Gordon W. Berggren

1925 ~ 2022

Gordon W. Berggren died peacefully in his sleep on May 6, 2022, after a full and interesting life.

Gordon was born on March 22, 1925 in Joliet, Illinois to Walter and Grace Berggren. He graduated from Joliet High School in 1943, and then joined the Army Air Corps where he was trained to fly B-17 bombers. Following the end of World War II, Gordon joined Woolworths. While working in Chicago, he met Elaine Ellstrom. Gordon and Elaine married in 1948, and enjoyed a 53-year long marriage, until Elaine succumbed to complications from Parkinsons disease in February 2002.

Gordon worked as a store manager for Woolworths, Skaggs, Skaggs-Albertsons and, finally, Albertsons for many years, traveling around the West helping to establish new stores. He was particularly effective at getting a new facility up and running, and management knew that he was willing to move to a new city if needed. As a result, Gordon and Elaine lived in a dozen different cities prior to Gordon's retirement, in each of which they became active in the community. Along the way, they raised two sons, Tom and Mark.

When Gordon retired in 1992, he and Elaine moved back to Utah where they had lived previously and still had many friends, and where Tom and his family lived. Gordon always had a fondness for golf, the stock market, Cadillacs, and dogs. He and Elaine were also life-long members of the Presbyterian Church, holding many positions in the various churches to which they belonged. In his retirement, Gordon embraced the computer, becoming quite adept at managing his stock portfolio and following news and current events on the internet. He developed his own system for deciding when to sell and when to buy stocks and other investments, a practice Gordon continued well into his nineties. (We do not know if, in the afterlife, you can predict the future, but perhaps Gordon’s Fast Track partners should be on the lookout for mysterious signs saying “go to all cash.”). Gordon was a caring and devoted caretaker to Elaine while she suffered from the effects of Parkinsons. He also continued to play golf well into his nineties, often hitting 200-300 golf balls a day at the range, and playing rounds of golf with his sons and his grandchildren, particularly Tim. Following Elaine’s death, Gordon became a regular at the Blue Plate Diner, a local Salt Lake City restaurant, where he enjoyed many meals and friendships with the staff, and had his particular favorite breakfast meal named after him-- the "Gordon Special." When he could no longer drive, his granddaughter, Jessie, took him shopping at the local Albertsons, where Gordon knew most of the employees because of his long association with Albertsons. He was very involved in the Retired Newcomers group and enjoyed the friendship of a number of people in these later years, in particular Dena Leone.

Gordon is survived by his sons, Tom (Lydia) and Mark (Andy), as well as Tom and Lydia’s four children (Chris (Sharon), Jessie (Kaitie), John (Lillian), and Tim) and Mark and Andy’s daughter, Trina. He is also survived by several great grandchildren, and his sister-in-law, Barbara, and Barbara and Doug’s children, Lynne and Keith, and their children. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Elaine, by his brother, Doug, and by two of Mark and Andy’s children, Heather and Joe.

Family members wish to express their great appreciation for the loving care and professionalism of the staff of the University of Utah Hospital, Legacy Village Sugarhouse and Suncrest Hospice.

A memorial service will be held in mid-June at the First Presbyterian Church. If you would like to be notified of the date and time, please email Larkin Mortuary amiller@larkinmortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the First Presbyterian Church are welcome.