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R. Lyle Bergo, 86, of Mason City, peacefully passed into history Monday, May 3, 2010 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit surrounded by his family and beloved wife of 65 years, Pat. A funeral mass will be held 10:30 AM Saturday, May 8, 2010 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 714 N. Adams. Rev. Michael Schueller, Rev. Kenneth Gehling and Rev. Msgr. Joseph J. Slepicka will concelebrate mass. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Full military rites will be conducted by the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Friday at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue. A Knights of Columbus Rosary will be held at 6:30 PM followed by a Scriptural Wake Service at 7:00 PM. Memorials may be directed to Hospice of North Iowa, Clear Lake Yacht Club Sailing School, MacNider Museum or the Bergo Business Scholarship.
Lyle was born in Grenora, North Dakota August 16, 1923 the son of Henry Ole and Lovie Catherine (Caldwell) Bergo. He graduated from high school in Wells, Minnesota and attended Mankato State College and the University of Minnesota before enlisting in the United States Army at age 18. Lyle was on active duty with the 12th Armored Division in the European Theatre of operations during WW II. He served with a tank battalion as part of a reconnaissance platoon drawing fire as forward artillery observers, he was wounded in battle, was awarded the Purple Heart, and is listed in the Purple Heart Museum. Lyle married Patricia Ann Lee July 22, 1946 in the St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church, Mankato, Minnesota. He began working for Buttreys Clothing Stores serving as manager for stores in Montana, Rochester, Minnesota, and Mason City, Iowa. Buttreys wanted to transfer him to a new store, but the couple liked Mason City and decided to open their own store, Bergos Infants and Childrens Shop of South Federal. As adjoining buildings became available, he purchased them, restored them and added new departments building his shops within a shop concept. An advocate for Historic Preservation, he maintained that, Weve been given a glorious past, and we now must create a worthy history beginning in our own lifetime and environment. Lyle served on the orginal Board of Historic Preservation. He publicly embraced the concept of a downtown mall, connecting Bergos as a third major tenant. His slogan When Bergos has A Sale It is A Sale! attracted national attention. The Bergos were avid antique collectors scouring the local countryside and traveling to Europe in search of interesting items. Much of their collection was used as decorative enhancement in the store. But it wasnt all business. He enjoyed family activities for almost 40 summers at their cottage on the South Shore of Clear Lake where sailing became an important endeavor. He was deeply involved in the activities of the Clear Lake Yacht Club, serving the club on its race committee and as its Commodore in 1992. Lyle skippered his own racing boat, winning the Hawkeye Cup with his five member crew for the state of Iowa. Skiing was also an important family activity and in later years he enjoyed the company of his golf foursome, the four Bs. Laughter was an important ingredient to his and Pats life and his sense of humor carried through right to the end. He loved his store and went to work every day and never retired. There are many treasures to attain in life, but memory is most lasting, for it is a treasure of the mind.
Lyle considered community service to be a privilege, not a duty. He served on the boards of Mercy Hospital, First National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, Historic Preservation Society, was a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow, a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, and the Knights of Columbus. Always promoting change and growth for his community, he traveled to China as a member of Mason Citys Economic Development group.
Left to cherish is memory and celebrate his life are his beloved wife of 65 years, Patricia Lee Bergo; daughter, Pamala Bergo Coffey and husband Tim of Washington, Iowa, son, Jeffrey Lee Bergo and wife Jean of Mason City, son, Rex Lyle Bergo Jr. and wife Julie of Mason City, daughter, Jennifer Jo Langhart and husband Karl of Mason City who all at some point were involved in the original Bergos Department Store team. Grandchildren, Alyssum Bergo (Eric Klopp) of Houston, Texas, Zachary Gunn Satter of California, Cassandra Satter Goodwin (Scott) of Washington, Iowa, Rhea Bergo of Omaha, Nebraska, Katie Bergo Schrock (Chris) of Mason City, Jeffrey Bergo Jr. (Janelle) of Iowa City, Jonathan Bergo of Mason City, twins, Ryan Wade of Omaha, Nebraska and Riley Wade (April) of Brighton, Iowa, Krisann Bergo Brown (Chris) of Rock Island, Illinois, Karl Gunther Langhart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chase Caldwell Langhart of Iowa City, and Jeffrey Walters of Omaha, Nebraska; great grandchildren, Elizabeth and Gabrielle Goodwin, Jaylyn Schrock, Katlyn Wade, Kal-El and Mikiaya Bergo, Andrew Klopp and Elyas Bergo Brown.
Lyle was preceded in death by his parents and only sister, Meryl Berger, all of Wells, Minnesota
Memorial Park Cemetery
From 4:00 to 7:00 PM Friday at Major Erickson Funeral Home
10:30 AM Saturday, Holy Family Catholic Church, 714 N. Adams
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