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Dr. O. B. "Ben" Bergsrud, 83

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Dr. O. B. "Ben" Bergsrud died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, May 30, 2009. He was 83 years old.

Ben was born on March 19, 1926, at his grandfather's home in Black Hammer Township, Minn. His early education was in a one-room country school, and he graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1944.

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On the Fourth of July, following graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for two years. Following his discharge, he attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and graduated in 1950.

His first teaching and coaching positions were in Moorland, Iowa, and Whitehall. He completed his master's degree at the University of Iowa in 1953. His Ph.D. was obtained from Indiana University in 1967.

Ben joined the faculty at the UW-River Falls in 1957 where he taught and coached the golf team until he retired 31 years later. During his tenure he also started the wrestling program, was an assistant football coach, served as the athletic director and was chairman of the physical education department.

Retired for 21 years, his life was filled with travel: Thirty-one cruises around the world with Marge, as he served as the on-board golf pro for the Royal Viking Cruise Line; golf: Regular tee times in River Falls and Mesa, Ariz., with many friends, including five holes-in-one; fishing: For musky, bass and the many pan fish he would fillet for his children and their cousins; fulltime grandpa: Completely dedicated to and supportive of his granddaughter's athletic and academic career.

His parents, Edwin and Olive, and an infant brother, Alton, preceded Ben in death.

He is survived by the love of his life, for 56 years, Marjorie; daughter, Dr. Michelle (Tim) Bergstedt; son, Randy (Wendy) Bergsrud, his only and most special grandchild, Shannon Bergstedt; a sister, Barbara (Dave) Martineau, and dear nieces and nephew: Janet, Jaci, Denise and Daniel.

Ben's life has left a lasting impression on many students, athletes, friends, colleagues and his family. He is deeply missed.

A private service for the family will be held at Ezekiel Lutheran Church. His family invites you to celebrate his amazing life with them at a memorial service from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, June 19, at the River Falls Golf Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the UW-RF Foundation, Ramer Field Renovation, in honor of his life.

Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services, River Falls, assisted the family.

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