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Obituary: Harold Max Bergeson

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Lt. Col. USAF (Retired) <! >

Harold Max Bergeson, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force (retired), died January 16th, 2002 (the day before his 59th wedding anniversary), in Logan, Utah, after an extended illness due to his cardiomyopathy. He was 82 years old, having been born on July 29th, 1919 in Cornish, Utah. The eldest of six children (four boys and two girls) born to Reba Miranda Butler and Harold Ephraim Bergeson, he grew up in Cornish, and graduated from North Cache High School in 1937, where he played football.

He had a great love for baseball and played as a catcher on the home town team.

Max served an LDS mission in South Africa in 1939-40.

He had a long active military career, enlisting in the US Army prior to America's entry into World War II, and continuing as a commissioned officer, from 1941-1967, first in the Army Air Corps, and then in the formative years of the US Air Force.

He was a pilot in World War II, and was one of those pilots critical to the success of the humanitarian Berlin Airlift.

He continued in the Air Force, serving in the Korean War and Vietnam War.

He was a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.

Throughout his Air Force career, he served in command and staff positions, sometimes far above his nominal rank, and often in groundbreaking operational and diplomatic roles, and was a role model and mentor to later leaders in the Air Force. He flew more than twenty different types of aircraft, from single engine open cockpit aeroplanes, to various fighters and bombers of World War II vintage, to the first of the heavy lift cargo aircraft, the C-124, to the turbojet C-5A, the largest plane in the world at the time. He flew over sixteen thousand hours as Pilot, Senior Pilot and Command Pilot, retiring in 1967 as a Command Pilot, with a permanent regular Air Force grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

In a second career, Max worked for the Industrial Commission of Utah for thirteen years in work place safety enforcement and consultation positions.

Max met and married Carolyn Ricker in San Antonio, Texas, January 17th, 1943. This marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple three months later. They were the parents of four children, and lived throughout the United States, as well as in Germany and Japan.

After retirement, he and Carolyn traveled extensively throughout the world, with a last exploration down the Yangtze River in China, prior to the historic flooding of the river ecosystem, in 1997.

He was a graduate of the University of Maryland, and subsequently did graduate work at the University of Southern California and Brigham Young University.

Max was a very tolerant, kind, forgiving person and never met a stranger!

His intellectual interest in everything and everyone endeared him to many people. He loved his family members and they all have many fond memories of him.

He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his deep faith and love of his Savior enabled him to withstand his last years of ill health.

He served as Branch President many times and was a High Priest at the time of his death.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Carolyn, and children: Dr. Lars Bergeson (Janet) of Millville, Utah; Wayne Jay Bergeson; and Linda Skinner (Robert) of Brisbane, Australia.

His eldest son, Dr. Allen Max Bergeson, preceded him in death in 1993.

His grandchildren, whom he adored, are: Derek Max Bergeson, of Salem, South Carolina; Heather Bergeson Sorenson, Draper, Utah; Max Alrick and Catherine Alexandria Bergeson, Sandy, Utah; Nils Radford Bergeson, at Westminster College in Salt Lake City; Maren Amelia Bergeson and Peter Lars Bergeson, Millville, Utah; Andrea Louise Kyriopoulos, at Brigham Young University in Provo; Elder Theodore Max Kyriopoulos, serving in the Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

mission; and Tyler Steven Kyriopoulos, serving in the Athens, Greece mission. He is also survived by three great-grandchildren. Max is survived by all of his siblings: Garth S. Bergeson, Newport Beach, California; Joyce Smith, Cornish, Utah; Dean R. Bergeson, Pleasant Grove, Utah; Helen Buxton, Cornish, Utah and Scott Bergeson, Provo, Utah.

Services will be held Monday, January 21st, 2002, at the Dry Canyon Ward, 1350 East Eastridge Drive, Logan, Utah, at 11 a.m., conducted by Bishop Bret Peterson, and under the direction of Nelson Funeral Home.

Family visitation will be at 10 a.m.; burial will be in the Lewiston City Cemetery, Lewiston, Utah, with full military honors.

Condolences may be emailed to the family at