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John E. Bergum

John E. Bergum, age 75 of Barneveld, died Saturday, January 31, 2015 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg. He was born on December 21, 1939 in Monroe, the son of Ervin and Celia (Dunn) Bergum. He graduated from Albany High School, and then entered the Navy, combined Reserves and Active Duty from 1958 to 1961. John was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis. John married Mara Lee Speich (Kildow) in 1958. John later married Shirley A. Oftedahl on October 31, 1996 in Dodgeville. John had many careers during his life, worked at General Motors in Janesville, he managed The Red Barn and Restaurant in Evansville - where he was known as Big John. Upon moving to Monroe he started beef farming, managed Turner Hall for several years, worked at Crandall Tire Company. Then moving to Northern Wisconsin to Appleton to work in tires again then to farm "bigger" in the areas of Merideen, Shioctin and New London, returning to the area he then lived in Hollandale, and Blanchardville, until finally settling down in Barneveld. His last job before retiring was working for his daughter (Kelly and Dan) and son-in-law's Municipal Sweeping Company, Kleen Pavement, in Evansville. He was a member of Barneveld American Legion; he enjoyed playing cards, riding motorcycles, being around animals, discussing politics - actually ran for Lt. Governor as a Libertarian, and spending time with his large, loving family.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley of Barneveld; daughter, Kelly (Dan) Gildner of Evansville; step-children: Caroline (Fred) Mazanec of Fresno, CA and Sandra Oftedahl of St. Paul, MN; 5 grandchildren, Justine, Ben (Tammy) and Hannah Gildner, and Jordan and Mara Kate Mazanec, and brothers: Ted (Bea) Bergum of Monticello, Tim (Barb) Bergum of Edgerton, Richard (Barbara) Bergum of LaFarge; a sister-in-law, Kay Bergum of Monroe and dozens and dozens of nieces and nephews (really). He was preceded in death by his parents, two children: David and Debby Bergum; and a brother Bill Bergum.

A celebration of Life will be held Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Shriner Hager Gohlke funeral home, 1455 Mansion Dr. and 18th Ave., Monroe.

Condolences may be sent to the family at: