Duane “Bergie” Bergstrom
March 26, 1926-March 23, 2014
Born in Lewiston, Idaho, just before the depression, Bergie helped support his two brothers and parents by caddying at the local golf courses, letter in two high school sports and joined the Navy in 1944 serving on a fuel carrier to the Pacific fleet. Upon his return, he married Phyllis Davis of Lewiston, Idaho who was his loyal wife until her death in 1996. Their only child, Michael, was born in 1947. Duane graduated from WSC in 1951 and entered the golf business as a club professional at Rainier G.C.C. in Seattle. While in Seattle he taught golf, worked in the pro shop and played in NW professional events, winning a few and placing well in many others. Later he accepted a job at Boeing and worked there for about eight years, but the golf business had his heart so he took the club job at Ellensberg G.C.C. There he coached many juniors and some went on to play college golf and become professionals.
In 1963, Bergie purchased Pineway Golf Course in Lebanon, Ore., from the Johnsons, whose granddaughter, Robin, would marry their son Michael in 1967. While in Oregon, Bergie won several NW professional events and was named as one of the 10 Best Professionals. He helped Mike, also a professional, to operate a Corvallis golf business. When Mike moved to Lopez Island in 1978, Bergie and Phyllis followed to be near the grandchildren.
Living in Alec Bay, he enjoyed working at the Galley Restaurant for Ron and Prentice for over ten years. Stories still circulate as to some of his jokes and humor. He started the Lopez Island Golf team and worked hard to help the new young players some of whom went on to play college golf. Bergie was very proud of his grandson and protege, Matt, who was offered numerous “full rides,” ending up at U of A in Tucson and later becoming a professional.
Fishing, clamming, teaching golf and helping at the Mackaye Harbor Inn were his fondest activities while on Lopez Island. Bergie had a major stroke in 1996. His son moved Phyllis and Bergie to Tucson to be with them and lived at home there until Phyllis died of cancer. He then lived in several assisted living homes in Tucson until his son moved him to Mount Vernon Life Care Center in 2008. While there he made many friends and the staff was always happy to see him as he had a great attitude and appreciated their care. He passed on just three days before his 88th birthday.