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Memories & Candles

“One of my earliest childhood memories is of Ray coming and taking my sister and I by the hand and taking us to the store for candy while my mother...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Enita Shannon-Jeske - MN

“   Another, of that GREATEST GENERATION has been granted eternal rest!    Bergersons were among the best neighbors to...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Florence Cushing Daninger - MN

“First of all, great picture of Ray.  Although I didn't get to know Ray in past years, it was a pleasure meeting and talking with him after...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Cheryl Bergerson - Polebridge, MT

Raymond A. Bergerson

Age 93

World War II Veteran

Forest Lake

Died peacefully on July 13th.  Preceded in death by wife of 47 years, Lue; brother Willard; will be sadly missed by sisters Eleanor and Lois; children Garnet (Betty), Lynn (Leslie), Neil, Ned (Libby); grandsons, great-grandsons, nieces, nephews and many friends. Veteran of Normandy and Battle of the Bulge; Past Master of Lindstrom and Forest Lake Masonic Lodges. Memorial service will be 12:00 PM on Saturday, July 22, held at Mattson Funeral Home, 343 N. Shore Drive, Forest Lake.  Family will greet friends from 10 AM until time of service on Saturday.  Private interment at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Shriners Hospital, 2025 East River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55414 in his name.

Raymond, like so many others who have selflessly served our country for our freedom, leaves behind a grateful nation.  We invite you to share a personal sentiment about Raymond in the permanent community memorial scrapbooks.  Please visit the Help Honor a Veteran article on the News and Events page of our website for more details.


Cliff Buchan

News Editor

Slowly but surely, Forest Lake's links to the Second World War are passing.

The area has lost another with last week's passing of Raymond A. Bergerson, 93, who died on Thursday, July 13. Bergerson, a longtime Columbus and Forest Lake area resident, had been residing at the Meadows on Fairview assisted living facility.

Bergerson was 28 when he was inducted into the Army in June of 1941. He had enlisted under a one-year program with a goal of satisfying his military obligation and returning to everyday life in Forest Lake.

America?s entry into World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December. 7, 1941 put an end to any hope Bergerson had of a one-year stay in the Army.

By the time he was a civilian again, four years and two months had passed. During his time in the Army, Bergerson fought in five major European campaigns, including the Normandy Invasion in 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

Bergerson was a combat engineer with the Army's 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion. He earned additional battle commendations for campaigns in northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and in central Germany.

His main job was a driver of a half track. The unit's main duty was to build roads and bridges over rivers to assist Allied forces in their march across Europe.

Bergerson received the Purple Heart after being wounded by artillery during fighting in Belgium.

Two years ago during the 60th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, Bergerson looked back on his service days with the stoic style that came to characterize the man. He simply considered military service his duty and felt he was "lucky" during it all, despite losing a number of close friends in combat.

"They say there will always be wars," Bergerson said in the June 2004 interview.

"You had to do it. I've got no complaints. Sometimes you wouldn't get any food for a couple of days and in the winter it was cold."

Stayed in FL

After the war, Bergerson returned home to Forest Lake. He never strayed too far from his roots.

He was born on March 4, 1913 and lived on farms in Columbus Township for much of his early life and attended Forest Lake area schools. He spent his early years on a farm that was part of the wire grass camps that grew grass that was baled and used for carpets.

His father, Art, spent 10 years as foreman at one of the wire grass camps.

Prior to the war, Bergerson worked as a house mover. In the post-war years he worked as a house mover, truck driver and a welder, retiring in 1978.

Bergerson continued his passion for work in the fields and woods. Partnering with friends, he would spend hours putting up wood and doing field work, more for the work than the money, he once said.

Each spring, he would join his son Garnet and family in Scandia to help tap maple trees for the production of maple syrup.

His community life was strongly devoted to the Masonic Lodge.

He was a key figure in the planning and construction of the Forest Lake Masonic Lodge in 1962. He was the Lodge's first master. He was also active in the Lindstrom Masonic Lodge where he was a past master.

Funeral Home
Mattson Funeral Home
343 North Shore Drive Forest Lake, MN 55025
Tel. (651) 464-3556
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