Norma Jean (Lanier) Bergman of Springfield strapped on her wings for heaven on April 10, 2010 at the age of 83 years 2 weeks 2 days. She was born March 24, 1927 in Ripley, Illinois, the daughter of Oliver and Ava (Stevenson) Lanier. She grew up on a farm in Baylis, the 7th of 8 children. She married Frederick W. Bergman in Pittsfield on August 28, 1947. She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister and five brothers.
She graduated Valedictorian from Perry High School in 1945 and attended Western Illinois University. She and Fred transferred to the University of Illinois in Champaign. She later graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville.
She was a 4-H leader, Bible and Sunday school teacher, band chaperone, class and FFA and FHA sponsor. She attended the former Trinity United Methodist Church regularly and faithfully fellowshipped with her women’s group. She read the Bible daily and could quote scripture to support her life choices.
She held various jobs with the USDA . She especially enjoyed working as a phone surveyor and spoke to farmers on various subjects. She was most proud that she developed, with Fred, a method for collecting pollen to produce allergy shots. She knew her effort had helped thousands of people.
She was a student of nature and could identify trees, plants and flowers. She hand braided rugs for many years and demonstrated and taught that art on the Spoon River Drive. She was a talented seamstress and made hats, jewelry and soap.
She was an avid conversationalist and had a dry wit. Her knowledge was extensive but her wisdom was profound. Her writings are prolific, but the subject was constant, LOVE is the ONLY way in life.
She was a 39 year survivor of ovarian cancer, and faced many other health challenges and surgeries courageously. She was a champion of hope for other cancer survivors and participated in the Walk for Life, even pushing her walker.
She is survived by her husband, Fred, of Chandlerville; two daughters, Mickie Kendrick of Chandlerville and Nancy C. Abbott of Springfield; two sons, Derf (Jay) Bergman of Miles City, Montana and Dru (Vanessa) Bergman of Havana, IL; Eight grandchildren: Troy Fletcher, Mandi (Mark) Hayden, Molly (Dr. Jesse)Stinauer, Alex, Trey, Mickah, Isaiah and Jonah Bergman; five great grandchildren: Brock and Tanner Hayden, Trace and Rilee Fletcher and Olivia Rose Stinauer; one brother: Verlin Lanier; 2 brothers-in- law: Donnie and Harvey, two sisters-in- law: Maridan and Kate; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will be hosting a memorial gathering on Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 1-2 pm at United Methodist Church-North Side Ministries, 2400 N. Grand East, Springfield, IL. A celebration of life will follow at 2 pm.
The family request memorial contributions be made to Memorial Medical Center Hospice, Cunningham Children’s Home in Champaign or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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