John M. Bergland
John M. Bergland
  • December 11, 1931 - June 30, 2017
  • Westport, Massachusetts

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John "Jack" McFarland Bergland III, MD, age 85, passed away Friday, June 30, 2017 from Acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He was the loving husband of Gertraude (Bippart) Bergland to whom he was married 41 years.

Born in Baltimore, MD, December 11, 1931, son of the late John McFarland, Bergland, Jr. and Julia (Whitridge) Bergland, he lived in Baltimore and Houston, TX, before moving to Westport, MA in 2002.

A graduate of Gilman School in Baltimore, he went on to Princeton University ('54), where his grandfather and father had preceded him. He attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ('62) and completed his post-graduate training at University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. He was one of the founding members of Medical Clinic of Houston and spent much of his career as Senior Partner Internal Medicine Medical Clinic of Houston from 1968 - 2000. Jack taught as an associate clinical professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, St. Luke's Hospital in Houston and at the University of Texas School of Medicine. He won numerous teaching awards and commendations from each of these institutions, which made him extremely proud. Upon retiring to New England, he continued practicing as a physician with Harbor Medical in Scituate, MA through 2011. In retirement, Jack volunteered in a community clinic for the medically indigent and frequently travelled abroad to volunteer his skills and knowledge. Helping patients with their medical needs proved extremely gratifying for him.

A skilled athlete in football basketball and tennis, Jack had a special love for lacrosse. Known by his closest, lifelong best friends and teammates as "Boogie", he played as a defenseman while at Gilman, Princeton and the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club. His beloved Gilman team won the Maryland State Championships in '48, '49, and '50 and still holds the Maryland State record for fewest goals scored in a season, allowing only 18 goals in 10 games. Jack was recognized as 1st string All Maryland during his junior and senior years and served as co-captain. While playing lacrosse at Princeton, he played as a member of the undefeated freshman team and played on the '53 National Champion Team. These victories, and later being co-captain of the National Open Champion Mount Washington Wolfpack in '59 were lacrosse highlights in his life. He helped to found lacrosse in Texas in '73 and as a result served on the National Lacrosse Foundation Board for 3 years.

Throughout Jack's adult life, he was also an avid tennis player. While fiercely determined to compete and win on the court, he always brought humor and life to his game, relishing the opportunity to socialize, laugh and build further friendships. He was known and loved by many on the courts of the Briar Club in Houston and the Acoaxet Club in Westport.

Jack was passionate about education and had a special devotion for Princeton and his Class of '54. He channeled this passion into teaching and most generously helping others in any way possible with their educational needs and dreams. He was a lover of classic New Orleans Dixieland Jazz, travel to Europe, especially to Germany, his wife's homeland. Within the Tiverton and Westport area, he was universally known for his fondness of antique cars, especially his grandfather's 1931 Chevrolet wooden Beachwagon "Morris" and his 1968 Volvo "Olaf". Adoring pets, he was always caring for and ensuring the well being all of his 6 "grandpups".

His love for his wife Gertraude was immeasurable. They were true soulmates from the moment they met, bringing out the best in each other, unified in their mission to build and maintain their loving family and to help people.

Jack was known and loved by all for his warmth, compassion, generosity, sincerity and integrity. His laugh was infectious and his kindness knew no boundaries. He was devoted to helping others, placing their well-being far above his own needs. His passion for history, medicine and sports, combined with his knowledge and unique ability to engage people made him a gifted and beloved teacher. Jack represented the best of human qualities and made the world a better place with his presence. He loved being alive.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by his four children, Robin Bergland, Susan Bergland, John Bergland IV, his wife Michelle, their three children, Carolyn, Catherine and William and Ashley Bergland Sowyrda and her husband Gregory.

A most sincere, heartfelt thank you to John L. Yang, MD, and the oncology nurses, nursing care staff and the hospice caregivers at St. Anne's hospital in Fall River. Jack received the best and compassionate care imaginable. To all his loving and loyal friends who in many visits kept his spirits up and filled with laughter, sincerest gratitude from his family.

A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, August 08 at 2:00 PM at his beloved childhood Tiverton home: The Whitridge Estate, 285 Stone Church Road, Tiverton, Rhode Island, 02878.

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