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Marian Crittenden Bergeson


1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Marian Crittenden Bergeson Obituary
August 31, 1925 - July 6, 2016 Marian Dorlene Crittenden Bergeson, age 90, passed away peacefully at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California, on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, from pancreatic cancer. Her family was at her side. Our beloved mother, grandmother, wife, sister and friend will be greatly missed. Marian was born on August 31, 1925, to Ivan and Clara Crittenden in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the age of three months, the family moved to Westwood, California, where Marian was raised. She graduated from University High School, attended UCLA, and graduated from Brigham Young University in Elementary Education. There she met her husband Garth, and they were married on June 16, 1950. They moved to Southern California where she began her teaching career at Garfield Elementary in Santa Monica. This was the beginning of a long and dedicated career in education and public service. In 1964 she was elected as a Trustee to the Newport Beach Elementary School District, which then became the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Marian was the first woman to serve in both Houses of the California Legislature. She was elected to the California State Assembly in 1978 and the California State Senate in 1984. She was also elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1994. She served as Secretary of Education in the Wilson Administration, and other appointed positions including the State Board of Education in 1998, and the California Transportation Commission in 2001. In recognition of her efforts to improve education throughout California, she was awarded The University of California, Irvine, Medal Award. Dedicated in her name are the Marian Bergeson Annual Award to an Outstanding Orange County School Board Member, Marian Bergeson Elementary School, Marian Bergeson Aquatic Center at Corona del Mar High School, and the Marian Bergeson Leadership Series, a training program for women interested in political involvement. Marian loved life, loved serving others, and most importantly, loved her family. She and her husband Garth raised four children with a strong work ethic she learned from her parents. Though she struggled with health issues, she never complained. She lived life to the very fullest and especially loved spending time with her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Garth; their children David Garth Bergeson, Julie (Matt) McCormick, and James (Fran) Bergeson; and 11 grandchildren Jamie (Jeff) Lyon, Alex and Max Bergeson, Katie (Jake) Wagstaff, Shannon, Ally, Tim, and Hayden McCormick, Kim Bishop, and Andi and Dani Bergeson. She is also survived by her sister Carolyn (James) Tyler and sister-in-law Jean Crittenden. She was preceded in death by her daughter Nancy, in 2009, her brother Dr. Hunter Crittenden in 2014, and her sister Sue (Stuart) Cannon in 2014. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 13, at 5:00 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), 801 Dover Drive, Newport Beach, 92660. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Orangewood Foundation, El Sol Charter Academy, Seneca OC, Oasis Senior Center in Newport Beach, or College Park Elementary School in Costa Mesa.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 30 to Aug. 7, 2016
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