John Ridley Bergen

BERGEN, John Ridley

John Ridley Bergen, 82, of Templeton, passed away Thursday, April 10, 2014. Born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Hazel and DeHart Bergen Jr., John attended The Allen Stevenson School, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University, and Columbia University.

After his service in the U.S. Army as a journalism instructor, John began his career as a teacher and school administrator in 1955. He became a member of the faculty of The Taft School of Watertown, CT, and continued there for 21 years in several roles, including English instructor and Dean of Faculty. Next, he was headmaster of Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA, from 1976 to 1980. He then became a professional fundraising consultant assisting non-profit organizations with capital campaigns - he retired in 1995.

John married Hannah Bergen in 1983. They lived in Pasadena, moved to Eureka, CA, and then to Templeton. They were active members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Christ Episcopal Church in Eureka, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atascadero.

John served on many vestries and boards and was well known for his devoted public service. John was a consummate humanitarian and gave generously to many causes, and helped friends and family through the years.

A lover of the arts, he studied literature and poetry, appreciated music and sang in several choirs and choruses, and took up watercolor painting in his retirement.

John is survived by his wife, Hannah Bergen; daughters Jocelyn Bergen (Andrew Waegel) of Berkeley, CA.; and Elizabeth Dinkins (Jeff) of Columbia, MO; children of his first marriage to Katharine Sherer; and grandchildren Ivy Waegel and Ewan and Rory Dinkins.

He is also survived by nieces Joyce Krieger (Mark) and Janet Dodrill of Cleveland, OH; grand nephew, Max; stepdaughters Hilary Webb of Venice, CA; Jocelyn Pedersen (Erik) of Los Angeles, CA; and Melissa Webb (Carlos Araya) of Hailey, ID; and their children Walker and Ford Pedersen, and Penelope and Mateo Araya.

His was predeceased by his father DeHart in 1951; stepfather Maxwell Scott in 1976; mother Hazel in 1990; and brother DeHart in 2011.

A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, May 17, 2014, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N. Euclid, Pasadena.

Published in Pasadena Star-News on Apr. 18, 2014