John J. Bergen – Obituary from Crossroads

John J. Bergen (’40) died on December 31, 2013.  He will be lovingly remembered by his children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and many extended members and friends.  He was predeceased by his wife Hilda.

John was born in Neuendorf, Choritza Colony, Ukraine.  He emigrated with his parents Jakob and Maria Bergen in 1923, and settled in Graysville, Manitoba.  He completed school at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in 1940.  He taught school at Big Black River in northern Manitoba, attended normal school in Winnipeg, and taught at Hopeland School.  In 1943, his teaching certificate was revoked due to his refusal to sell war savings stamps through the school system.  He volunteered for non-combatant services and served in the Dental Corps in 1944-1946.  In 1946, his teaching certificate was reinstated, and he taught in the public school system of Manitoba, becoming principal of Winkler School.  In 1963, he moved to Edmonton to pursue graduate studies in educational administration, and was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Alberta in 1967, and taught there until his retirement in 1987.  In his retirement years, he pursued studies in Mennonite theology and history.  In 1953, he married Hilda Lohrenz (d. 1998), daughter of Gerhard and Anne Lohrenz.  They had five children, Paul, Eric, Ruth, and Karl.

– reprinted from Crossroads: Mennonite Collegiate Institute 24, no. 1 (Feb. 2014): 15.

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