MARQUETTE, Mich. - Raymond P. Berglund, age 89, of Marquette, entered eternal life Saturday evening, June 15, 2013, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, in the loving care of his family.
Ray was born September 30, 1923, in Gwinn, to Albert and Minnie (Pryor) Berglund and was a graduate of Graveraet High School with the class of 1942. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned as a gunner's mate aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. His ship participated in all the battles in the South Pacific during World War II. The ship's gunner and pilots sank 71 enemy ships, downed 911 Japanese planes, was damaged 15 times and was reported sunk six times by Japanese propaganda. The most serious brush with disaster came near the end of the war off the coast of Japan when a bomb laden suicide plane crashed into the flight deck. Among other awards he received thirteen Battle Stars. Returning to civilian life he started working for the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. Starting on the section, he worked as a Lineman, on the Signal Crews, as a Clerk, Weigh Master, Assistant Yard Master, Telegrapher, Agent, ten years as Dispatcher, and ten years as Chief Train Dispatcher. He retired in 1982 after thirty-seven years of service. Ray participated in all sports but his favorite was pitching softball which he did for many years. He enjoyed summers at the family cedar log camp on the shores of Lake Superior-swimming and walking for miles on the sandy beach. He loved to tell stories and jokes...some of which were his originals. On February 18, 1950 he married the former Betty J. Burling at Messiah Lutheran Church with Reverend Rydbeck officiating.
Ray is survived by three daughters, Jane (Bob) Sims, Joan (Mike) Hill, and Judy Berglund; grandchildren, Rob, Jeff (Jamie), Andy (Erin Swick) Sims, Melissa and Jon Hill; great-granddaughter, Allie Rae Sims; one brother, Russell Berglund; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 63 years, Betty in April 2013; son, Paul; four brothers, Earl, Lawrence, James and Bryon Berglund; two sisters, Elsie McEchern and Mabel Boucher and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Ray will be held at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 19, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 12:00 noon with Pastor Ardy Johnson officiating. A reception will follow in the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home reception room.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans for their kindness during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to AMCAB Meals on Wheels or Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.