Donald Walter Bergeson
Branch: U. S. Army
Date of Service: 1-24-1951 to 1-23-1953
Home Town: Clearbrook, MN
DONALD WALTER BERGESON
Donald Walter Bergeson was born May 18, 1930 in Winsor Township, Clearwater County, Minnesota to Water and Dorothy (Hetland) Bergeson. He was the second oldest of four boys and four girls. He attended school in Gully and Leon townships through the eighth grade. He grew up in Winsor and Leon Townships in Clearwater County, Minnesota. He obtained his GED as an adult.
Don entered the United States Army on January 24, 1951 in Fargo, North Dakota. A Korean War veteran, he went to Basic Training at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. As a bridge foreman in the engineering field, he was trained at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was stationed in the European theater attached to the 5th Army in Munich, Germany. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant on January 23, 1953.
Shortly after his discharge, Don moved to the Iron Range and drove truck in the mines for a while, then moved to Schroeder, Minnesota, where he also drove truck. Then he changed his career to being an iron worker and worked on building the Power Plant at Taconite Harbor on Lake Superior. On August 27, 1955 he married Signe Hanson in Bagley. After another year or so at Schroeder, they moved back to the Iron Range, Aurora and Hibbing where he continued iron work on several buildings in that area. In April of 1962, they purchased Signe’s home farm and Don farmed. From April of 1975 to August of 1977, Don worked on the Alyeska pipeline on the north slope of Alaska as an iron worker at the pumping stations. After returning home to Bagley, he was an iron worker on the school at Northhome, the Bemidji Mall and Bemidji Hospital. On May 18, 1978, while working on the Bemidji Hospital, he fell and sustained a spinal cord injury, which left him a quadriplegic. He spent the next 22 years, the rest of his life, in a wheel chair.
A member of the Irvin Blix Post #16 of Bagley, Donald passed away May 8, 2000. He is buried in the Bagley City Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Signe and children Bruce, Julie and Lauri.