education of Atlanta’s children allowed the school to thrive and remain committed to Quaker pedagogy from its’ opening in 1991 to today and beyond. Her vision and pioneering work with FSA and steadfast commitment to women’s health are her enduring legacies for moving this world toward beloved community.

Cindy was tenacious and intrepid, always thoughtful and kind to her friends, and ready for a great book recommendation. She was a lover of life and all it brings, including being a vivacious reader (especially mystery novels), she loved travelling, her many pets, fine art, music, flowers and gardening, bird watching, her family, and Jeopardy… which was her life’s addiction. Cindy and her family spent many a summer in Northern Minnesota where her parents retired on Fish Hook Lake near Park Rapids.

Dr. Berg passed away peacefully at Emory University Hospital Hospice Center on March 6th, 2022 after a brief battle with cancer.

A celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 10th at 5 PM at the Atlanta Friends Meeting, 701 W. Howard Ave. Decatur, GA, A private burial service will be held in Motley, Minnesota where Dr. Berg will be laid to rest with her parents.

Cindy was preceded in death by her parents Wally and Garie Berg, and her dear sister, Laurel A. B. Muff. She is survived by her son, William H. Berg-Graves of Atlanta, her former husband Dr. Richard C. Graves of Wisconsin, her nephews Charles, Paul, William, & Scott Muff, and her dear Palmer cousins, Charles, Roger, Joan, Jennifer, Susan and Nancy.

Memorials may be directed to the Friends School of Atlanta; 862 South Columbia Drive Decatur, GA 30030