FRUIT HEIGHTS — “I can’t think of any other honor I’d rather get,” said Sandra Servoss Berger, when told she was chosen to represent Fruit Heights as Mother of the Year.
A mother of eight and grandmother to 20 (the 20th is expected next month), Berger said it’s true that mothers will often look back and say “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”
“You just have to know you did the best you could at the time,” she said.
“The thing that really helped me was that we were true to our faith,” she said. “We have wonderful children, all of them with high morals.”
In her nominating letter, Berger’s daughter, Jennifer Pimentel, recognized her mother for being a PTA president at various schools, a Den Leader and an LDS Primary president, in addition to “cheering at every game, swim meet, music recital,” and cooking homemade dinners every night.
“I believe that parents need to be involved in civic things, especially school things,” said Berger.
“I think it shows (our children) that we have to give back,” she said. “We have to pay attention to what the kids are doing and try to make it better and if things come along we don’t like we have to go to work to make a difference.”
At times, that meant visiting schools near their home in Southern California to teach about the importance of brushing and flossing teeth. At other times, that meant speaking out in city council meetings in support of a new city park.
She and her husband, Bill, met at Utah State University, married and moved to Chicago where he completed dental school before setting up his practice in Anaheim and Mission Viejo, Calif.
They returned to Davis County in 2006, after his retirement.
Besides Pimentel, Berger’s daughters are Sherry Coody, Christy Kauahi and Tiffany Campbell. Her sons are Robert, Jon, Gary and Roger Berger.
The Fruit Heights mother has always loved music, something her children have embraced as well. She said she also loves reading, something she sees her grandchildren enjoy.
Because she’d only completed three years of her university education before marrying, she returned to school 20 years later, after raising her children.
She was able to complete her degree in English from Cal State Fullerton when in her 60s.
“I keep waiting for life to slow down, but it doesn’t,” she said.
A current hobby is making quilts. She has pieced together tops to create over 100 quilts, first for new grandchildren and now for grandchildren as they graduate from high school.
“That’s the way I express myself,” she said.
Her advice to parents included two simple suggestions:
“Tell them often that you love them,” she said, “and hold them.”