William Ernest Bergemann
90, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 18, 2014 at St. Luke's Lutheran Community in North Canton, Ohio. Bill was born in Alliance, Ohio May 9, 1923 to Ernest and Jennie Bergemann. His parents and sister, Jean Samuels, preceded him in death. Plus he wouldn't want us to leave out his devoted Schnauzer, Sammy.
He is survived by his son, William E. Bergemann, Jr. of Essen, Germany; and three daughters, Christina Bergemann of Canton, Jennie Bergemann of Akron and Nancy Snee of Jackson Township. He also leaves two granddaughters, Jamie Wittensoldner (Snee) of Green and Andrea Jewell (Snee) of Jackson Township as well as two great-grandchildren, Spencer and Charlotte Wittensoldner.
Bill was an architect, pilot, singer, inventor, dog lover, artist and witty conversationalist. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from Miami University. A highlight at Miami is the time Frank Lloyd Wright was visiting his class. He stood over Bill's shoulder and drew suggestions in the margins of his drafting paper. He saved Frank's scribbles to prove it. Bill went on to design memorable buildings such as the Rodman Public Library in Alliance, the Alliance Firehouse Theatre and an addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He made a pocket protector look cool. He was ready at a moment's notice to whip out a mechanical pencil and explain something important by drawing a detailed picture on a napkin. Bill's passion for flying was born from his World War II days in the Army Air Corp as navigator of a B-24 Bomber. He served during and after the D-Day Invasion of 1944. Bill continued to fly small recreational planes after the war. He could engage you for hours reminiscing about performing a smooth 360° roll or nailing a perfect landing. Bill loved singing. He was a bass in the Canton Civic Opera and the Greater Canton Men's Chorus. The 'guys' from Men's Chorus met on Wednesdays for burgers and laughs for years. Bill was a dreamer. He invented the refrigerator door water dispenser and obtained a patent for an innovative drafting table device. He didn't stop believing in winning the lottery or being successful in a new career at the age of 71.
Bill was artistic and hugely creative. He was 'famous' for his pumpkin carving skills, spending hours creating a Jack o'Lantern that stuck its tongue out at tricker or treaters as they walked by. He was a perfectionist in his work. It was obvious in the way he decorated a Christmas tree. Each strand of tinsel had to be placed on the tree one piece at a time. He would step back after each placement, making sure it was in exactly the right spot. The trees always looked symmetrical and very beautiful. Bill never thought he'd live to be 90, but he made it a couple of weeks shy of his 91st birthday. Job well done. Let's hope he's busy inventing or singing or performing the consummate barrel roll. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on April 30, 2014 with Rev. Les Peine officiating at Reed Funeral Home, North Canton Chapel (801 Pittsburg Ave. NW). Visitation will begin at 5:30 p.m. prior to the service. For any questions, please call
Reed Funeral Home
Reed Funeral Home
705 Raff Road SW Canton, OH 44710
Published in The Repository on Apr. 27, 2014