2 entries
  • "Karl was a great man , who was a pleasure to be around ...."
  • "Karl, you know you were like a second father to me. Your..."
    - Todd Cullison
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KARL ÅKE BERGSTROM Einan's at Sunset Karl Åke Bergstrom, son, brother, husband, father, Papa, aircraft mechanic, pilot, and business founder departed on his final flight to heaven on June 5th, 2016 surrounded by his family. He courageously battled ALS the past 2 years. Karl was born in Stockholm, Sweden on May 8th, 1934 to parents Karl-Otto and Karin Bergstrom. Karl loved motorcycles, cars and airplanes. His early education was in the mechanical trades, and he quickly found his talent working with his hands repairing anything with an engine. He met his true love Elenor Johansson at a dance in Sweden. He and Elenor married in 1958 and their first daughter Anna was born in 1961. Karl worked for the Swedish airline TransAir and made many life-long friends in his home country. Elenor convinced Karl to move their young family to the United States to pursue the American Dream. Distant relatives Ray and Ruby Poland offered Karl a job and the family settled in Kennewick WA in 1965 to start on their great adventure. Aviation called to Karl and he attended Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake to earn his U.S. aircraft maintenance certification and pilot's license. He then became the chief mechanic for Tri-City Airways at the Pasco Airport. Second daughter Malin was born in 1966, and son Daniel came along in 1970. Karl and Elenor decided to start their own aircraft maintenance shop, borrowed $500 from a bank on his name, and Karl A. Bergstrom Aircraft Services opened in 1971. Karl's talent and honesty in aviation maintenance earned him a great reputation and loyal following in the aviation community. Karl earned contracts with all the airlines and served as Battelle's Director of Maintenance. He maintained their research aircraft at Pasco and during missions across the globe including London, Mexico, and Bahrain. The Tri-Cities embraced Karl and wherever he and Elenor went, someone always said "Hello, Karl" and thanked him for helping fix their airplane quickly and safely. The full-service aviation company/FBO (Fixed Base Operator) has prospered over the past 45 years, and now is headed by Malin and Daniel. Karl truly enjoyed working at the airport with great people serving the aviation community. He never sought recognition or awards, but they found him anyway. He received the DOE Safety Award, Flying Farmers Mechanic of the Year Award, Washington State FBO of the Year and the Federal Aviation Administration's "Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award" for 50 years of dedication, expertise and professionalism in aviation maintenance and safety. Karl and Elenor valued their Swedish heritage and took their family to Sweden several times over the years. They brought family members from Sweden to visit during the summer. Karl and Elenor also travelled the world with close friends, visiting the Panama Canal, Alaska, Japan, Mexico, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Jamaica, Paris, Costa Rica, Bahamas and many more wonderful locations. Karl's greatest joy was his family. Sunday dinners were the highlight of the week for Karl and watching his grandchildren was the only thing that convinced him to step away from the airport. All it took was a simple reach of a hand from any of his grandchildren and "Papa" did whatever they led him to.driving golf carts, going to hockey games, playing board games, going for ice cream or playing catch. It didn't matter what it was, Carson, Graysen and Owen had a special pace in the Papa's heart from the day they were born. Karl is predeceased by his parents Karin and Karl-Otto. Karl is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Elenor, his children, Anna Bergstrom, Malin Bergstrom (Michel Pelletier), Daniel Bergstrom (Christina), and his grandchildren Carson, Graysen, Owen, Jos‚e, Luc and Jake. His brother Hans Bergstrom and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins in Sweden also survive him. A special thank you and blessing to Jack and Patsy Vazquez for their many years of love and friendship and the wonderful staff at the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice House. A Celebration of Life for Karl Åke Bergstrom will be held at Bergstrom Aircraft, Inc. on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at 6pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Karl A. Bergstrom Memorial Scholarship (donations can be made at www.bergstromaircraft.com) or the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy or a . Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, -- and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air... Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark or even eagle flew -- And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. Express your thoughts and memories on our online Guestbook at www.einansatsunset.com
Published in Tri-City Herald on June 12, 2016