Wayne Bergstrom, 81, of Montgomery Texas, formerly of Clarion, IA and Des Moines, IA. passed away Saturday, October 26 after a valiant battle against cancer.
Wayne was born on August 1, 1932 in Des Moines, IA. He grew up on the East side and was always proud that he was an East Sider and was often heard saying, "Lee Township against the World". He graduated in 1950 from East High School, and attended Iowa State Teachers College for one year before transferring to Drake University where he starred in baseball. During his junior year he was named the most valuable player of his Bulldog team. Wayne was the first member of his family to attend college.
After graduating from Drake, he married the love of his life, Jean Molsberry on June 18, 1954.
Wayne served in the Army from 1955-56 and then followed his dream of becoming a teacher and a coach with his first position at Bridgewater-Fontanelle High School. In 1959 he took a position as head football coach at Clarion High School where he would successfully coach until 1971 when he became athletic director until assuming that same position at Ballard High School in 1981. He and Jean then moved to Montgomery, TX in 1996 following his retirement.
Wayne had many passions in life but his number one was family. He and Jean raised three boys in Iowa and their life revolved around them from family vacations to kids sports, golfing, and his beloved Iowa State Cyclones. Wayne touched thousands of lives in ways only they may know through teaching, coaching, and serving his communities. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 1963 from the Clarion Community and also started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Clarion in the early 1960's. Following his retirement, he spent a great deal of his time supporting his Montgomery County Salvation Army. He was also an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Conroe, TX.
Wayne will be remembered for his gentle soul, fierce spirit, quick wit, and infectious laugh. All who were fortunate enough to share his path along the way will truly miss him.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Jean, three sons, Steve (Debbie), of Woodlands, TX, Craig (Rhonda), of Johnston, IA, and Bob (Kathy), of Littleton, CO; 8 grandchildren, and 4 great-grand children. Wayne was preceded in death by his loving mother, Lillie in 1979.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, October 31 at 2:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Conroe, TX. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Montgomery County Salvation Army, PO Box 897, Conroe, TX 77305 marked: In memory of Wayne Bergstrom.
Published in Des Moines Register on Oct. 29, 2013