Leah Bergeron, age 100 of Perham, MN formerly of Bottineau, died Wednesday at her home. Funeral mass will be held on Monday at 11:00 am at the St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Bottineau. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:00 pm until 9:00 pm with a scriptual prayer service at 7:00 pm all at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be at the St. Mark’s Cemtery in Bottineau
Leah Marie (Richard) Bergeron, a daughter of Hyacinthe and Aglae (Greenwood) Richard, was born February 25, 1912 in a stone house east of Willow City, ND. She was raised in and around Willow City and Overly and went to a country school through the grades then attended her freshman year at Notre Dame Academy. After that year she quit school to help support her family by working at various jobs in the area such as a cook, seamstress or babysitter. She married Gerald (Jerry) Bergeron on December 18, 1938 and lived on the Bergeron homestead farm about 10 miles east of Bottineau where they proceeded to have six children, 4 sons and 2 daughters. Leah was kept busy raising her children and when the youngest was born she had six kids under the age of 10 and was caring for her bedridden mother-in-law, Felicia Bergeron, who passed away in 1950. In 1963 her husband Jerry, passed away leaving her with two sons still in school. She relocated to Willow City where she stayed until her youngest son was out of school. In 1967 she relocated to Bottineau where she rejoined and was active in St. Mark's parish and also joined and became very active in the Senior Citizens organization serving on the Board of Directors for several years and heading up several committees. She volunteered at St. Andrews Hospital working with the elderly in various capacities. One of her favorite activities was leading a jazzercise class for elderly folks who were often years younger than she was. She continued doing volunteer work at the hospital until she was 88 when she decided to relocate to a retirement complex in Perham, Mn. When she arrived in Perham she immediately started another jazzercise class for her friends & neighbors in the complex. Her volunteer work was legendary to the point of her having received several awards and certificates of recognition. But her greatest achievement was when she received the Peace Garden Award for being the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year in Aging Programs for the state of North Dakota, awarded by the governor's office in Bismarck in 1975.
Leah was known for her hospitality and cooking. You never went to her house without getting invited in and as soon as you walked through the door, of course you had to stay for dinner or supper or whatever meal was next in line. She was always attentive to her children and extended family and was first in line if anyone needed any help with anything at all. Leah will be sorely missed by her friends and relatives but the loss will be felt more deeply by her children and grandchildren who have had the privilege knowing her love and kindness for their entire lives.
She is survived by 4 sons, Jim (Kathy) Naperville, 11, Dick (Ronnie) Perham, Mn, Ken (Mary Ann) Phoenix, Az, Don (Holly), Phoenix, Az, and one daughter Marian (Ken) Bergman, Gurnee, Il; 18 grandchildren; 49 greatgrandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
Leah was preceded in death by her parents and 10 siblings, being the last one to go to her just reward; by her husband, Jerry, her eldest daughter Alma (Ken) Wolf and 2 grandsons, Robert and Richie Wolf.
Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.