LaVerne Edward Bergman, age 89, of Reedsburg, passed away in his home with his wife Donna (Hanusa) and children present on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.
In true LaVerne fashion, he ignored the prognosis in his diagnosis of terminal cancer, and defiantly continued maintaining home and property, splitting wood and cutting down trees until just weeks ago. He then stated to family that he had gotten done everything he wanted before cancer could take him. Even cancer appeared to follow his schedule.
Wood was his passion – cutting down the trees, sawing up the lumber, building with it, crafting with it, stocking it up for the wood furnace. And LaVerne was the consummate builder. From a young age, learning from his woodcrafter and builder paternal grandfather, he used his hands to create everything from furniture to home additions. With that foundation, he went on to build homes for his family, multiple spec houses in Reedsburg, a home for his parents, his and Donna’s retirement home, and several rental duplexes and apartment buildings. He applied his mechanical know-how to build his own portable saw mill, modify equipment to suit his needs and continually figured out ways to enhance or create a gadget or tool to save time and/or money.
His interests varied, including becoming a licensed pilot and holding a position on the Reedsburg Airport Commission for many years. He was instrumental in securing funding for a new runway and other important enhancements to the Reedsburg Municipal Airport. He was also an army veteran.
Once he and the family left the family farm in the mid 1960s, he worked many years at a downtown Reedsburg Ford dealership before leaving there to work for his brother Bob at Bergman Brothers, located outside of Loganville.
Proud father of four children, LaVerne passed on much of his knowledge and ways-to-save-a-buck hacks. He will be remembered as a doer, builder, calculated risk-taker, mentor, hard-worker, never-put-off-to-tomorrow, if-you-sit-you-rust individual.
LaVerne is survived by his wife Donna of 65 years, children Yvonne Bergman (Reedsburg), Virginia Bergman (Reedsburg), Brenda Bergman-Niehaus (Dale) (Phoenix, AZ) and Lyle Bergman (Cottage Gove, MN), sister Syvilla “Sue” Smith (Bill), brother Robert “Bob” Bergman (Janice) and two granddaughters, Angelica and Victoria Niehaus. He was preceded in death by brothers Evan (Carol) and Edward “Eddie” (Carrie) and parents Edward and Elzbeth.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, December 10, 2021, at the Hoof Funeral Home in Reedsburg with Pastor Beth Voigt officiating. Interment will be in St. John Lutheran Cemetery. There will be a visitation from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Thursday at the funeral home.
The Hoof Funeral Home is serving the family.