Bert Lindberg, Chief Chargeman, former President of Local 476 passes at 95

Bert Lindberg
Bert Lindberg

Bert Lindberg, Chief Chargeman of Fred A. Niles Studios for 30 years and former President of Local 476 has passed at 95.

Bert’s son, Mark Lindberg, also a member of local 476, said his father passed peacefully on Monday evening January 24, 2022, having lived a long, full, happy life.

Bert (George Bertil Lindberg) was born in Sweden and came to the United States with his parents in the early ‘30s, by way of Ellis Island. The opportunity to work at the Pullman company brought them to Chicago.

Bert quickly learned English in the Chicago public schools and graduated from Fenger High School. Upon graduating from high school, he was drafted by the Army and served the country in WW-II where he learned his third language — German.

He was honorably discharged and when he return he married JoAnne Pohlo, a girl he met at Fenger High. Together they raised their three children, Lauren, Doug and Mark, and then divorced.

Bert built their family home in Flossmoor in 1956 with his own hands, and it was his pride and joy. The family home still stands today without a sign of age, a testament to his ability and work ethic.

He was hired to do carpentry work for Fred A. Niles Studio in 1955 and made such an impression on Fred Niles that he didn’t leave until the studio sold almost 30 years later. He loved “The Business” and became Chief Chargeman at Niles studio, which required joining the Motion Picture Studio Mechanic’s Local 476. He was a proud member for 66 years and served as President of Local 476.

Fred Niles Studio sold in 1982 and became Chicago Studio City for a few years, then sold again to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo studios.

Mark said when Niles Studio sold, Bert continued doing freelance work in production, and he built a laundromat. He traveled back to Sweden for a while and in his final few years he began to develop dementia, “but he was happier than a clam!” Mark said. “He spent the last 4 ½ years in the truly remarkable care of The Manteno Veterans Home, and I cannot say enough about the wonderful care he was given. He was very happy. He just defied all the odds. He lived a very full life and he was happy. He passed very peacefully in his sleep.”

When Bert passed Mark reached out to notify his friends in the business.

“The great thing about when I got in this business,” said Mark, “Everyone I worked with, my dad had worked with their fathers.” He continued, “I called everyone I knew, if my dad worked with their fathers. After a week of making phone calls it was just so cool talking with everyone.”

I worked with Bert at Fred Niles Studios for twelve years. I will always remember his kindness to me when I started out as a receptionist, feeling insecure and overwhelmed. I was the youngest of 100+ people on staff and Bert was pretty much in charge of keeping everything in the studio running smoothly. He was my go-to guy that I could always rely on for answers. He was well loved and highly respected by all.

My sincere condolences to Bert’s family.

Memorial Services:

Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12:30 pm.

The Military service will be held at:
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
20953 W. Hoff Rd
Elwood, Illinois

Luncheon following the service at:

Gatto’s Restaurant
1928 E. Lincoln Hwy.
New Lenox, IL

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