November 18, 2021: Roger Berger, well liked and well known to a generation of US batterymen, died aged 78 in early October from Covid.
Roger had a long and successful career in the battery industry beginning in the late 1960s. In 1981 he moved to join Alco Battery in Lithonia, Georgia where he was eventually to build an electric golf cart battery manufacturing facility.
Alco was bought in 1988 by Trojan Battery to complement its own skills as a deep-cycle battery manufacturer.
During his time at Trojan, Roger was promoted to senior vice president of operations and was one of the leading figures in the massive expansion of Trojan during the 1990s.
It was during this period that Trojan became the only golf-cart battery manufacturer of any note, taking almost 100% of the North American business and extending its range of deep cycle batteries for other applications.
In the early 2000s he left Trojan to join Microporous, the international separator firm, as a manager for domestic sales. He had already strong contacts with separator developer Amerace (later to be known as Microporous) — the firm had worked closely with Trojan on separator design which the firm had rightly identified as having a major impact on the overall life cycle performance of deep cycle batteries.
In 2001 Roger went on to oversee the start-up of a battery manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico.
After Microporous, instead of retiring aged 65, he set up his own business Processing Supply Company in 2008. From scratch he built a business to become the sole distributor of seamless pasting belts for North America. He sold the company in 2016 and finally retired.
Tributes paid to him after his passing showed he was a well liked, sociable and kind man.
Terry Agrelius, chief executive of US Battery wrote: “Roger was a great guy to be around. He always had a way to lighten up your day with a pointed punchline and humor. Inside or outside the industry you would not find a better man to align with. Roger knew the product, process, and the right people to talk with to better your company and life.”
His family said: “Roger was an honest and sincere man full of joy and always ready for a good laugh and a joke. He was known for his sayings and quick wit. He loved fishing, which he called ‘minnow drowning’. His next love was golf. He loved music, the classics, country music; and had a beautiful voice that he shared occasionally with others by singing a few tunes. He was loved by many.
“His wife, sister and children and his many lifelong friends will miss him so much, but all agree that his life was a life well lived.”
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Pamela Berger; his sister and brother, two daughters, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A fuller obituary will be appearing in the next issue of Batteries International.