Thomas J. 'Joe' Bergan

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Thomas Joseph “Joe” Bergan, 85, of Elkader, passed away Aug. 28, 2020, at the Elkader Care Center. He was born March 6, 1935, in Fayette County, the son of Thomas Sr. and Nelly (Kelly) Bergan. He grew up in rural Elkader, graduating from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, reaching the rank of Specialist Third Class before discharging.

He was united in marriage to Phyllis Marilyn Walz on Sept. 17, 1957, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Volga. Together, they raised six children: Cindy, Jerry, Craig, Brad, Julie and Mary. Joe and Marilyn lived on their farm on Chicken Ridge, where they farmed for 40 years before retiring to a home in Elkader. Along with farming, he was a long-time Elkader Cooperative board member and a lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Joe enjoyed a variety of hobbies. He had a knack for repairing anything that could be welded. Later in life, he enjoyed writing poetry and ditties, which are published in books that are best sellers among his children and grandchildren. Other hobbies of Joe’s included telling funny jokes and stories (clean, funny and dirty), traveling and playing cards.

Joe is survived by five children, Cindy (Paul) Francis of Guttenberg, Jerry (Susan) Bergan of Elkader, Craig (Angela) Bergan of Elkader, Julie (Matt) Dahling of Elkader and Mary Bergan of Central City; daughter-in-law, Mary Jo Bergan of Volga; 16 grandchildren, Joe (Carolyn) Francis, Dan (Kristin) Francis and Sarah (Willis) Hong; Jeremy (Rachael Wendell), Brandon, Jonathan and Danielle Bergan; Calvin and Austin Bergan; Matthew (Mary) Bergan, Justin Bergan (Shawna Staack) and Megan (Justin) Stone; Kyle Dahling and Jenny (Sam) Ferriss; Ashley and Jessica Flansburg; eight great-grandchildren, Tommy and Matthew Francis; Josie, Abbigail and Joseph Bergan; Jaeger Stone; McKade and McKenna Ferriss; two sisters; Pat Roach of Elkader and Catherine Thornton of Goose Creek, S.C.; two brothers, Mike (Ruth) Bergan of Elkader and Bernard (Maureen) Bergan of Elkader; and many other family and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and son, Brad, and several other family members.

Grave side services and inurnment will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 11:45 a.m., at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Elkader, with celebrant Reverend John Haugen. The public is welcome to attend while observing social distancing guidelines.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family.

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