KENNETH L. BERGSTROM - ESSEX JUNCTION - On Feb. 1, 2013, Kenneth L. Bergstrom, 64, left his battered body on this Earth and let his spirit soar. Born on Jan. 22, 1949, to Hazel and Paul Bergstrom in Holden, Mass., Ken lived a life full of love for his family, many beloved friends, colleagues and students. He left a lasting impression on everyone whom he met. Ken lived in Massachusetts until coming to Vermont in 1967 to earn his BA at Middlebury College. He subsequently earned an M.Ed and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study at the University of Vermont, and a doctoral degree in Leadership and Policy Studies. He taught middle grades in Vermont schools for 15 years, and was a founding member of the Vermont Middle Grades Professional Development Collaborative. He also taught for many years at both Goddard College and Union Institute and University. Ken loved doing "Courage Work", and facilitated years of Courage to Teach retreat cycles. He continued to work as an Educational Consultant with the Courage and Renewal Vermont Programs. Throughout his career he published many articles and book chapters. Ken married Lillian Pickering in 1980, and they had two beautiful daughters, who were the light of his life. He later married Linda Barnes, and though their marriage ended, he considered his stepdaughters as "his babies" along with his own. He experienced one of his greatest joys, meeting his grandson, Hudson, a year ago, and spent as much time as possible with him. Ken was generous with both his time and resources. He was always there to help a neighbor, colleague, friend or family member in need. Ken volunteered with Hospice Programs for many years. He belonged to a men's group that spanned many years, which was a great source of strength. Ken spent most of his adult life in a house that he built himself, in Waterbury, a very proud accomplishment for him. He loved being outdoors, whether hiking, gardening or paddling his Adirondack Guide Boat. He got great joy from his pets over the years, especially his faithful dog, Whiplash. Ken is survived by his daughters, Timiny Bergstrom of Essex and her husband, Adam Sawyer, along with their son, Hudson, and Tatiana Bergstrom of Lake Park, Fla.; and stepdaughters, Heather Barnes-Flint of Lake Park, Fla. and Elisabeth Barnes-Flint of Winooski. He is survived by his brother, Donald Bergstrom of Brevard, N.C. and his wife, Sandra; sisters, Ellen Moore of East Greenwich, R.I. and her husband, Brian, Jean Bergstrom of North Leverett, Mass. and her husband, Steve Adams, and Martha Bergstrom Porter of Millbury, Mass.; as well as many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Dr. Joe Haddock, Ken's longtime doctor and friend, as well as the loving staff at The Vermont Respite House. A celebration of Ken's life will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Shelburne Town Hall.

Published by The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 5, 2013.
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All of your friends at the Center for Courage & Renewal miss you, Ken. We miss your bright mind, your determined spirit, and all the laughter we shared! Rest in peace, sweet brother...
Parker Palmer
January 30, 2021
Ken was a classmate, fraternity brother, and dear friend at Middlebury. He was funny, thoughtful, athletic, and just a great guy. He was also a guy who loved his younger years, and the center of attention among his male and female friends. I have great memories of Ken as we all endured the passages of youth. He was one of the good guys, and a I am so sorry to learn that he has passed on. Bergy, your buddies miss you.

Doug Monroe Monroe
August 4, 2013
Ken was a passionate educator of children. We connected in our early years of teaching when he was in the EPDA program with Larry Meyers, then as colleagues at the Warren School and later with Middle Level education in Vermont. He lived a long life on his terms. His spirit will carry on in his children and all he touched in someway.
Nancy Phillips
February 10, 2013
Tashi & Timiny,
I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. My thoughts are with you both & the rest of your family during this difficult time. Cherish all of your memories of your dad and he will continue to live on in your hearts.
Abbey Douglas
February 10, 2013
Ken you were the best 5th & 6th grade teacher in Duxbury you left many great memories with me.
Jennifer Davis Bombard
February 9, 2013
Ken was a one of a kind teacher, will be missed by all
Jonathan Rutledge
February 9, 2013
Thoughts and prayers to you all. Rest in Peace Ken
Cathy Deslaurier
February 9, 2013
With sadness. Ken was the one who encourage the college life for myself after teaching me to read at Duxbury School. Although, not with us in person his soul and compassion for others lives within us all. Truly will miss our quick passing when shopping! Warm thoughts to all and as he would say to me "you are your own destiny, so choose wisely, and make sure you always say hello and smile to everyone that crosses your path you never know what you will learn from them." Truly an amazing man.
Dawn Poitras
February 9, 2013
I was lucky to know him for a short summer, yet he taught me more about life than most teachers combined. Yes, his spirit is soaring. My condolences to the family!
Victoria Smith
February 9, 2013
Our thoughts are with you all..May Ken live on within all of you. He was a very good teacher, caring and kind. I have fond memories of Ken, in 5th & 6th grade at the old Duxbury School house...
Johnni Damon (LaVanway)
February 9, 2013
Such a warm, kind, thoughtful, gentle man. Ken was a role model for many children and for many educators. He was generous in spirit, giving himself fully to the people around him. He drew strength in his giving. A most wonderful man.
Sarah Page
February 9, 2013
Ken was my 5th/6th grade teacher at Duxbury Elementary school many years ago. Wonderful teacher and role model. I have fond memories of those 2 years and our class trip to Boston. I truly loved his spirit and his love for teaching.
My thoughts and prayers are with his girls and his family at this very difficult time. Rest in Peace Ken!
Doreen MacKenzie (Sherman)
February 8, 2013
We were saddened to hear about Ken.
Deepest condolences from our family to yours. May the God of all comfort,who does not cause bad things to happen, be with you at this time of sorrow.
We look forward to the time when HE will bring our loved ones back to life and eliminate death forever.
St Louis Family
February 8, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ella Cahill
February 8, 2013
Ken was a gentle giant who inspired so many to have the courage to teach. I fondly remember our work together with Dr. Chris Stevenson at UVM and the night VAMLE was chartered. He is loved by so many and will be greatly missed.
Maggie Eaton
February 7, 2013
Ken was a gentle giant who inspired hundreds of educators to have the courage to teach. I fondly remember our work together with Chris Stevenson helping to write "Dancing Through Walls" at UVM. He lives on in our hearts; he is cherished by many and his legacy will live on.
February 7, 2013
Ken arrived at Goddard with a proclamation – he only stays in jobs for 7 years before moving on. Lucky for us he stayed longer.

To the EDU faculty's delight he was a perpetual adolescent. Never did a meeting pass without a “pull-my-finger” style joke or a silly prank. He made the monotony of a 3-hour intensive meeting far more tolerable and meaningful with his intellectual and juvenile contributions.

His contributions at EDU residencies was immeasurable. From leading large group opening and closing sessions with beautiful sing-a-longs, profound and academically rich workshops, to his reassuring role as liaison between the student and the state around licensure he was loved by students, staff, and colleagues.

His greatest contribution was as advisor and “Portfolio King” – the latter was not by choice. He was against standardized curriculum and felt the direction the state was going was regressive. We were lucky to have someone so dedicated to the degree criteria, progressive education, and reflective practice. He championed a portfolio process that defied the rules and ended up shining in relation to what other colleges were doing.

Ken cared so deeply about his family. He shared stories about his effort to be a good dad and husband and was often self-critical about his limitations. Even in this role he was reflective; trying hard to improve and reach his lofty, idealistic goals.

There are very few people we've worked with who have made such an effort to collaborate and collectively meet the core mission of the institution. There were often times where he challenged the college and the choices of administration – sometimes to the point of making himself unwell. We learned so much from Ken and appreciate the deep impact he had on us as educators.
Geraldine and Gus Lyn-Piluso
February 7, 2013
You were a rare, wondrous man and colleague - funny, honest, thought-provoking, gentle, wise, supportive and spirited. You are missed. Thank you for good years at Goddard.
Maike Garland
February 7, 2013
Ahhhh... Ken! Always had the thing that made me think, pushed me to reason, made me defend my thinking process, and expanded my mind to new ideas, all while showing me how to use my strengths to do so. You have affected my everyday, my every work, my continued thinking about child development. You are missed and loved.
Erica Gongloff
February 7, 2013
Oh, Ken! Such a powerful teacher. A passionate man. I worked with him at Goddard in the early 90's. So sad to hear of his passing.
Jan Donley
February 7, 2013
So sad to hear of Ken's passing... he was one of the wonderful characters that made my time at Goddard so amazing. Many thoughtful prayers to his family.
Philip "Phlip" Walls
February 6, 2013
I will never forget the legacy Ken left of his passion for education as a teacher and mentor for many of us. Most importantly he was a friend who will never be forgotten. Every time I see a Vermont sunset I will think of the him and remember him fondly.
February 6, 2013
I was so saddened to hear of Ken's passing. He was always so kind to me when we worked at Goddard together. He had such a gentle, funny personality.
Shannon Trainor
February 6, 2013
Timmy and Tashi thinking of you, willing you strength and positive energy. Your dad was a good man. Shake and bake Ken :)
Lea Rembisz
February 6, 2013
Ken is my cousin and also a classmate. He had the birthday before mine in the family. I will miss just knowing he was up there in VT accomplishing good deeds large and small and encouraging fellow educators. I wish I had spent more time with him as an adult and will try to do a better job with other cousins.
Becky Ellis
February 6, 2013
My prayers to Ken's family and close friends. What a nicely written tribute to Ken.
Kellee Carman
February 6, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with you Ellen and Brian and family.


Paula Cartwright
February 6, 2013
Ken was a memorable student at UVM and an unflinching collaborator in countless efforts to bring meaningful, transforming schooling and learning to Vermont's young adolescent students. His footprints are deep.
Chris Stevenson
February 6, 2013
My sincere sympathy to all of Ken's family. He was an encouraging, kind, and deeply committed colleague who will be dearly missed.
Jane Goodman
February 6, 2013
I studied with Ken for years at Goddard and think of him with great fondness. He shaped me both as a teacher and as a person.
Rachael Rice
February 5, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with all of Ken's family and friends
Robin (Hart) Ward
February 5, 2013
Ken was my facilitator for many Goddard classes, and an enormous influence in my life. Love to all his family.
Melissa Jarmel
February 5, 2013
I knew Ken from our Junior High and High School days in Holden. Always a gentleman, always a smile and a kind word. My prayers are with his family.
Sherry Powers
February 5, 2013
Our sincere sympathy at a great lost. Ken was a great friend from high school days and will be greatly missed.
Helen "Suprenant"Metcalf
February 5, 2013
We were friends in high school and then went separate ways, as classmates do. Reading about your journey has touched me greatly. You will be missed by all who call you friend.
Nancy Howatt Wilson
February 5, 2013
Ken you will be missed! Thank you for your kindness and good times over our time together at Goddard. Sending good vibes to all of your loved ones.
Sara Barrette
February 5, 2013
Ken was an amazing teacher and always supportive of his students. I have many fond memories of his classes at Goddard...what a tremendous spirit.
Tara Downs
February 5, 2013
Ken was a wonderful friend from my Holden youth. He is in a much better place now. His family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Glenn Hamond
February 5, 2013
I am so very sorry. Ken was one of my most beloved advisers at Goddard College! He will be missed!
Hannah Rudy
February 5, 2013
A very good man gone. Glad our paths crossed.
Mark Greenberg
February 5, 2013
If anyone could find their way across Bifrost to rest, it would be your strong, gentle soul, Kenny. My sympathy to your family.
Diane Gaw
February 5, 2013
Kenny was a dear classmate both at Holden Jr High and Wachusett. He was bright, witty and just a dear fellow. A delight to have known. May you be comforted in knowing that he is truly in a better place.
Joy Mallett Dargon
February 5, 2013
A kind and gentle man...and great friend! My sympathies to his whole family.
Sam Caloiaro
February 5, 2013
In loving memory of a man whose spirit burned brightly during his earthly journey & now lights the Heavens.

I was privileged to count Ken among my Friends.
Deborah Lord
February 5, 2013
Ken brought so many gifts to our lives. An unselfish mentor to so many. Peace my friend.
Wayne Butterfield
February 5, 2013
Tashi and Heather, I know he loved you guys with his whole soul. He will always be with you. Love you both.
Mirek Lobaszx
February 5, 2013
Rest in Paradise!
Sandra Glocker
February 5, 2013
Tashi, Timiny - I'm sorry for your loss. Your father was a great man. Find comfort in those around you, hold on to your memories, and know he is never far. God bless you and your family.
Amy Wells-Deslaurier
February 5, 2013
Ken was a remarkable man, a wonderful colleague, and a great friend. I will miss him very, very much, as will the hundreds of people whose lives he touched through his work with the Center for Courage & Renewal.
Parker J. Palmer
February 5, 2013
Tashi, I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss. He was a lucky man to have a family that loves him so much. May he be at peace. Love you and hugging you.
Julie Shasteen
February 5, 2013
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