Martin Trygve Bergan 1930 - 2019

 I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on silver wings

18 November 2019

Martin Bergan was born July 21, 1930, in Yakima, Washington, the eldest of four, to Opal and Trygve Bergan.

He grew up in Parkrose, Oregon, overlooking the Portland Airport, graduating from Parkrose High School in 1948. He attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where he played football and baseball for the Wildcats.

In 1951 he left Linfield to serve in the U.S. Air Force so he could learn to fly. He had his first solo flight in July 1951, and graduated in May 1952 along with his fellow cadets of 52 Charlie. Four months later, he shipped off to Taegu Air Base in Korea, where he flew 100 combat missions in the F-84 Thunderjet.

Upon returning home in June 1953, he married Margie, and they started their life together at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, and Bryan AFB, Bryan, Texas. At Bryan, he was a flying training instructor, flying the T-28 Trojan when Mona, their first daughter, made her debut. Marty was released from active duty in 1955 and immediately joined the Oregon Air National Guard, where he continued to fly on weekends and nights because he loved flying.

The family returned to Linfield College, where he earned his bachelor’s and Master of Education, and Mindy and Mary-Alice joined the family. Marty became a teacher and coach at Franklin High School in Portland and moved his family to Happy Valley, Oregon, where he had an unobstructed view of Mount Hood. In 1962, fourth daughter Michaele made the family complete. In 1967, he left teaching and accepted a full-time position at the Oregon Air National Guard Portland Air Base. In 1971, Marty was responsible for the aircraft conversion from the F-102s to the F-101s, and in 1980 the conversion of the F-101 to the F-4C Phantom II. In 1981, he moved the family to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he became the Chief Executive Detachment Commander of the 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group Alert Force at Kingsley Field. In 1985, he retired as lieutenant colonel, logging more than 7,000 flight hours.

Several years after retiring, Marty and Margie moved to McMinnville so he could play all the golf he wanted at Michelbook Country Club and attend as many Linfield Wildcat games with long-time Linfield friends. In 1999, Marty began coaching Linfield Women’s Golf, guiding them to four Northwest Conference titles. Throughout his whole life, Marty enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, skiing and, most of all, flying.

Marty is survived by his wife, Margie; Mona and Dave Thomas of Eureka, Montana; Mindy and Jack Pharris of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Jax and Janelle and great-grandchild, Eowyn; Mary-Alice and Mike DeBoer of Happy Valley, and Mitchell and Madeline; Michaele of Richmond, Virginia, and Mark and Omar. Outdoor graveside military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. December 17, at Willamette National Cemetary, Happy Valley. A “Marty Party” will be held at a later time in McMinnville. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Linfield Topcats, Alzheimer’s Association or Bristol Hospice.


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