|5/15/2013 3:18:00 PM|
Alfred C. Bergren
|Alfred C. Bergren|
Alfred C. Bergren, born May 8, 1925, passed away peacefully on the morning of May 12, 2013. He was born and raised in Leavenworth, and despite his travels, always said there was no place as beautiful to him as home.
Alf was remarkable for many things, not least of which were his devotion to family, his generosity of spirit, his principles and his honesty, and his ability to accept, without bitterness, whatever life dealt him, giving 150 percent to everything he did. He was much beloved by everyone who knew him.
Alf signed up to serve in World War II when he was 18 years old. A skier and an athlete, he was in the 10th Mountain Division "the ski patrol" in Italy, charged with taking mountains already held by the Nazi's. Alf was in the regiment that took Mount Belvedere, which paved the way to Riva Ridge (documented in "Fire on the Mountain", "Winter Warriors"). Alf recalled their climbing Belvedere under a full moon which lit up the snow, making the Allied soldiers visible to the Nazi's. Their orders were to cross the snow bank anyway with German guns looking down on them from the mountain ridge. So they did. That was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.
After the war, Alf went to work as a logger at Peshastin Lumber Company, where he was the shop steward for many years. He never called in sick in his life except on one occasion when he had broken ribs.
On May 23, 1964, Alf Bergren married Duffey Hollingsworth, raising her four-year-old son, Clint, as his own. He remained devoted to both until his last breath and beyond. Best man at the wedding was Ray Hendrickson and matron-of-honor was Donna Pipkin.
Alf had two loves: his family and hiking the mountains. There is not a hill or a bump around Leavenworth he didn't climb. He looked forward to extensive hiking in his retirement. The last day, the last hour before retirement, a tree was felled on Alf which broke his back and ruptured his spleen. The diagnosis was that he would not live. While in the hospital on his deathbed, he contracted hepatitis from the blood transfusion. When he shocked the medical staff and lived, he was then told he would not walk.
Alf walked with a cane. He was never able to hike into the hills again, his first love, but he became an avid fisherman, fishing well into his 80s with his best buds. He never expressed the slightest bitterness towards the accident which changed his life but, instead, found joy in a different activity. He said, "There is no point in looking back because I can't change that. All I can do is move forward."
Alf is survived by his wife, Duffey, his son, Clint (Suzie), and his brothers Dave (Glo), Carl (Sheila), and Mearl (Phyllis). He is preceded in death by his siblings Margo Spado (Tom), Harry (Margaret), Liz Brown (Tom), and Pat Bennett (Bob). He loved his nephews and nieces as if they were his own children and spent many happy hours fishing with Gino Edmunds (Liz) and Jim Nessey (Sherry). We all cherish our many happy memories together.
A "celebration of life" will be held at Carl and Sheila's on Saturday, May 25, at 2 p.m.
Alf, we know you'll be climbing the mountains - every darn one of them! - and fishing all the lakes. Leave a few fish for the rest of us.
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