Obituary: Sherry Bergland

Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 13:17:01-04

Sherry Bergland was someone who said thank you to nurses even when she felt her worst, someone who could make friends with strangers in line at the grocery store, and someone who preferred to put others before herself.

Sherry died of natural causes on March 11, 2020 at Highgate Senior Living in Bozeman, Montana, her home for the past three years. She was born October 15, 1933 in Hettinger, North Dakota to Laila and Stanley Schjeldahl. Sherry grew up in the area and graduated from Hettinger High School in 1951. She attended the University of North Dakota and enjoyed her college years. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and later served in the Theta Alumnae Club.

When Dale Bergland proposed to Sherry, her response was not yes or no, but, “When?” They were a perfect match and married on August 22, 1953. They celebrated 64 years together before Dale’s passing in 2017. During the early years of their marriage, children Penny, Jerry and Kristi were born. They moved for Dale’s schooling and job with the MSU Extension Service to Fargo, Miles City, Broadus, and then settled in Glendive for 18 years. In 1978, they moved to Bozeman.

Sherry was an expert at making friends, writing thoughtful letters and planning social events. She was very charismatic, fun-loving and sweet. She cherished time spent with friends and family, going to the symphony and was an avid reader. A group of long-time Bozeman friends – the Berglands, Aasheims, Rusts and Sargents – spent countless hours together. Sherry often talked of her “Laughing Club” – membership included no formal rules or regulations, only laughing.

Sherry spent much of her free time serving others through Meals on Wheels, Bozeman Senior Center, Red Cross Blood Bank, and the hospital – most often the Cancer Center. Being a 26-year cancer survivor, coupled with her compassionate and nurturing nature, made her the perfect supporter.

Dale and Sherry were members of First Presbyterian Church, Sourdough Lion’s Club, Valley View Golf Club and Formal Dance Club. They were avid Bobcat fans, and rarely missed anything the grandchildren were involved in. This included regular trips to see grandchildren in Portland. Her devotion to family was evident in the continual love and support she gave them.

Sherry loved playing bridge and was a member of various clubs throughout her life, including a group fondly known as the “Silly Old Broads.” She and Dale also played in a couple’s club for a time, where Dale’s lack of skill with the game became the subject of much banter between the two. The score evened out however, when Sherry attempted golf. They agreed A’s were earned for effort.

Sherry was preceded in death by Dale and son, Jerry (1976). She is survived by daughters, Penny (Scott) Price (Portland, OR) and Kristi Bergland Ragar (Bozeman); grandchildren, Connor and Taylor Price (Portland) and Shaylee (Bozeman) and Jeremy Ragar (Santa Barbara, CA); and sister, Muriel Otterberg (Spearfish, SD).

The family is appreciative of the loving care Sherry received from staff at Highgate Senior Living, Hospice of Bozeman Health and Pastor Jody McDevitt of First Presbyterian. Heaven gained a precious angel with a huge heart. Sherry will forever be missed.

Memorials may be made to the Bozeman Cancer Support Community ‘Mending in the Mountains Program’ (a favorite retreat of Sherry’s), 102 S. 11th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715; or charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Sherry’s life will be announced this summer.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []