TIETON - Jim Bergin, born March 29, 1941, in Hermiston, Oregon, to Viola (Hogue) and Leland Bergin, died January 3, 2007 at Tieton, Washington.
He was a man of many interests and ideas, with not enough money or time to do all he dreamed of. He said he had lived a great life, had love and respect from family and friends, had done so much and traveled just enough to appreciate our country.
Jim was in the roofing industry all his life, but he should have been a carpenter. He loved to build things. Married 45 years to his wife Bette, he probably had a remodeling project for all but four or five of those years.
He so liked to tear things apart and put them back together; it didn't bother him at all to have the house an absolute mess while he was tearing off the ceiling to (a) lower it; (b) raise it; (c) leave it the same but smoother. (Great enjoyment for him!)
Jim coached amateur hockey in Yakima for several years, and one of the great joys of his life was watching his son and grandson play the game. Son Kevin has played 38 years, and grandson James has been playing for 13 years (and he's only 16). With the demise of our local hockey rink, being sold to a developer, both Kevin and James commute to Tri-Cities three or four times a week. It takes enormous dedication and effort, but the Bergin family has always had enough of those qualities. Jim was proud to be a Hall of Fame member of the hockey association.
The Vintiques Car Club was a passion as well for Jim. He was a member for 32 years and had numerous old cars during that time. There were always men, oil and beer in abundance in his garage. One night, after careful consideration and measuring, and a lot of beer, Jim decided to chop the top of his '30 Chevy sedan, so the guys got out the hacksaw!! Like all of his other projects, this one turned out beautifully.
Snowmobiling was a young sport when Jim started in the 70's, and he spent years sledding around the Northwest as a member of the Cascade Snowdrifters Club. He also loved motorcycles, but they were not too kind to him -- they broke a few of his bones. He would fly fish from his pontoon boat, which he described as a "thing of beauty". Jim was proud to be a member of the Yakima Southwest Rotary Club for many years.
Hunting was Jim's most serious passion. He killed his first deer when he was 14 and enjoyed hunting in several states. He became a trophy hunter and would never dream of actually shooting something until the last day or two of the season. Whatever he shot, we ate (he ate). Jim actually timed it so he could be in the mountains about two months a year. Last year was incredibly difficult, but he still spent a month in the mountains, building and enjoying campfires.
Jim was a generous person with time, advice and help. He always had time for the unpopular people whom some avoided, and he never met a stranger. He had a positive outlook on life and love in his heart.
Jim battled cancer for 18 years and finally lost the struggle. Although he was seriously ill for almost two years, he had much joy with these passions. He will be so missed by those who knew him, and grieved for by his family and friends. Jim, we love you. Now you can hunt as long as you want. We'll see you one day, and you will probably have your own cloud and be adding an addition to it.
Jim is survived by his loving family; wife Bette; son Kevin and wife Donean Bergin; grandson James Bergin; and stepfather Rolland Cockerill. He left behind stepsister Linda Smith, stepbrother Ken Hogue, sister Roberta Webb and sister Patti Helander.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at l P.M. on Sunday, January 14, 2007, at Mount Cleman Sport Park at 8894 Highway 12 (the old Boot and Spur Club). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Yakima Amateur Hockey Association. Contributions may be sent to Keith and Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Avenue.
Jim, you were well loved and respected and will be missed by so many. Thank you for sharing your life with me, your loving wife Bette.