Walter Benhard Bergman, 86, saw the face of God on Septmber 9th, 2021. He was born at home to Walter and Viola Bergman in Ottumwa, IA on November 18, 1934. The youngest of six siblings. Brothers: Clifford Leedall, Vincent Elder. Sisters: June (Heinz), Jewel (Barker) and Florence “Scotty” (Hamilton). He was 9 years younger than his nearest sibling, “Scotty”. His father died in 1936 in the midst of the Depression, 2 years after his birth. All his immediate family predeceased him, some living well into their 90s. He left school during his sophomore year and later in adulthood completed his GED, passing on the first try without any preparation. He enlisted in the Marine Corps. in 1953 at age 18 during the Korean War, luckily missing combat as the Armistice was signed while he was enroute. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to his hometown of Ottumwa where he later met and married the love of his life, Jacqualene Ann Collett. After a brief courtship they married in January 1956.
He was hired by the Milwaukee RR where his brother, Vint already worked. He was a faithful employee and awarded Switchman/Brakeman and sometimes Yard Master if he could pull seniority. He received numerous safety awards from the UTU in his 40 year career and retired in 1993 at the age of 59. He loved railroad work and his favorite hobby was playing billiards but he was also a shrewd Picochle player. In 1957 his first child was born, a daughter, Brenda Rhoads and a son, Bryck Bergman followed in 1961. He was a faithful usher at the family’s church in Ottumwa, IA for many years. After his retirement, he and Jackie moved to Syracuse to reside with their son and they became members of Abundant Life Christian Center after a life changing tour of Israel with the church where they made many friends.
Caps Cue Club on Teall Ave. was also a big draw for his move to this area. He made many friends there and revitalized play of his game on the one table in the establishment. Pool was the usual play, but he was strictly billiards as he enjoyed not just the skill but the strategy of play the game offered. He played until chronic illness from kidney failure made him no longer competitive and he lost strength.
Surviving are his wife, Jackie; daughter, Brenda Rhoads; son-in-law, Randy Rhoads and son, Bryck Bergman.
Services are at Abundant Life Christian Center, 7000 All Nations Boulevard, East Syracuse, NY on Thursday, September 16th at 2 PM with visitation to follow until 4PM.
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