Donald LeRoy Bergan
Donald LeRoy Bergan, 97, Northwood, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at the Lutheran Retirement Home, Northwood. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 29, at Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church, Joice, with Pastor Kevin Olson officiating. Burial will take place in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Lake Mills. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
Donald LeRoy Bergan was born July 24, 1922 in rural Lake Mills to Walter Roy Bergan and Nora (Nystuen) Bergan on the farm that was his home his entire life. He was the third generation Bergan to live on the farm and the fourth to own it.
He was baptized at Sion Lutheran Church by Rev. Rosenquist and confirmed by Rev. Schmidt. Don graduated from Lake Mills High School in 1940, attended Waldorf and Augustana Colleges, where he played baseball and football and sang in the Waldorf Choir, before returning home to farm with his father.
Donald married Elaine Ness, Lake Mills, Sept. 17, 1949. He worked as a dairy farmer, later selling Grade A milk. He always felt close to the Lord while tilling, planting and harvesting his crops all the while trusting the Lord for a return on his labors. The couple was blessed with three children: Kathleen, Diane and David.
Don and Elaine hosted a Century Farm party in 1988. Don was a good steward of the land by being among the first in the area to utilize soil conservation practices. He served on the Worth County Conservation Board many years and was named Outstanding Commissioner in 1960. He worked on the Bristol Township election board, bowled in a classic league and was captain of the Salem dart ball team, where he held one of the Top 10 batting averages in the Minnesota league many years. Don also served as a director of the Albert Lea Milk Co., where he sold his Grade A milk. For many years, Don was a faithful member of Salem Lutheran Church, where he sang in the choir and served as cemetery sexton for 12 years. With his demanding work schedule, he still found time to attend his children’s school and church activities. as well as David’s sports events.
In retirement, Don enjoyed his coffee visits with friends in town, crossword puzzles, sports and game shows on TV, and golf at Rice Lake, where he served as Senior Golf coordinator. He was proud of his “hole-in-one” and several eagles. Don volunteered 10 years as a greeter at the welcome center in Worth County. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s activities, as well as travel with the Norway trip to visit ancestral sites being a highlight.
Don’s greatest joy was visits from his three children, seven grandchildren, their spouses, 20 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Elaine; children: Kathleen (Harold) Schuhmacher, Diane (David) Folkerts and David (Shelley) Bergan; grandchildren: Jason (Sarah) Schuhmacher, Jennifer Bradley (Dennis LaGrange), Kara (Doug) Butte, Jessica (Joshua) Blasdell, Nathan Schuhmacher, Katie Bergan and Callie Bergan; great-grandchildren: Kyle (Chinyoung), Katelyn (Ryan), Rebekah, Caleb, Daniel, Adam, Bethany, Benjamin, Micah, Andrew, Abigail, Jacob, Avery, Emily, Ben, Tyler, Josh Jr., Isaac, Malachi and Siri; great-great-grandchildren: Sophia, Ian and Anna; sister, Mary Jane Calgaard; sister-in-law, Gayle McMullen; stepsister-in-law, Ruth Vermedahl; stepbrother-in-law, Rev. Wayne Halverson; special cousin, Greg Nystuen; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law, Olaf and Agnes Ness; stepmother-in-law, Ida Ness; sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Al Disrud; brothers-in-law: Robert Calgaard and Marvin Ness; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ruth and Rev. Alden Lerohl; niece, Pat (Calgaard) Preul; nephew, Andrew Lerohl; stepsister-in-law, Lois Halverson; and stepbrother-in-law, Claire Vermedahl.