Colonel Vernon MacKenzie Bergstrom, USAF Retired, of Ogden, Utah passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 91, on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Vernon was born November 14, 1929, as the youngest of three children to Hjalmar and Gedina Bergstrom in Ukiah, CA. Shortly after he was born, they moved to Santa Cruz, CA where he was raised and graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1947.
He received a Bachelor of Science Business Administration from San Jose State University in 1953 where he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity.
Vernon enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1953. Bergie, as he was known by his Air Force buddies, graduated from Navigator training and was assigned to the B-47 Stratojet bomber. He was stationed at Schilling and Forbes Air Force bases in Kansas. After joining the 1st Air Commando Wing at Hurlburt Field in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Bergie was assigned to South Vietnam where he completed 72 combat missions. Following his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was assigned to the Pentagon from 1967 to 1971, then served at CINCPAC headquarters under Admiral John McCain Sr. in Oahu, HI. His final assignment prior to retirement as a full Colonel was as Chief of Data Automation and later Comptroller of Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, UT. He proudly served his country for 29 years. Following his retirement from the USAF Bergie continued his career as a defense contractor working for TRW and then spent 10 years as a Sales Director for the Southeast United States for Jetway Apex Systems. During his tenure with Jetway Vern was very proud of the fact that he was recognized by Delta Airlines for earning over 2 million miles of travel.
In addition to his professional life, he was active in many community and service organizations. Vern was an active member of the Exchange Club of Ogden, as well as he was an active member and served on the Vestry for the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Vern was instrumental in the establishment and growth of Youth Impact, a nonprofit organization committed to serving the needs of Ogden’s youth. Vern established their Board of Directors and served as its first Chairman and later was named Chairman Emeritus.
He also enjoyed golf, getting his first and only hole in one on June 21, 2005. Other hobbies included woodworking, traveling the world with his beautiful bride Jacque of 66 years, and spending time with his three daughters and their families which includes six grandchildren. His family was his pride and joy and greatest love.
Vernon was predeceased by his older brother, Gerald Hjalmar Bergstrom, and his older sister, Lillian Bergstrom Kingsley.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jacquelyn Leone Van Arsdale Bergstrom, his three daughters; Heidi (Vance) Bergstrom Sanders of South Pasadena, CA; two grandchildren, Hannah Rose Sanders and Jack Henry Sanders, Lisa (Scott) Leone Mathes of Greensboro, GA; two grandchildren, Michael MacKenzie Mathes and Molly Jewell Mathes, Jill (Travis) Marie Drown of Salt Lake City, UT; two grandchildren, Samuel Wheeler Drown and Tucker MacKenzie Drown.
The family is grateful for the outpouring of love from family and friends as well as the loving attention of his caregivers.
A celebration of life will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to Youth Impact located at 2305 Grant Avenue, Ogden UT 84401, youthimpactogden.org.
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