Wilbur Ervin Bergerson was born on October 19, 1917 in Concord, Nebraska to Agnes & John Bergerson. He was the youngest of nine children. He attended Myrtle Creek School, where he met the only love of his life, Virginia Borg. He attended through the eighth grade and then stayed home to help his dad on the farm. Surely that is where he learned his passion for the outdoors.
He moved to California in 1940 and was joined there by Virginia shortly after. They were joined together in marriage on November 29, 1941, in Glendale, CA, seven days before Pearl Harbor. They both worked at Lockheed during the war. Their two boys Gary & Steven were born there. Wilbur decided he wanted to farm again so they moved back to Nebraska in 1953. In 1954 they moved on to Iowa, where their daughter Debra was born. In 1957 they were able to find a farm near Rose City, Minnesota where he farmed until 1996. He worked hard there; he milked cows for a short while & then started to raise pigs, LOTS of pigs. The youngest daughter Diane was born there. In later years he raised Black Angus/Charolais cross stock cows & did custom round baling. He felt his farm was a “show farm” as he took great pride in the buildings and farming the land. His favorite thing to do with farming was combining corn, he said “he Loved being out in the crisp air, harvesting”.
They moved to Alexandria where he built a new house at the age of 79. He had thousands of day lilies and tulips and was known as “The Lily Man”. He also planted over 100 trees on his lot. He was always busy working on something. He volunteered for 15 years at Knute Nelson Memorial Home where he helped with the lunch counter, taking residents to appointments (he got a kick out “pushing around people younger than him”), gardening & other duties. His favorite job there was delivering the mail. He “retired” from that volunteer position at the age of 95. He lived at the Village Cooperative for seven years. He really enjoyed his apartment and still always kept busy.
Shortly before his 100th birthday he received a letter from the State of Minnesota stating that his driving privileges were being revoked. He figured “someone had tattled on him”.
One month after his 100th birthday he moved to Perham, MN to live with his daughter Diane. There he enjoyed living with his dog Bear & taking care of the two cats. He had many visitors and continued getting into mischief like he always had.
Wilbur Bergerson passed away on October 5, 2019 at the age of 101 years, 11 months and 17 days (he would want to know that so I am making sure you know that.) He diligently read each & every obituary he came across, made sure it “wasn’t him” and then checked them off so he knew not to read them again. It frustrated him when the ages were not listed specifically.
Wilbur was a character. He appreciated visiting and then being alone. Needless to say “he was a hand full”, even up to his last days when he lived at Hadley House under excellent care and under the close supervision of Hospice of the Red River Valley. He passed peacefully on October 5, 2019, 14 days before his 102nd birthday.
He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings & loving wife Virginia. He leaves behind four children, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 11 to Noon Friday, October18, 2019 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, MN. A memorial service will be held 12 noon Friday, Oct 18 at the funeral home. Interment will follow Saturday in the Wakefield Cemetery in Wakefield, NE at 1 PM. There will be a Family Gathering at the bowling alley in Wakefield after the interment. Memorial funds are not necessary.
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