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Bergal, Jennie L.

Jennie L. Bergal, daughter of Sima and Sam Lent, wife of Jack, mother of Janet and Diane and grandmother of Leah, Sam, Paula, Matthew and Ty passed away comfortably on Aug. 6, in her home at Keystone Bluffs.


Jennie was born in Duluth on March 16,1914. She was raised in the Lent hillside home, spending her early days playing baseball, climbing trees and sledding down the steep hillside streets with friends and making mischief in the neighborhood. Jennie attended Nettleton Elementary, Washington Junior and Central High schools. She married long time boyfriend Jack Bergal on Sept. 1, 1935. They spent a short time living with family and working, soon moving on to apartment life. When their daughters were born Jennie stayed home with them and actively participated in their education. She helped bring understanding to the schools about expectations by teachers that Jewish children participate in the very traditional Christian holidays celebrated during the school year. The resulting dialogue helped her daughters and other Jewish children feel more accepted in their schools.


Jennie, always interested in fashion and looking her best, worked at several businesses in Duluth. She got her start at Morris Jewelers and later went on to a long career at Maurice's where she started as a saleswoman and later became a buyer of children's clothing, lingerie and ready-to-wear. After she retired from Maurice's she and Jack moved from their home to an apartment, later splitting 20 years between Redington Shores, Fla., and their cabin at Island Lake north of Duluth.


Jennie and Jack's homes were always filled with family, friends and marvelous food. Cooking was one of her passions. Gardening thrilled her. She always came back home from arboretums and conservatories with a plant she "pinched off' and the exclamation that it would have fallen off anyway! And she loved to fish. She could be found peddling the paddle boat at any time of day fishing for the elusive walleye at Island Lake.


In their later years Jennie and Jack lived with their daughter Jan and son-in-law Karl. After Jack died in 2002, she remained with her family for the next four years. She moved to Keystone Bluffs Assisted Living Residence in March, 2006 where she started a whole new, extremely active part of her life. She participated in nearly every event offered including cooking, gardening, painting, singing, pontoon boating and many trips out for lunches and treats. She took to playing Bingo, although she had always told her children she would NEVER play Bingo. It became an absolute weekly must, not to be missed for anything.


Jennie's outgoing personality and strong will led her to become best friends with staff and residents at Keystone. She loved and appreciated every one of the staff that assisted her. She and her friends enjoyed hours of chatting and, often, Jennie's favorite game Skip-0.


We all mourn her passing but will carry with us memories of a most admirable, determined and caring woman.


Jennie was preceded in death by her parents Sima and Sam; husband Jack; sisters Eve, Gert, Katie, Lil and brother Max.


She leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law Jan and Karl Olson; their daughter Leah and partner Jason Husby; daughter Diane Dodge and children Paula (Ric) Hensel, Sam (Jennifer) Dodge, Matthew (Christine) Dodge and Ty Dodge, "adopted" grandson Imad Mohamed and "adopted" daughter Jan Cohen. Jennie has 11 great grandchildren.


GRAVESIDE SERVICE: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Aug. 8 at Shaara Tzedek Cemetery, 4188 Stebner Road. A picnic lunch will follow at the home of Jan and Karl Olson, 3610 Minnesota Avenue, Duluth.


The family thanks the incredible personal care assistants and nursing staff under the direction of Wendy Struss and the activity director Kathy Franklin, all of Keystone Bluffs, for their amazing care, concern and love for Jennie. Thanks also to St. Luke's hospice nurse Stephanie Marshall for helping all of us through Jennie's last days, and Jennie's other outstanding medical caregivers Dr. Hal Heyer and his marvelous nurse Jody, Dr. Wayne Gatlin, Jody and Jenny, Dr. Linda Van Etta and Dr. Jessica Krog-Breeuwer.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, 4503 Airpark Boulevard, Duluth, MN 55811 or to a charity of your choice.


Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, Duluth, 727-3555




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