LONGVIEW Steven Edwin Bergquist departed this life on the 75th anniversary of his birth on June 25, 2013, in Longview. Steve was born June 25, 1938, in South Bend to parents Carl and Aili (Raff) Bergquist. He was raised in Naselle with brothers Delbert and Noel, graduating from Naselle High School in 1956.
After graduation Steve worked in the construction field on a survey crew from 1956 until 1961, when he was drafted into the Army. Following basic training at Fort Ord, Calif., and training completion at Fort Hood, Texas, he was set to deploy for Vietnam when his unit was instead directed to Libya just prior to departure. Their unit lived in tents in the Sahara desert where Mr. Bergquist served as the private first class (PFC) in charge of convoys. Following discharge from the Army as a PFC, Steve returned to his hometown of Naselle and worked for Weyerhaeuser as a log scaler from 1963 until his retirement in 1983.
Steve enjoyed the hunting and fishing life of Naselle as well as local clam digging. He belonged to the Lions Club and served as president during his membership. He was proud of his Finnish and Swedish heritage, and looked forward to seeing old friends at the Scandinavian Festival in Astoria and Finn Fest held in Naselle. Steve was a devoted son who lovingly tended both parents in their fights with cancer. He was always a loving, supportive father to his daughter Shama, who adored and enjoyed time with her dad through the years, making mud-pies in the garden and playing beauty parlor, Dads weekends at WSU, frequent Whats happening up at your house?phone chats and over-indulging her fathers sweet tooth with homemade baked goods and Swedish delicacies from IKEA.
Steve was a proud grandfather to 16-year-old twin grandsons, Bailey and Tyler, and 14-year old granddaughter, Claire. He was the first family member to arrive at the hospital for all their births, even driving through the night to do so. He was tickled that his grandson, Bailey Steven, was not only named after him, but was also the spitting image of him as a young man. As his grandchildren grew, Steve was their biggest fan at dance recitals and football games, and loved riding shotgun on several summer road trips to various destinations in the Western U.S. and Canada. Steve had a wonderfully dry, sly sense of humor with an occasional touch of naughtiness that absolutely delighted his grandkids.
In 1998 Steve married Jan Caskey and relocated to Castle Rock where he resided until his death. They enjoyed many shared interests and were frequently surrounded and accompanied by Jans nearby children and grandchildren. Steve enjoyed summer days by the Naselle River with a crossword puzzle in hand and passed the winters in his woodshop creating a variety of birdhouses that currently decorate yards across many states. Steve faced his seven-year battle against Mantle Cell Lymphoma with courage, humor, a positive spirit and the Sisu that was so much a part of his heritage. Following a brief hospitalization for pneumonia, Steve had the company and comfort of loving family until his death the evening of June 25, 2013, at Community Hospice in Longview. He truly was one of the good guys and will be missed by many friends and former colleagues, but especially by his family members who love him and will always keep him in their hearts.
He is survived by his wife Jan; daughter Shama Albright and her husband Gregg; grandchildren, Bailey, Tyler and Claire; brother, Noel Bergquist; nieces, Lorri Barlow and Sherri Brooks; nephews, Lawrence Bergquist, Erik Bergquist, Gary Busse and Bruce Busse; grand-nephew Henrik Barlow; grand-nieces Joscelyn Bergquist and Elke Barlow, and Jans family, including son Brian, daughter-in-law Kim, and several grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Delbert, and infant sister Donna. A graveside service at the Salmon Creek Cemetery and a celebration of life at the Naselle Grange will take place on Aug. 10. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to your local Humane Society in honor of Steves love for animals.