Friends reflect on the impact of Bergman’s lifeIf you need to find a golfer in Dickinson this morning, there will be only one place to look. They will all be honoring a man who not only touched their lives, but those of countless others.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
If you need to find a golfer in Dickinson this morning, there will be only one place to look. They will all be honoring a man who not only touched their lives, but those of countless others.
To say that Kevin Bergman will be missed is an understatement.
“He touched more lives than I’ll ever even know,” said Bergman’s wife, Cindy Bergman.
Bergman spent the past 21 years as the golf professional and pro shop owner at Heart River Golf Course. He died unexpectedly Sunday morning at age 56.
If there is any question as to how many people were affected by Bergman’s life, all one needs to do is look at where his funeral is being held.
A huge turnout is expected as the community remembers Bergman at 11 a.m. today at the Days Inn Grand Dakota Lodge ballroom. Bergman’s family picked the venue with good reason – there is simply no church in Dickinson with the capacity to hold the amount people who plan to attend.
“We needed a place that would hold a big gathering,” Cindy Bergman said.
While Bergman is being remembered today, his memory will live on at Heart River Golf Course.
Llewellyn Price, a long-time friend of Bergman’s, gauged the impact Bergman had on the North Dakota golfing community and believes it will be difficult to duplicate what he accomplished. Price also praised the reputation Bergman built as one of the state’s top golf pros.
“He was a good golfer and he was a good teacher of golf,” Price said. “… He had the best inventory in the state. They came from all over the state, Montana and South Dakota because he had the best inventory of every pro shop in this area.”
Joel Bosch, another long-time friend of Bergman’s, is one of a handful of men who spent several summer afternoons drinking coffee and solving the world’s problems from a table inside The 19th Hole restaurant next to Bergman’s pro shop.
Joel’s wife, Cindy Bosch, spent most of those afternoons overhearing the coffee talk as one of Bergman’s employees.
“He was their arguing force,” Cindy Bosch said. “If there was a discussion, it was argued about. They’ll definitely miss him in the coffee group.”
Gene Wilhelm was instrumental in bringing the Dickinson native home to help run the course. At the time, Bergman was working in Palm Springs, Calif., as an assistant golf pro.
“When he had a bad day, he’d say, ‘I don’t know why I answered that telephone call,’ ” Wilhelm said.
Nevertheless, Dickinson’s thriving golf community is glad Bergman picked up the phone.
“He worked 100 percent for the golf course to keep it going, to improve it, all that kind of stuff,” Joel Bosch said. “That was his whole life.”
Bergman’s death leaves a hole in the area’s golfing community. Dickinson Parks and Recreation officials say questions about the future of the pro shop will be answered in time.
But for now, everyone who knew Bergman is choosing to remember the impact his life had on the community and what he meant to his countless friends around the globe.
“We’re sure going to miss him,” Wilhelm said.
Monke is the sports editor of The Dickinson Press. He can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at www.areavoices.com/monke.More from around the web