February 24, 2020
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Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

KENNEBUNK and PRESQUE ISLE – William F. Bergen, D.O., a local family physician and a founder of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, passed away April 29, 2009, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, with his family at his side. Dr. Bergen was born Feb. 23, 1932, in Far Rockaway, Long Island, N.Y., a son of Patrick Joseph William Bergen and Agnes Julietta Keller Bergen. After graduating from Lawrence High School, he attended The University of Detroit, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1953. He served in the Army from 1953 to 1955 and was stationed in Germany. Dr. Bergen received his degree in osteopathy from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1959 and established his medical practice in Kennebunk, after completing an internship at Osteopathic Hospital of Maine. He built the Joseph W. Bergen Memorial Clinic and practiced family medicine in Kennebunk for nearly 30 years. He also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in anthropology in 1991. With his wife and daughter, Dr. Bergen moved to the tundra city of Bethel in Western Alaska to provide health care to the Yup’ik Eskimos in 1991. He returned to Maine in 1996 to the city of Presque Isle, where he continued family practice and served on the staff of The Aroostook Medical Center until his death. Dr. Bergen served for many years as president and chairman of the board of Ocean National Bank. He was a commodore of Arundel Yacht Club and founder of the Boon Island Race. He served as president of Maine Osteopathic Association and Aroostook County Medical Society. He founded the Aroostook Valley Sail and Power Squadron and received The Chapman Award, the highest award presented by the U.S. Power Squadrons. Dr. Bergen served with distinction as a trustee and trustee emeritus of the University of New England and was awarded the Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine in 1992 and an honorary degree in 2007. He was an anatomy professor at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, a neurology instructor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and an anthropology instructor at the Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska. He was a past member of York Lodge of Masons in Kennebunk, Maine Consistory 32nd Degree Valley of Portland, Kora Shrine of Lewiston and a past member of the Renegade Unit. A lifelong student and mentor, Dr. Bergen was a devout Roman Catholic. Sailing was his passion. He and his wife lived aboard Prata, a 46-foot ketch, in Penobscot Bay during the summer months. Dr. Bergen recently published “We Took To The Tundra,” a memoir of his five years in Alaska. Dr. Bergen will be remembered for his adventurous spirit, stamina and enthusiasm that left many breathless and in awe. He is survived by his wife, Mary Bittel Bergen; four sons, Jens-Peter William Bergen and wife, Guiyun, of Kennebunk, Joseph M. Bergen, D.O., and wife, Marcia, of Harvard, Mass., Sean P. Bergen and wife, Margaret, of Yarmouth, and William C. Bergen and wife, Kathleen, of Sutton, Mass.; one daughter, Jayne D. McCullough of Arlington, Va.; and his first wife, Kirsten L. Ivancevic of Kennebunkport. His children, nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter were a constant source of pride and dear to his heart. Friends may call 4-7 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, where a Masonic service will be held 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Monday, May 4, at Holy Spirit Parish – St. Martha’s Church, Portland Road, Kennebunk. Interment will be afterward at Hope Cemetery. Should friends desire, Dr. Bergen’s family asks that memorial contributions be sent to The William F. Bergen, D.O. Endowed Scholarship at The University of New England, care of Ms. Erin Peck, 716 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103. www.bibberfuneral.com

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