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James E. Bergerson, age 82 of L'Anse, MI passed on to join his eternal family on Saturday, November 4, 2023 while at his home surrounded by love, peace and family.
Jim was born on September 13, 1941 in L'Anse, MI. He grew up in Baraga, MI with his mother, Helen Elizabeth Bergerson and father, Cyril Wallace Bergerson and his late sister, Karen (who married Ulie Mayo), his late brother William "Bill" Bergerson (who married Mary "Cubby") and his surviving sister Sall (who married Allen "Uno" Patovisti). Jim graduated from Baraga High School in 1959. He joined the National Guard in 1959-1962 where he trained to be a wheeled vehicle mechanic. In 1963 he married Bonnie Toyras (Hill) and together they had four children: James Mark Bergerson (Vicki), Kevin Bergerson, Lisa DeCaire, and Tammy Magaraggia (Pete) and 11 grandchildren: James Bergerson, Jeremy Bergerson, Brier Bergerson, Jessica Bergerson, Dylan DeCaire, Karisa DeCaire, Joel Decaire, Jonathon Magaraggia, Emily Osinaga Magaraggia, Joseph Magaraggia, and Dean Magaraggia and 12 great grandchildren. He moved to Gaylord, MI while working for Pettibone where he earned an award for Product of the Year from State of Michigan for being one of the main contributors on the Pettibone Carry-Lift. He and his family moved to Mississippi where he started the business Superior Brush, then they moved back to Aura, MI where he built their family home on Huron Bay. Jim worked for YACC (Young Adult Conservation Corp) and Tribal Construction teaching young adults new skills. He bought a logging truck and started Bergerson Logging. Finally, Jim worked for the State of Michigan as a correction officer at the Baraga Maximum Correctional facility where he eventually retired.
In 1993 he married the late Carole Bergerson and added three step-children to his family: Steve Olsen(Heather), Kristen Olsen, and Jeff Olsen (Kristen) and eventually seven step grandchildren: Tyler Thoresen, Elyse Thoresen, Holden Hamblin, Christian Olsen, Luke Olsen, Allison Olsen and Carter Olsen.
During his retirement, Jim loved to fish with his best friend and wife, Carole, and whichever grandchild would "Want to go fishing with grandpa". He fished Lake Superior and made many trips to Lake Michigan with his friends. He also shared his woodworking skills with his grandchildren by turning a block of wood into a detailed, working toy for them. He always made his granddaughter's feel special simply by asking "How's my Sweetie?" Jim loved to hunt and shared that with his grandson's as well. He also loved to go 4 wheeling, rabbit hunting with the guys, and making maple syrup. Jim was a member of the Baraga County Sno Drifters Club where he spent countless hours grooming the trails, Baraga County Search and Rescue, and Baraga County Car Club where he shared the love of old time cars with his father. Jim also spent countless hours researching genealogy and was proud of making the family tree that dates back to 1437.
If anyone had a question, they would know that "Dad or Jim will know how to do it" and that turned into "Grandpa, how do you....". Despite battling many illnesses throughout the years, his positive attitude, his courage, and his strength was and will continue to be admired.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, November 10th at 12:00 p.m. at Jacobson Funeral Home with Pastor Peter Suomela officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in the Baraga Cemetery with Baraga County Area Veterans conducting military rites at 1 p.m.. Jacobson Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Friends may sign Jim's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.