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Wayne N. Bergstrom

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

MORGAN HILL, Calif. – Wayne Nels Bergstrom, 72, of Morgan Hill, formerly of Milledgeville, passed away peacefully, Sunday, June 8, 2014, holding the hands of his beloved wife and daughter. He fought a courageous and strong battle against cancer. He had just checked off the most important thing on his bucket list, when all of his children and grandchildren visited to celebrate his birthday a month before his death.

Wayne entered the world May 8, 1942, in Chicago, the firstborn child of Nels and Beatrice (Gram) Bergstrom. He grew up in West Chicago with his parents and sister, Judith (Bergstrom) Liszka. In his adolescence, he spent a lot of time caring for horses and learning the ropes in a funeral home. He grew up wanting to be a mortician. As a teenager, he excelled in the performing arts, and made sure everyone knew about his lead roles in the musicals “Oklahoma” and “The Wizard of Oz.” He married Larrabeth Fendler on April 24, 1965, in Streamwood. They eventually settled in Milledgeville, and Wayne worked at Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. in Sterling for 28 years. After retirement, the couple moved to “The Sunshine Capital of the World,” California, where Wayne drove a school bus. He spent the remainder of his years bragging about the wonderful weather and scenery. He loved taking on the role of tour guide for visitors, and was very convincing in his knowledge of the history and geography. His guests, however, never knew what was true and what was made up, as Wayne was an expert storyteller and jokester. He is missed, every day, by his faithful canine companions, Taffy and Joe-Joe.

The biggest source of pride in his life was his family. He is survived by his wife, Larrabeth (Fendler) Bergstrom of Morgan Hill; his children, Mark (Kayla) Bergstrom of Polo, Jeffrey (Judith) Bergstrom of Rochester, New York, Eric (Jennifer) Bergstrom and Christopher Bergstrom of Milledgeville, and Angela (Jason) Govig of San Jose, California. He was Grandpa and a magician, who had perfected pulling quarters from their ears, to eight incredible grandchildren, Lani, Daniel, Nicholas, Michael, Katherine, Isabella, Grace, and Liam. 

Wayne’s ashes will be scattered at sea, near the Golden Gate Bridge. He often joked with family and friends, “When I die, it’ll be just like May 7, 1942. I won’t remember a thing.”

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