LeRoy William Bergstrom passed away peacefully at his home west of Belgrade Feb. 4, 2008, at the age of 86. Roy was born on April 9, 1921, in Baker, the fifth of six children to Ida Marie and John Henry Bergstrom.
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His early years were spent on a farm south of Baker where he prided himself in hard work but always found time to explore the country hunting Indian relics. His knack for breaking horses (at $10 apiece) and hiring out during harvest season supplemented the family income. His early education took place in several one-room country schoolhouses; graduating in 1939 from Baker High School.
"As a dryland farm boy, my interest was early-on in the Sea-going Navy." Entering the Navy in 1940, Roy served on the USS Patterson destroyer and spent the next six years during World War II primarily in the Pacific Theater. His ship, nearby during the attack on Pearl Harbor, assisted in many rescue efforts. While out at sea on the Atlantic Ocean, and just prior to his discharge, he ordered a new Indian motorcycle that was waiting for him in Charleston, S.C. After four days of motorcycle lessons he headed home to Montana.
From 1946-1951 he attended Montana State College in Bozeman and graduated with a B.S. degree in agricultural engineering. It was during this time that he met and married his life mate, Ann Thompson. Roy began his 33-year career with the Soil Conservation Service before retiring in 1984 to "live the good life."
Roy spent his retirement years reading, rock-hounding, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Roy and Ann enjoyed hosting and traveling to reunions (USS Patterson/Pearl Harbor Survivors), high school and college (Men's Co-op) and Bergstrom family gatherings.
Roy was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John and Bob; and sisters, Doris and Bea.
He is survived by his wife, Ann; daughters, Cathy (Jess) Stovall, Peggy (Bob) Byrd, Patti (Randy) Craig; and sons, Mike (Margaret) and John (Stephanie); seven grandchildren; sister, Ina Koenig; sister-in-law, Blanche Bergstrom; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Roy always said, "You can never enjoy too many sunrises and sunsets."
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Feb. 8 to Feb. 10, 2008