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Deceased Name: JACK LOUIS BERGAL
Jack Louis Bergal, 91, of Minnesota Ave., died June 3, 2002, at St. Luke's Hospital. He leaves memories of his warmth, quiet determination, kindness, creativity, humor with a twinkle in his eyes, the love of a good cigar, passion for the outdoors and the ability to bring the ''old days'' to life for anyone that would listen.
Jack was born January 20, 1911, in Duluth to Bessie and Harry Bergal. He grew up ''on barg'', the name afforded the central hillside by its Jewish community. He recalled those days to family and friends, remembering what it was like to whiz down the steep hills during winter sled rides, the goats and chickens raised by grandparents in the neighborhood, digging in the dump for treasures where the UDAC now stands. He spoke of bootleg days and the neighbors that brewed moonshine in their bathtub. He told with glee a story about losing a job because of his thick, wavy hair and then getting the job back because the boss needed him so desperately. He recalled when he witnessed a robbery at Esterly's Jewelry Store, one of several places he worked throughout his career as a salesman. His description of bullets flying and robbers taken down by police were as exciting as any 40's radio show. Jack was a ship builder during WWII. Saved from combat because he had a high draft number, he learned the trade and later became a crew foreman when the ice breaker Woodrush was built. Jack ''rode her down'' on the top deck when she was launched. When Jack left ship building after the war, he gravitated toward jobs that included sales work. He was the manager of Credit Sales Company and later worked for Rudolph's Furniture and Arrowhead Furniture. Customers returned to him time and time again for his knowledge of products and sense of humor that was always included in his sales pitch. During these years, he was rarely seen without a cigar in his pocket or in his mouth. Jack loved his Island Lake home, a place where he and wife Jennie spent over 30 years fishing for the elusive walleye, gardening and relaxing. After retirement they lived at the cabin half the year, the other half as snowbirds in Redington Shores, FL. In FL., Jack was dubbed ''Jacques Berghall'' by his many Canadian golfing companions. Throughout his life, Jack was the historic chronicler for his family. His skill with an 8-millimeter movie camera and various other cameras has left an immense library of photographs and films for his loved ones.
Jack was preceded in death by his father Harry; mother Bessie; step-father Joe Bongart; brother Ben; and sisters Sue and Edythe.
Jack will be remembered by his wife of 67 years, Jennie; his brothers Bernard and wife Rhoda; sister-in-law Ruth; his oldest daughter Diane Dodge and youngest daughter Jan and her husband Karl Olson; grandchildren Leah, Sam and wife Jennifer, Paula and husband Ric, Matt and wife Christine, Ty and wife Kris; step-grandchildren Michelle and husband Art, Michael and partner Julie and Matt and partner Kathy. Jack's great-grandchildren include Lara, Devon, Liana, Telea, LaRoux, Vaughn, Deric and Sawyer. His step-grandchildren are Chris, Kerstin, Kayla and Jake. His cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends will keep his love in their hearts.
SERVICES: Celebration of Jack's life will be held Thursday, 11 AM at Temple Israel, 1602 East 2nd Street with Rabbi Amy Bernstein officiating. Burial in Shaara-Tzedek Cemetery, Hermantown, MN. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, Duluth, MN. Please send memorials in honor of Jack to your favorite charity.
Duluth News-Tribune (MN)
Date: June 5, 2002
Bergal obits available from the Duluth Public Library.