Barbara Hattie Bergen
Barbara Hattie Bergen, age 84, of Garfield, Ark., died March 1, 2017, at Jamestown Nursing and Rehab Center in Rogers, Ark. Barb was born April 9, 1932, in Milwaukee, the daughter of Edith and Paul Bergen.
She was preceded in death by her grandfather, George, and namesake grandmother "Hattie" Bergen; her parents; her sister Jean Sanders; and brother-in-law Harold Sanders. She is survived by her sister, Edith May; brother-in-law Warren McCulloch of Collinsville, Texas; and her brother Paul and sister-in-law Mary Ann Bergen of Garfield, Arkansas; and seven nieces and nephews.
Barb attended and graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee and then attended dental hygienist school at Marquette University in Milwaukee. After a few years working in the dental field, Barb heeded the call of President John F. Kennedy to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." She volunteered to serve in the U.S. Peace Corps and was assigned to teach two years in Ceylon (now Shri Lanka). Upon completing her time with the Peace Corps, Barb went back to school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and completed her teaching credentials, majoring in math and computer science. She then accepted a post at Hamilton High School in the Milwaukee Public School System as a math and computer science teacher and volunteered to serve as the girls’ swim coach, both roles she continued for the next 26 years.
After retiring from teaching Barb bought a house in her "home" town of Muskego. There she devoted herself to caring for her mother, who was struck down with Alzheimer’s and sometime later her older sister. She became quite a local advocate for the Muskego Public Library, helping to generate funds for its construction and operating budget. Additionally, she also found time to belong to two choirs and several card clubs. Her staunch loyalty for her beloved Green Bay Packers never wavered even during a number of losing seasons. Barb was a longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Milwaukee, where she developed life time friendships and was known for her annual open house "Curry Dinner" and her "Christmas Cookie Bake" for kids.
There are untold number of students, friends, and relatives who have benefited from Barb’s kind generosity.
Among her favorite organizations she supported were: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Save the Children, the Smile Train, the Heifer Foundation, Doctors without Borders, the World Wild Life Federation, the Humane Society, the SPCA, and the Muskego Public Library.
Barb has left a legacy of giving and supporting all those in need of help, her life was a living testament of what we can expect when we are committed to the selfless act of caring for others.
We wish to thank the nurses, CNAs and staff at The Village House in Bella Vista, The Meadows, Jamestown and the Circle of Life Hospice Care for their kind and compassionate care of Barb while she was a resident of their facilities, and to Sisco Funeral Home in Pea Ridge, Ark., for their compassionate care and treatment of Barb and our family.
The family is planning a memorial service for Barb to celebrate her life at a later time.
Sisco Funeral Home, 479451-1126, is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.siscofuneralhome.net.