Marion E. (King) Bergstrom, 101, entered into eternal rest on Friday, July 17, 2020, at the Luther Manor/Home where she had been a resident since 2014. She was born in Utica, Minn., to Robert and Mildred (Midler) King on Aug. 20, 1918, just as World War I was ending and in the midst of the Pandemic Flu of 1918.
The fourth of six children, she enjoyed small town life until the sudden death of her father from a heart attack. Her older brothers found jobs to help support the family and Marion, age 10, did babysitting as well as helped watch a baby sister 10 years younger. During the Great Depression, times were hard but with the help of family and friends they soldiered on. Between three jobs and a scholarship, Marion attended Macalester College in St. Paul and graduated in 1942. She then volunteered for the Red Cross, with training in Washington D.C., and shipped off to a military hospital in Guam. She enjoyed helping blind or disabled wounded soldiers by reading mail and writing letters for them, helping by reading books or newspapers to them, conversing using her wit and sense of humor, and sharing an encouraging word at the right time! After the war, she traveled and continued study on her professional secretary course work, finishing in 1956. She lived and worked in St. Paul, New York, Alaska and Newfoundland.
Marion enjoyed time with family, especially four young nephews from Minnesota who she took on picnics and camping trips, taking them also to concerts and plays at Macalester and museums and art galleries in the Twin Cities. She always kept a special place in their hearts as a moral compass and mentor. In her early 40s, she heard of a job in the Menominee/Marinette area that interested her and she was hired as secretary to the CEO, at the time, of Ansul Chemical Co. She also met Donald Bergstrom whom she later married in June of 1962. They enjoyed wonderful times together sailing along Lake Michigan shores aboard the “Merrydon,” traveling, growing gardens, raising service dogs, and bird-watching from their home on M-35. Both Don and Marion being proud members of the Audubon Society. First Presbyterian Church in Menominee was Marion’s faith homebase where she was active in the Women’s ministries. She was also involved in the local PEO group, “Sheep to Shawl” Guild, library causes, AAUW, Seeing Eye Dogs for the Blind, Boys and Girls Club of Menominee, Presbyterian Point Bible Camp, and a substitute teacher for local schools. She was a master gardener as well as researcher of genealogy. This is a synopsis of what Marion did while among us. We will remember a kind, thoughtful, loving human being – genuine and generous; widely read in literature; well-traveled; a conversationalist willing to reach out to others even when they didn’t reach back; enthusiastic; optimistic; creative (painted lovely still-life portraits); professional and homemaker.
Marion is survived by step-children: Ron (Lydia) Bergstrom and Kathy Larkin and children both of California; nephews: Gary (Glen) King of Minneapolis, and Allen (Phyllis) of Rochester; nieces: Laurie (Ron) Thompson of Bloomington and Cheryl Baker of California, Diane Hanson, Barbara (John) Hartz, Fay (Kim) Klitzke all of Menominee, Linda (John) Campbell of Marinette, Jan (Lowell) Bengry and Karen (Bruce) Fellion of Stephenson, Elaine Jorgenson of Washington, Betty (Tom) Ennis of Weyland, Mich., Jean Topping, Apple Valley, Minn., Ada Joyce Bergstrom of Midland Texas; nephews: Tim (Karen) Bergstrom of Green Bay and Norris Bergstrom Jr. of New Mexico, and Charles Kendall of Grand Prairie, Texas; and special loyal friends: Susan Bork, Lois Bertrand, Arlene “Timmie” Riley and Nancy Behrendt. She is preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, “Donny;” four brothers and one sister; five nephews; four nieces; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; and several dearly loved canine friends.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 4 p.m. until time of memorial service at 6 p.m. at the Cadieu Funeral Home with Rev. Ron Helgerson presiding. Social distancing and wearing of masks will be important.