View Full Version : RAYMOND ALVIN BERGREN 1 January 1917 ~ 29 September 2013

03-10-13, 20:40
January 1, 1917 ~ September 29, 2013

Raymond Alvin Bergren was born at home on January 1, 1917, in Gackle, North Dakota to Axel and Hilda (Ritola) Bergren. Raymond was the oldest of nine children, after the first born, Nancy, died of pneumonia. Viola, Arnold and William were also born in North Dakota. After the family moved to Brush Prairie, Washington in 1923, the family grew with the births of Robert, Virginia, Lillian, Glenn and Judy.

Finnish was the language spoken in Raymond's home, until he started school at Brush Prairie in 1924 and began to learn English. Ray also went on to attend Fifth Plain School, until the family purchased a farm along the road between Brush Prairie and Hockinson. Ray graduated from Battle Ground High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball and took pride in being the only freshman to letter in three sports.

After graduating from high school in 1935, during the Great Depression, Ray worked in logging camps, falling timber and scaling logs until 1941. During that time, Ray met, fell in love with, and married Eleanor Korpua in 1939. Their daughter, Beverly, was born in 1942 and son, Gary, was born in 1948.

After marrying, Ray and Eleanor moved to Astoria, Oregon where Ray continued to work in logging camps until moving to Vancouver, Washington to work in the shipyards in 1941. Volunteering to join the Navy meant a move to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Ray was discharged from the Navy in 1946 and the family returned home. Ray was happy to be offered a job as lead man at the shipyards. With help from the GI Bill, education and hard work, there were opportunities for advancement from the rank and file to supervisory positions. Ray worked for Albina Engine and Machine Works/Dillingham Ship Repair until retirement and returned to work again for Global Marine. Ray and Eleanor lived in Finland for over two years, where Ray supervised the building of off shore oil drilling rigs. They thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

Ray and Eleanor traveled extensively. Ray loved the outdoors and enjoyed salmon fishing, hunting and golfing. He loved spending time at their cabin on the Sandy River, in Oregon, pruning trees, clearing brush, fixing up the cabin and steelhead fishing. Hard physical labor was never something that deterred him.

Ray could fix anything and didn't like to hire help for any job he could learn to do on his own. He even built the family home in Portland, while also working full time. When he became Man of the Year in 1990 for the Columbia River Society of Port Engineers, the plaque read, "Always Willing to Help" and that applied everywhere in his life, with co-workers, friends and family.

Ray's family loved his smile and quick-witted sense of humor. His warm laugh was contagious and made others comfortable in his presence. He delighted in sharing his stories and would take advantage of any opportunity to be with people.

Raymond was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; and leaves behind his children, Beverly Hobson and Gary Bergren (Patty); along with four beloved grandchildren, Mark Hobson, Kara Hobson, Erin Marshall (Steve), John Bergren (Kelsey); and five great-grandchildren.

Ray is survived by his sisters: Virginia Brattan, Lillian Agliano, Judy Fettig; sisters-and brothers-in-law, Carol Bergren, Judy Bergren Carr, Nat Agliano and Charles Fettig; in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be Friday, October 4th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Layne's Funeral Home in Battle Ground, Washington. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie, Washington, with burial at Elim Cemetery in Brush Prairie, followed by a gathering at the church.

Please sign his Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits. - See more at: http://obits.columbian.com/obituaries/columbian/obituary.aspx?n=raymond-alvin-bergren&pid=167308911&fhid=9087#fbLoggedOut