Bert Sigfred, age 90, of 8768 CR 511 W.5 Road, Ensign, passed away Monday evening, January 19, 2009 from complications of a heart attack, at the St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba, with his wife of 53 years, Verna, at his side.
Bert was born March 18, 1918 in Gladstone the son of Martin and Mary (Berg) Sigfred. He was raised in Stonington where he attended the Bungalow School House in Stonington.
Bert joined the 503 Paratroopers where he served his country until he was injured. He later enlisted in the United States Army where he served in the 35th Infantry in the European Theater. He fought in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. Bert was wounded in action in France in 1944. He was honorably discharged in 1945 with the distinguished Purple Heart Medal and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster. He also received 2 overseas service ribbons, defense service ribbon and the Europe-African-Middle Eastern ribbon with Bronze Battle Star. Bert returned to Stonington in 1945 to help his family on the family farm.
Bert was united in marriage to the former Verna Roberts on July 27, 1955 at the Community of Christ Church in Gladstone. They made their home in Ensign where they raised their six children. Bert was employed by Harnischfeger Corporation for over 30 years, retiring in 1980. He also had worked in the woods.
In his younger years, he played baseball in numerous area leagues, and was a well known pitcher in the area. He was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and he enjoyed fishing and hunting. His hobbies included gardening, farming and spending time with his animals. He was very proud of his Swedish heritage. Bert will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
Bert was a member of the Rapid River American Legion Post #301, Escanaba Purple Heart, and a friend of the Community of Christ Church.
In addition to his loving wife Verna, survivors include;
Michael (Susan) Rasmusson of Mounds View, MN
Andy (Lynn Foley) Sigfred of Lexington, MN
Bill (Kathy) Sigfred of Waukesha, WI
Donna (Bill) Ritchie of Wells, MI
Cindy (Bob) Meier of Angleton, TX
Susie (John) Berg of Gladstone
15 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren
3 sister-in-laws; Kerstin Sigfred, Eleanor Siitar and Harriett Sigfred
Numerous nieces and nephews
In addition to his parent, Bert was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Robin Berg, 8 sisters, Flora Holmberg, Gerda Sigfred, Linnea Roberts, Sima Nicholson, Eleanor Erickson, Nancy Kasper, Marie Sigfred and Norma Sigfred, 4 brothers, Einar, Ragnor, Conrad and Marvin Sigfred.
Uncle Bert inspired me to my future in the military. Many hours were spent with him during my youth while I was living in the U P. Besides his war experience, there was deer hunting, the farm and the animals. A few years ago after the passing of my Mother Helen, I had a surprise visit from him while taking care of the sale of her home. Only then did I learn to my surprise that he was not the youngest but the oldest of my Uncles. I had hope and plans for one last visit with Uncle Bert.
Gerald Conrad Sigfred, (Lund)
Port Townsend, WA
One summer about 5-6 years ago, I visited Gladstone with my stepmother, Patti; my father, Wole; and then-baby Sophia, my sister. It was here where “Uncle Burt,” as Patti called him, revealed small details about his service in the Army during WWII. As he described his experience in the Army, the pride which resonated in his voice helped fuel my desire to go to the United States Military Academy, where I currently attend.
West Point, NY
My thoughts & prayers are with everyone during this difficult time. I have always felt like a direct extension of your family & I am so thankful to have such wonderful memories of Uncle Bert. The togetherness & the simple things we did as a family left such an impression on me. I am so thankful that our familes were so close & continue to be close today. I have so many fond memories that I will never forget. When my dad passed in 2003, Uncle Bert was a reflection of my dad. I remember when my dad was dying in the hospital, I remember the emotions that I saw in Uncle Bert’s face. He never said anything to me yet I could feel his direct pain. I am happy to know that Uncle Bert is now with my dad. I only hope that he tells my dad how great my life has been over the past few years. While we will all truly miss him, I am just thankful that we had him as long as we did. He was truly a remarkable man & will be missed by many. I love you Uncle Bert.
Patti Sigfred Osilaja
Some of my favorite childhood memories were at the farm of bert & Verna Sigfred, I remember Bert always being so quiet, never hearing him say much except to playfully tease “Little Billy”. Oh if he only knew how much fun we had running thru his corn, teasing his cows, and throwing the rooster from the hay loft to get it mad so it would chase us….down to stealing Mike’s homemade root beer & drinking it. (sorry Mike). The girls and I would dissect frogs on Berts walkway…and he just would walk by like we were doing our job..I am saddened by his passing, wish I could be there today..my thoughts & prayers are with you all.
East Jordan, MI
Please know we have Bert and his whole family in our thoughts and prayers.
What a long wonderful life he had with so many in his family, his memory will live on forever. Oh…the wonderful things he has seen in his life time.
Bert has a life that should be celebrated, he will be missed by many.
Tom and Sheri (Tredeau) McLenithan
I’m so sorry to hear about Bert passing away. I remember him being so kind to me when I would spend time at the farm. May God comfort you. Love Arlene Griggs
Some of my first memories are of our trips from Chicago to “The Farm” to visit Bert and Grandma Sigfred. I can still see Bert sitting on his stool milking the cows. He always made sure that the ring of cats circling him got their share. He would take us to Sand Bay to go swimming, and take me into Kipling for the day to go fishing. One of my favorite stories is of Bert borrowing my shirt to catch a baby skunk. He mistakenly thought it was too young to do any damage. Bert was one of the finest and most wonderful people I have ever known, and will be missed greatly by all of us.
Verna, I never saw you and Bert since I left Rapid River in 1972. I have good memories of my childhood playing with Mike and stopping by to see you. I remember when I was going to Bay College and one night my little Volkswagon slid off the road by your house and Bert came with the tractor to pull me out. What a great legacy he left to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It is a sad day to see another Sigfred no longer be with us.
My deepest sympathies to the whole family. I have many fond memories growing up and visiting your always welcome home. Bless you all at this time and may you feel peace. Love, Wendy Anderson Rudolph P.S. Wish I could be there for you.
To the Family of Bert Sigfred: In all these years, I always remember going to the farm and having you all as my second family, with Verna and Bert being my second Mom and dad. All the memories I have; Bert teaching me how to milk a cow and pitch hay. He will be sorely missed and our prayers are with all the family.
Don and Debbie Leitzke