Sunday, 19 April 2020 13:14

Mother of Father Bergbower passes away

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EFFINGHAM — Donna Bergbower, Father of Father Dan Bergbower, passed away on March 25 at Lakeland Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Effingham. She was 85.

Donna was born on June 26, 1934, in Scottsbluff, Neb., daughter of the late Leo and Gertrude (Pieper) Lager. She married Don Bergbower on Nov. 25, 1955 in San Diego.

As a child, Donna grew up on a farm in Steamboat Springs, Colo., with five sisters and four brothers. As a young adult, she left the mountains to live with her sister by the sea in San Diego. It was there she met her future husband, Don. They married and while following a military career path, welcomed their first child, a daughter, in San Francisco. Then they went to Pearl Harbor and welcomed two sons. After several more stops, Don became a Naval recruiter in Arkansas, and they welcomed another two sons.

Retiring from the U.S. Navy, they settled in Southern Illinois with plenty of wooded acreage to build their dream home and let the children grow and mature around cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and extended family. It was there that Donna and Don began Bergbower Upholstery. They worked side by side for over 20 years and raised their family with much love and gusto.

Donna especially liked playing cards, bowling, and tole painting. Once the grandchildren started to arrive, Don and Donna moved to Effingham to retire. She, along with her husband, was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and volunteered at the church picnic, funeral dinners and Catholic Charities. Donna had a deep faith and attended daily Mass with Don.

Donna is survived by her husband of 64 years, Don Bergbower of Effingham; children, Sandy (Fred) Lash of Watson, Jerry (Elaine) Bergbower of Gouverneuer, N.Y., Father Bergbower of Springfield, Raymond Bergbower of Sparta, Mo., and Jim (Teresa) Bergbower of Toledo; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and siblings, Dorothy Selby, Bob Lager, Betty Thomas, and Leo Lager.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, a private family graveside service was held at St. Anthony Cemetery in Effingham. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to Catholic Charities or Sacred Heart School and may be accepted at Johnson Funeral Home, 1110 N. Fourth Street, Effingham, IL 62401. Online condolences may be shared at