John Evans Bergquist, age 71, beloved son, brother, father, grandfather, and uncle passed away September 9, surrounded by his loving family. He was the son of Evans and Marilys Bergquist who predeceased him. John was born in Escanaba, Michigan on May 28, 1947. Here he formed his foundation: love of family, faith in God, respect for nature. One of his favorite places on earth was “The Farm”, his grandma Chris’s childhood home where family gathered making memories every weekend. When John was 14, the family moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Here he grew into a young man, playing football, basketball, hockey and playing music on the cornet. He also became a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers. Go Pack Go! In John’s Senior year, the family moved to Gaylord. He played football, basketball, and also began working at Kunish Clothing and The Otsego Ski Club. He graduated from Gaylord High School in 1965 and in just one year had formed many heartfelt friendships. He attended Northwestern Michigan College, Bay de Noc Community College, and the University of Toledo.
In 1971 John married Diana Toteff and that same year took a job with Craft House Corporation. John had an amazing work ethic and moved up quickly to become their national sales person overseeing sales reps and coordinating trade shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. John progressed to run the sales department of five more companies within Craft House and became a very well-respected Vice President of Sales across these ventures. In 1999, John developed his own company “J.E.B. Specialties”. He cared deeply about veterans, and through this company he worked closely with “Help Hospitalized Vets” supplying them with craft projects which were therapeutic in their recoveries. He worked closely with his friend, Brian Romberg, for over 40 years in many capacities and also, Bill Giacci, developing sales strategies for “Classic Metal Works”. As with anything John did, he developed friendships among his business associates that evolved into a “brotherhood” of friends from coast to coast. Many a business deal were hatched on the golf course!
John had a “larger than life” personality. He had a charisma and charm that instantly captured anyone who met him. He was respectful, generous, funny, loving, forgiving, and kind. He was an impeccable dresser, loved to travel, hunt and fish. John dearly loved his family and gave them the kind of care and concern that is rarely seen. He served as an amazing role model and teacher to his children and grandchildren and taught them the importance of family and the value of character. He loved a good party and thrived on social interaction. Family gatherings and holidays were a huge highlight for John. Among many wonderful extended family members whom John loved and cherished are Mark and Nancy Toteff, Mary Robertson, Bret and Bonnie Miller, Wayne and Babe Toteff, and all of their children.
Surviving are Diana Bergquist, three children; Darren Bergquist (Heather Bergquist), Ryan Bergquist (Trisha Bergquist), Ashlee Bergquist (Brian Davis); his sister, Lynda Bergquist Slaggert (David Slaggert); six grandchildren, Jaeger, Rocco, and Liv Bergquist, Morgan and Kylee Bergquist, and Mika Davis; along with many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, on Saturday, September 15, at 11 AM with viewing at the church at 10 AM until the time of the service. Visitation at the Nelson Funeral Home will be held on Friday, September 14, from 4 – 8 PM. A rosary will be given at 7 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions in his honor may be made to The Wounded Warrior Foundation or The American Heart Association.
Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.