Florence "Flo" Bergh


Florence Margaret Bergh, 95, died quietly on October 19, 2019. Although a major stroke had diminished her physically, it never dimmed the kindness, generosity, and patience that her family remember as the glue that held them together.

Flo was born on February 22, 1924, in Larimore, ND, the daughter of Erick and Eline Berntsen, both Norwegian immigrants. When she was three, Erick died in a car accident, leaving Eline alone on the eve of the Great Depression to care for Flo and her five older siblings—Erling, Berghild, Harold, Ray, and Eva. Despite the great hardship, Flo had many fond memories of her youth. Highlights were a childhood trip to Norway, where she spent a year with grandparents and other relatives; her beloved dog, Fritzie, a constant companion; and fun with friends during softball games, school plays, and declamation contests.

After finishing a bookkeeping degree at Concordia and an adventurous stint at a World War II airplane factory in Seattle, she moved to Minneapolis, where she found a job and met her future husband, Norman Harold Bergh. They married in 1948, after a courtship remembered for its picnics, dancing, and card games with friends. In 1954, Norm’s career took them to Moorhead, where she worked briefly as a bookkeeper but mainly devoted herself to creating a home and raising four children (Susan, Sandra, Terry, and Jeffrey) along with the menagerie of animals the kids wheedled her into adopting—ducks, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, a stray cat, two dogs, and many others.

When the kids scattered and she finally had time, she tried her hand at drawing and wrote an account of her early life. After Norm retired, travel took them all over the country and to Europe to visit family and old friends; their most cherished trip may have been a stay with relatives on both sides of the family in Norway, always close to her heart. As travel slowed, she found a pet of her own—Charlie, her precious Corgi, who grew plumper by the year as she slipped scraps to him under the table. Above all, she loved her four granddaughters (Sunny [Holmes], Olivia, Marissa, and Hannah) and two great-grandchildren (Lily and Parker [both Holmes]), whose many artworks she proudly displayed and carefully saved.

Her children, who didn’t always acknowledge or appreciate her efforts as much as they should have, do remember that when they were little, she scrimped so they (and the dogs) could have ice cream cones and other treats; that she was constantly on the look-out for thoughtful gifts that made their lives better; that she encouraged their education and cheered their efforts, at least those that weren’t misguided; and that she kept the family closer by acting as peacemaker and always remembering to call, no matter what. Mom, we love you dearly, we miss your gentle spirit, and we’re forever grateful for the many things you sacrificed to get us on our way.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools