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RIP Loren Westenberger

missjulie about over 3 years ago


WMNF has lost a member-supporter and community activist, Loren Westenberger (fondly known as Berger) who passed away early on Saturday morning, after attending the RiverHawk Music Festival in Dade City, Florida. He enthusiastically staffed our Outreach table all evening on Friday & stayed until 2am, enjoying the company of friends by the campfire. He was found at his river property, where he planned to spend the night. This is a link to the St Pete Times 11/13/11 obituary

Services are to be held Saturday at 11am, 11/19/11 at The Unity Church of Clearwater, 2465 Nursery Road (Not the Unitarian Universalist Church/UU). There will be a pot luck celebration of his life following services at 2030 58th St N. in Clearwater, 33760. There will be music provided by the Donny Simonds Band, from Hudson. Please bring a dish or something to share.

On Sunday, 11/20/11, there will be a Motorycle Run to remember him at his river house, along the Withlacoochee River & continue on to the Ichetucknee River (other destinations may be included). Participants will meet at Westenberger Tree Service, at 8am (address above).

We send our deepest sympathy to friends and family of Loren. RIP

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We Love You

You will always be in our hearts. May you play those spoons around all of our campfires forever. Rest in peace Berger...


I saw Berger Friday at Riverhawk where he was manning the WMNF outreach table. We hugged. Chatted. As I was walking away, I heard him call out to a passer-by. "Are you familiar with our radio station?" RIP Loren. You will be missed.

Never Forget Loren

We have lost a wonderful person, a great WMNF activist, a true friend animal lover and environmentalist!!My next show tomorrow will be dedicated to Loren!! I will truly miss his awesome presence!! R.I.P.


Loren was a key figure in helping us with our tree ordinance here in Tarpon Springs, meeting with then City Attorney John Hubbard to discuss the ordinance, presenting to the BOC about the importance of preserving our tree canopy, and the value of trees. He was a generous man who gave the City a gift of a Champion Buttonwood tree, and once helped a resident remove a very large pine tree from her property (a job quoted at thousands of dollars) free of charge. There are many other instances of his generosity and support too numerous to list. He will be missed.

Rest well brother

After leaving his tree service in 2007, Loren and I didn't spend a lot of time together. However, anytime I passed him on the road or on the job, he never hesitated to wave and give me that big ole grin of his. He was such a character! I will miss him. Rest well ole friend.

Community Friend

I was deeply saddened to hear of Berger's passing. He was a such a strong friend of the WMNF community and to the community at large. I can't imagine who will fill his big shoes when it comes to the tree advocacy he provided. He was bigger than life itself and will be deeply missed. Prayers are with his family and many friends.


I not only worked closly with berger of many years but loved him dearly..When he bought the river house up here closer to me we we're both greatful we could spend more time together. I could see him almost every weekend. I got to the river house in time say a prayer over bergers body and tell him how much i loved him. Berger was one of a kind man and loved by many. I love you brother, see you later.

Great guy

Did not know him personally, but he and his company have done a lot of work at my father's house over the years. My father spoke highly of him. RIP RIP


I will miss you! Thank you for more than you could have ever known!

A Man of Character

Met Berger through my brother, who used to live down the street from him. A big man of spirit, action, giving and character. We will all miss him a lot.

Brother and more...

We will carry your spirit, our brother…remembering the countless dog watches, travels, fellowship and bondless generosity you have shared with us thru the years.


I knew Loren as Loren, mainly thru his work with Florida chapter ISA and our efforts as judges of the tree climbing competition for our chapter. He was insturmental in forming the Florida chapter and served as its president during perilous times. He was also noted in the Guiness Book of World Records for moving the largest tree in history. We have truly lost a giant of a man.

The Ultimate Urban Lumber Jack and Teacher

He loved what he did, mastered how to do it, accomplished much, and expressed it well with good passion. I'm honored to have studied under Loren, the ultimate urban lumberjack. What he passed along lives on. Thank You Loren My condolences to Lorens family loved ones and friends. I miss him too.

Arborist Heroes

Wow! Can anyone tell me what happened? Loren was always one of my Arborist Heroes! :'( I hope his family is ok! RIP!

Friends thru John Denver's Plant-it 2000

We had the honor of meeting and working with Loren in planting many trees with Plant-It 2000. He loved the trees, working with kids, and knowing he was making a difference in our world. Not everyone gets to leave behind a legacy such as Loren's. May all the trees and those of us he left behind, continue to thrive with his spirit to guide us. Our condolenences to family and friends.

Of Different Mothers

A true friend, and indeed, a brother of a different mother. Benefactor, Teacher, and Boss all rolled into one. Nothing can replace you Berger!

old friend

Loren was in my life for 22 years. He was my friend, my environmental partner and my music buddy. He will be greatly missed. Loren played a big role in preserving 125 old oak trees and creating the Bayview Park on Gulf to Bay Blvd in Clearwater. A passive environmental park. Go have a picnic there - I know that would make him happy.

one tree at a time

Once had the honor of assisting Loren with a class on preparing for the certified arborist exam. He had a gift for telling humorous but relevant stories to teach folks about trees. Sad but still smiling now, remembering. RIP.


It is hard to lose a friend of 30 years,Berger you are loved and will be missed until we meet again.. We know you are with Moe.. Rest well old friend.

WHAT IS A TREE WORTH? In Memory of Loren Westenber

Many will never know the extraordinary techniques Loren Westenberger used from a lifetime of experience to preserve and protect trees from heinous destruction here in Florida, but let it be known they will feel his presence when ever they rest and meditate in the shade of the uncountable trees he fully recovered in his lifetime like a master heart surgeon. These grandest of trees have been blessed by a man who respected what the life of an outstretched canopy means to the life of mankind. Wise as the 3500 year old Cypress named the "Senator" still alive in Big Tree Park Florida, and more powerful than the grandest Oak one could capture with their eyes as they took the time to respect and preserve mother nature's creation, his life will forever be remembered in these lives he saved even though he was just passing by for a short time. Berger, Rest In Peace, and thank you for breathing your life into the air we breath. I will always miss the hand you always extended like a giant branch to greet me with when ever you were there at a common destination. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time was today." ~Loren Westenberger

A Good Man

What a good man is Loren Westenberger. Always a true friend. Supprtivem and generous. Honest. And curious. A spiritual man. And loving life in a big way. Onward and upward, Loren! Love to you.

First boss.

Loren was my first boss when I moved to America. He got me involved in trees at a much deeper level and has built the foundations for me to progress my career in trees at a far higher standard. All I know is that where ever he's gone, I'm sure he'll still be knocking up some great ribs. RIP boss.


Loren u were so funny, remember that night we were out at skippers smokehouse and u were telling Charla that I should be the love-boat director, u silly man, oh how i love u for that and man o man did i ever cry when i found out u checked out , it's all cool now brother, just doing what you needed to do ...i'll be seeing u soon, i love u and ur my angel now watching over me, i'm so counting on you xo<3

Rest in peace Loren.

Loren may you rest in peace and my family will never forget you. You will truly be missed by so many. I will pray that your family and loved ones may be at peace with your passing. Thank you for being a great friend and a wonderful boss.

One of a kind tree man

We just heard. Loren you have been a great inspiraion. You will be missed.

My Friend

Loren and I converged attending Pinellas Vocational Technical Institute in the Horticulture Technology Dept. It was 1977. We graduated and also went on together to become International Certified Arborists. He and I were affiliated professionally and personally. It has been a long road with him, and every time I look at a tree he will be in my thoughts. He was a genuine, true, giving , kind, thoughtful and a crazy frind to have. He lived and adored life, studied hard, played joyfully. I am so happy our roads crossed, we really did enjoy our love of the earth and tree talk, I will go on to try to fill but a bit of Loren in the Arborist world. Love you Loren!!!! Jo

Friends forever

Loren and I met in 1979,got married in 1982,had our daughter Lauren in 1983,which she has given us 2 beautiful grandchildren which he adored!He loved life,trees, nature,friends,family,his dogs,motorcycles,can't think of anything he didn't.His celebration of life at his house was just like he would have wanted,only thing missing was the sound of him playing the spoons.He left us way too soon,but his legend and memory will live on through our daughter and grandchildren.We remained friends for 32 years and will see eachother again someday.Rest in Peace my friend.

Rest in peace

One thing Loren never knew was how many people he inspired and touched. He forgot more about trees than most of us will ever know. I will always remember the time I spent with him and forever be in debt the knowledge he shared.


I am Loren's daughter, Lauren. It has taken me so long to be able to write to you all about my dad's passing...but i am ready now. I remember my younger days where he would take me out on the boat which he named after me "the shorty 2" i remember when we used to take our dogs to the dog beach at belleair causeway, i remember when we wrote a book about our "duck chasing days" at Keene Park, i remember when i helped him deliver our dogs puppies, i remember my first motorcycle ride with him, i remember my first motorcycle accident with, i remember the road trip we took when i was 13 up the east coast of the US, i remember when he was there when i had my daughter, and the most recent memory what when he held my hand all throughout the labor of bringing my son into the world. Of course there are sooooo many other memories of him,because he was the BEST dad in the whole world! He used to tell me, "your the best kid in the whole world!" He truly loved his job and would not have traded it for anything in the world. I have read all these posts that everyone has written and it brought tears of joy to my eyes to know that he had such an impact on people's lives. He was an angel on earth and i know that he is definately my angel in heaven. I can hear him playing the spoons now, with his straw hat on with his jean overalls, i love you so much Dad and i miss you like i never missed anyone before....i love you as high as the mountains, as deep as the ocean, and big as the sky!!!!!

Sorry to say that I did not learn of Loren's passing until recently. I have been away, living in Canada part of the year.....and had lost touch with Loren. Loren & I planted 10000 trees here in Florida for Plant it 2000....A tree planting project started by John Denver. When I first started looking for ways to plant trees, I met Loren at a Native American Indian Pow Wow. He gave me his card, and said he would help me. So when I needed help, I called him....and boy did he help! We worked together for many years. We accomplished many things that I never dreamed possible, and much of it was because of him. I am very sad to find he is gone, and more sad to know that I missed his memorial. Just know this my Buddy, I planted a tree years ago in my back yard, and I named it Loren. It is the biggest, strongest Oak tree in the yard. When I am here in the winters, I feel it's presence every day, and think of you.