On a beautiful fall day, as the leaves were changing color and the air began to cool, Connie Kay Bergren: Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Daughter, beloved family member and dear friend to so many, passed away peacefully in her home at 69 years old. She was surrounded by her many loved ones as she gained her angel wings. Born at St. Mary's hospital in Detroit Lakes, MN to Swante and Helen (Westgard) Collman, she began her childhood near Ulen, MN and shortly after her family purchased a farm in Richwood Township. She was a country girl at heart, loving nature and playing outside, helping with the farm work, and spending time with her family and friends
She married Thomas Bergren on May 6th, 1972, at Lund Church near Richwood, MN. They welcomed their first child, Steven, and later, Kari, before purchasing a farm north of Lake Park, MN in 1980. There they spent the next two decades together building a successful family farm, becoming pillars of the agriculture and dairy community, and welcomed two more children, Kyle and Travis. Connie was an incredibly hard worker, she leaned on her roots and became a very successful woman of many talents: farmer, wife, mother, and after a few years, grandmother. She balanced all of these things and more, leading by example and creating a home of love, kindness, hard work, adventure, joy and laughter. She was a loving and caring mom, teaching her children and the many children she semi-adopted over the years everything she knew, finding the perfect balance between knowing when to closely parent, and knowing when to let them learn on their own, letting kids be kids.
Later on, Connie and Tom divorced and she became a Certified Nursing Assistant and spent the next several years working at Sunnyside Care Center, Emmanuel Nursing Home, and Park Manor Assisted Living. With her big heart and ample skillset, she excelled at caregiving and spent many years working with seniors in the community. Later, she retired and dove right into one of her favorite roles: being a grandmother. She loved being with her grandkids and spoiling them. Her grandchildren describe her as supportive, funny, strong, loving, and creative, qualities she embodied every day.
Connie was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018. She took this new challenge head on, and it was successfully treated. She continued to live life with joy, spending many cherished moments with her family and friends. She adventured, she explored, she created, and she loved. After two years cancer free, she began her second battle with cancer when she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2020. With a stout heart and headstrong attitude, she began treatment for this new cancer and fought it valiantly, beating all of her prognoses given by every doctor and living for over 3 years, where she got to meet and welcome into the world two great-grandchildren.
By every measure, she won her battles with cancer and life's other challenges, overcoming many struggles and jumping every hurdle she came across while maintaining a beautiful outlook on life. She knew when to laugh, when to love, when to console, and when to cry. She put others ahead of herself, and truly embodied every fabric of the word kindness, always being there for everyone in her life. Connie loved her morning and afternoon coffee, good conversation, watching some of her favorite shows, word searches, spending time with her family and friends, and being outside in the nature that she loved.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Helen (Westgard) and Swante Collman, and by her sister, Kristie "Kris" Wesley. She is survived by her brother Carl (Connie) Collman, her children Steve Bergren, Kari (Glen) Holmstrom, Kyle (Amy) Bergren and Travis Bergren, her grandchildren Landon Bergren, Cassidy (Travis) Benson, Logan Holmstrom, Gavin Bergren, Tanner Bergren, Michael Pederson, MacKenzie Pederson, William James, and her great-grandchildren Weston and Alleyah. Her visitation will be held at David Donehower Funeral Home on Thursday, September 21 from 5 PM to 7 PM, and her funeral service will be held on Friday, September 22 at 11 AM at David Donehower Funeral Home. Her family welcomes anyone and everyone who was impacted by her beautiful soul - family members, friends, former coworkers, community members, anyone who felt Connie's light, to attend and celebrate her life.