Earl H. Bergen Jr.
NEWBERRY — Retired businessman, former House Member and S.C. Highway Commissioner, Earl Howell Bergen, Jr., 93, died at his home Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. He was born in North Augusta on Nov. 29, 1920 and was the only child of the late Earl H, Sr. and Lethea Adams Bergen.
Earl attended North Augusta High School and accepted a football scholarship to attend Georgia Military College for his senior year. He came to Newberry to attend college on a football scholarship. Upon graduation from Newberry College he attended Northwestern University and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. He received a degree in Diesel Engineering from Cornell University in Ithica, N.Y. After a stint in the navy he returned to make Newberry his home until his death.
He owned and operated Bergens' Mens Shop from the early 40s and in 1959 he opened Bergen's Ladies Shop. By 1965 he had added Bergen's Gift Shop in Newberry to his retail businesses as well as Georgia's, a retail ladies shop in Chester; Bergen's in Irmo and Honda of Aiken, a motorcycle shop in Aiken. Earl was a multi-engine and instrument rated pilot and flew his plane to clothing shows and markets in New York, Chicago and Dallas to secure the latest in fashions and unique gifts for his stores. He was well-known and respected in the retail industry. He was a member of the Carolina-Virginia Apparel Association and served several terms as its President. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Menswear Retailers of America.
Earl was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. He was predeceased by his wife, Lydie Clary Bergen. Survivors include their three children; daughters, Jeannette (Sandy) Kirkland of Winston, Ga.; Linda (Tommy) Herndon of Proseprity and a son Earl, lll (Katherine) Bergen of Bluffton; grandchildren, Alex and Arthur Kirkland, Tommy, Mark and Clay Herndon, Nicole Bergen Smith and Morgan Bergen; seven great grand children and cousins, Martha Sue Melvin and Jeannette Broom.
Visitation with the family of Earl H. Bergen, Jr. will be 6- 8 p.m. Tuesday at McSwain-Evans Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at the First Baptist Church in Newberry at 11:00 am Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Harmon officiating. Interment will follow at Rosemont Cemetery. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1020 Boundary Street, Newberry, SC 29108
Pall bearers will be grandchildren. Honorary Pall bearers will be Joan M. Kyzer and Sara L. Clark.
The family would like to express appreciation to Angel Care of Newberry for the care and professional services over the past few months.
McSwain-Evans Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements. A memorial message may be written to the family at www.mcswainevans.com.