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John D Bergmark

John D Bergmark

John David Bergmark, age 71, went to his heavenly home on Thursday, May 7, 2020.  He passed away at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from a heart attack. 

John was born on July 10, 1948.  He was the first son of Harry and Ellen (Weigent, Zeilinger) Bergmark.  John grew up on the family dairy farm on Big Hill, north of Pepin, Wisconsin.  John attended Big Hill Country School through the 7th grade and then went to Pepin Public Schools, where he graduated in 1967.

John farmed with his father until Harry retired and then he took over the farm with younger brother Jim. When the family dairy farm was sold in 1997, John purchased part of the Big Hill farm as well as a neighboring farm.

John married Semone Thomas and helped raise Semone’s daughter, Penelope.  After selling the dairy farm, John worked as a plumber and eventually drove trucks for the Durand Cooperative’s feed department.   John, Semone and Penelope moved to a hobby farm north of Menomonie.  The couple later divorced.  John continued to work for the Durand (Countryside) Cooperative, but only on a part-time basis in recent years. He had just begun to enjoy retirement.  

John was a hard and reliable worker. He was always ready to help his parents and siblings whenever something needed to be hauled or a strong body was required.   He enjoyed fishing and hunting and recently took up bow-hunting.  Venison was often in the freezer.  John also did a lot of gardening.  He grew sweet corn and potatoes for himself and shared much with his siblings.  He liked to plant fruit trees and did a lot of apple-picking every fall.  He shared fruits and vegetables with friends and family, and his kindness and generosity will be missed by all.

John was a good friend to many in the Pepin Community, and he knew a great number of farmers from his days of hauling feed.  The comradery of the workers of Durand Cooperative gave him a very enjoyable work period after leaving the family farm.  But in his heart, he always was a farmer. 

John is survived by his brother, James (Judy) of Pepin.  He is also survived by five sisters, Jean (Joe) Edlin of Stockholm, Betty Bergmark of River Falls, Karleen Walton (friend, Gary Wyrick) of Bayfield, Colorado, Janet Bergmark (Fiancé Tim Fagerstrom) of Woodbury, Minnesota and Lori Bergmark (wife Laura Fairweather) also of Woodbury.  One niece and three nephews survive:  Joshua Walton of Bayfield, Colorado, Natasha Walton of Denver, Colorado, Tony Edlin of Stockholm, Wisconsin and Todd Edlin of Duluth, Minnesota.  John continued a friendship with Semone and her daughter Penelope Augustine of Big Lake, Minnesota, and enjoyed spending time with Penelope’s daughter Kaiya.

John was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Scott Walton.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.


  1. Kevin seyffer

    Sorry to hear of Johns passing

  2. meg LABRIE

    I just recently heard of John's death and wanted to send my sympathy to the entire family. I knew John as a child (my parents were Floyd and Adaline Claflin) and we grew up on neighboring farms. John was a few years behind me in school at Big Hill
    school. I have many fond memories of the ballgames, picnics and school programs we shared. I remember John as a sweet and fun loving fellow. Again, I send my sympathy to all.

  3. Debbie Weiss

    So sorry for your loss. I worked with John at Countryside and he was a wonderful person.

  4. Diane Coleman

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for your family.

  5. Ron Zeilinger

    Love to all the family John has left behind as crosses the threshold to new life. You are missed John, thank you for your gentle strength and your generous heart. And...vshyyou made great wine!

  6. Ralph and Joan Guckenberger

    We didn't know John well, but we know that he was part of a wonderful, loving family. Our sympathy goes out to all of you at this sad time.

  7. Dave and Gayle Manore

    John's family has our sympathy on their loss. He was such a decent man and a joy to know and talk to.

  8. Chris & Sheila Castlberg and family

    John will be so greatly missed. The world has truly lost one of the good guys. Our hearts go out to all of you. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to help.

  9. Kristine Polzer

    Was saddened to hear of John's passing. He was such a kind person whenever we met. Our sympathies to his family.

    Dave and Kris Polzer

  10. Julie Oberhart

    So sad to hear of Johns passing. Our thoughts go out to the family. John was a wonderful person and we had pleasure knowing him. Dennis and Julie Oberhart.

  11. Sandy Larson

    So sorry for the loss of your Brother, John, & our neighbor. Lots of Memories of the neighborhood boys building bridges keeping the snowmobile trails open back when our Kids were small. We enjoyed many rides up the "Sheep Shed Hill" pulling the kids in the Cat Cutters and heading down to the Chippewa River. John 5will be missed. Your Family is in my Prayers. Sandy Larson .

  12. LuAnn and Randy Hayden

    So sorry for your loss. We are thinking of your families at this time. Rest in peace John.

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