Cornelius Bergen was born on the farm north of Saskatoon on June 5, 1919 to Franz and Anna Bergen. On February 14, 2016, with his family at his side, he passed peacefully in Mission Hospital due to the complications from a fall.
He is survived by Anne, his wife of 76 years and seven children: Lois (Gerald), Carole (Brian), Beverley (Ernie), James (Wen Xia), Gaydene, Lorene (Andy) and Robert (Laurie). His son Peter predeceased him in 2009. Cornelius also leaves sixteen grandchildren and twenty-nine great-grandchildren.
He was a true Renaissance man. Among many others, his interests included wood carving, politics, science and even the Hawaiian independence movement. This was not a man to shy away from controversial topics. He was a man of curiosity and intellect with a life long love of learning, holding the firm belief that everyone had a bit of the genius but few ever reached their potential.
He did not see problems, only solutions. Cornelius was a self-taught man, proficient in many trades. For many years, he ran a small construction company in Burns Lake.
Then, at the age of fifty-five, he took up farming, developing a 1460 acre grain and seed farm from raw, tree-covered land north of Fort St. John.
At the age of seventy, he designed and built his retirement home in Mission, doing most of the trade work himself.
At his request, extended family held a celebration of life for him which was held on Wednesday, February 17. He also requested that his body be used for medical research at UBC. In his memory, you may send donations to the BC Children’s Hospital or the Red Cross.