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Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels
Minneapolis, MN
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Paul BERGSTROM

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Paul BERGSTROM Obituary
Paul Bergstrom left this earth on Friday, December 14, just as he lived his life ~ with strength, dignity, and a fierce devotion to the family he loved so much. Despite being denied the ability to grow old with his soulmate and devoted wife, Katie, Paul filled his 64 years with more than a lifetime of love, travel, experiences, and friendship. His legacy of humor, intelligence, respect, and an encyclopedic knowledge of all subjects, including music, lives on with the four loves of his life, his children Adam, Max, Henry and Nora. Paul was born in Minneapolis on December 9, 1948, to Donna and William Bergstrom, and spent most of his adult life "across the river" in his beloved city of Saint Paul. At a young age, Paul joined the US Navy and served heroically as a combat veteran and trained medic in Vietnam, reflecting the course of his later life in his dedicated focus on helping others at the most vulnerable times of life. The friendships he formed with his fellow Vietnam veterans lasted throughout his life. Paul returned to Minnesota and used the GI Bill to attend the University of Minnesota. Ever the learner and traveler, he moved to France and lived there while attending medical school. Ultimately, Paul returned to St. Paul and attended William Mitchell Law School. Ever the Renaissance man, Paul worked a myriad of jobs: driving taxi, performing autopsies, delivering babies, and as a DJ for an oldies radio station, which enhanced his passion for many styles of music and late night conversations with people from all walks of life. As a lawyer, Paul worked for decades as a personal injury attorney, helping scores of individuals find compensation and resolution for tragedies that befell their lives. Paul then reinvented his career by focusing his advocacy skills on families; first, as a guardian ad litem, then as a family law mediator, next as a lawyer for the Ramsey County Guardian Ad Litem program, and lastly, as a Judicial Referee for the Ramsey County family court. It was in this final professional role that Paul's compassion, skill and deep caring for people in points of conflict and crisis was most clearly displayed. His consistent demonstration of respect and equal treatment for everyone, was a remarkable trait that endeared him to so many with whom he worked and who appeared in his courtroom. Paul took exceptional pride in his work, and remained dedicated to keeping his court schedule even as his medical treatments drained his energy. But it was the time he spent with his family that nurtured Paul's soul. He loved constant education, and had a keenly inquisitive mind, amazing memory, and an endless supply of dry humor. He liberally shared all of that with his wife, children, siblings, friends, and colleagues, all of whom mourn his absence but celebrate the unique joy and energy he brought to their lives. Paul and Katie had an amazing 25 year run-traveling to French-speaking countries both together and with their children, building a beautiful lake home, raising big dogs, reading, drinking wine, playing cards, and were completely in love. In addition to Katie and his children, Paul's absence will be missed most by his siblings Robert (Monica) Bergstrom, Jennifer (David) Hinz, and Martha (Terry) Morical, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, the Carlson and Dorweiler families, father-in-law Lauren Carlson and mother-in-law Barbara (Jerry) Eide. Paul's funeral will be held on Thursday, December 20 at 10:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul. A reception and celebration of Paul's life will follow at the St. Paul College Club, 990 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Memorials in lieu of flowers should be sent to the Wounded Warriors project, in memory of Paul's deceased nephew Peter Bergstrom, a decorated soldier. www.washburn-mcreavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996



Published in Pioneer Press on Dec. 16, 2012
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