Roland L. "Red" Bergen 1923-2012 Red was born in Oklahoma on April 22, 1923, to Jacob and Gertrude Bergen. He died January 13, 2013 in his home in Morro Bay, California. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gwen, and her son, Hal. He leaves behind Gwen's son, Rex Hill, step-granddaughter, Megan, and his wonderful companion for the last six years, Margaret "Mickey" Kann. Red was the last surviving member of his generation. His siblings were Pete, Walter, Elizabeth, Harry, Elcy, and her twin sister, Lillie. They came to California in 1923 when Red was an infant. The young family joined their friends in the Mennonite community of Shafter, California. There Red learned the craft of carpentry from his father, and he became a talented woodworker. Red and his brother, Pete, both created furniture which became treasured family heirlooms. Red's sense of humor made him a favorite uncle to his 10 nieces and nephews. They all have fond memories of "Uncle Rollie" and the stories he told them as they grew up. In 1950, during the Korean War, Red enlisted in the Army. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant, and was presented the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service performed as an engineer reconnaissance sergeant of a X Corps Engineer Combat Battalion. When he left the military, Red took a position as construction superintendent with the Kern County Department of Public Works. One of his projects was to place the jet airplane on the pedestal at the entrance to the old Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield. Upon his retirement from Kern County to Morro Bay, Red built his own beautiful home where he has lived since 1974. For the past 30 years Red was a member of both the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 3693, Morro Bay, and the Elks Lodge, No. 322 of San Luis Obispo. He left an indelible mark upon the San Luis Obispo area, having volunteered his time and craft building and remodeling. He will be greatly missed in the communities where he always made life long friends. At Red's request, no formal services will be held. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian on Jan. 25, 2013