Oct. 19, 1931 - Jan. 17, 2021
Gerald Bergum, 89, of Brookings, passed away Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, at the United Living Community.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and will be live-streamed through the Rude’s Funeral Home Facebook page. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the church, with a Liturgical Wake Service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Gerald was born on Oct. 19, 1931, in St. Paul, MN the son of Leo and Emma (Meyer) Bergum.
Gerald attended Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson, Indiana from 1946 to 1949, and graduated in 1950 from Humboldt High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. He enrolled in St. Thomas College in 1950.
He was united in marriage to Shirley Short on July 12, 1951 in Stockton, California. He served in the United States Air Force from 1951 until 1954 and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
He attended the University of Minnesota and received his Bachelor’s Degree. From 1958 until 1961, he taught math at Hartland High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. Gerald then attended the university of Notre Dame where he received his Master’s Degree. From 1962 until 1970, he taught at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, while he also worked on his PHD at Washington State University. Gerald moved to Brookings, South Dakota in 1970 and taught math at South Dakota State University until 1984. He then attended the University of Minnesota where he received a Master’s Degree in computer Science. In 1985 he returned to South Dakota State University and became the temporary head of the Department. In 1987 he became the first permanent Department Head of the Computer Science Department. Gerald kept this position until retiring on June 30, 2000.
He was a member of the St. Thomas More Catholic Church, the Choir, the B.P.O. Elks #1490, Phi Beta Kappa, The Mathematical Association of America, The American Mathematical Society, Pi Mu Epsilon, The FIBONACCI Association and editor since 1980, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the North Central section of the Math. Gerald was also the editor of the FIBONACCI Quarterly (International Math Magazine) for eighteen years. He has more than 40 refereed papers published in 11 different journals, books, and/or conference proceedings.
Gerald received the following Awards from South Dakota State University. In 1986 through 2001 he received the Campanile Society. In 1989 through 1993 he received the Benefactor of the College of Engineering. In 1989 through 1998 he received the College of Engineering Dean’s Club. In 1998 he received the dedicated service award of The Fibonacci Quarterly Journal. In 2000 he received the following, the Honorary Marshal Graduation, the Joint Engineering Council, and 30 years of Service at South Dakota State University. In 2000 and 2002 he received the Distinguished University Benefactors. In 2005 he received the Friends of Education. In 2008 he received the William M. Griffith Society Members Financial Support of Higher Education.
And the Sylvan Circle Certificate of Membership. In 1990 he received The Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement. In 1994 he received the Certificate of Meritorious Service from North Central Section of The Mathematical Association of America. In 2001 he was co-chairman for United Way. In 2002 he received the Heritage Society Honors from the University of Minnesota. In 2004 he received the Gip Nolan Award. In 2005 he received the Friends of Education Award from the Brookings Education association in recognition of outstanding contributions to Public Education. In 2005 he received “Elk of The Year”. In 2005 through 2006 he received officer of the year as Exalted Ruler of Lodge no#1490. In 2006 he received the Liberty Bell Award. In 2008 he received the Bobcat Backer of the year award. In 2009 he received the Distinguished Service from Brookings Retired Teachers Association. In 2010 he received the Hall of Fame for Michael J. Entringer Scholarship Classic.
In Spokane from 1963 through 1970 Gerald and Shirley took in Students going to college providing room and board. They were given their names by the Catholic Social Services. In 1973 through 1983 they also gave the same Scholarships to students at South Dakota State University. Starting in 1986 they have given the following Scholarships, Computer Science, Theatre, and the Jackrabbit Guarantee.
Gerald and Shirley visited many places overseas, Greece, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Vienna, and Grasz. They even taught for 5&½ months in China in 1993.
Gerald especially enjoyed doing things with his wife Shirley, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and playing the piano. Gerald and Shirley also enjoyed the theatre, especially the one at South Dakota State University. They are also financial supporters of the theatre.
Gerald is survived by his wife of 69 ½ years, Shirley of Brookings, three sons, Gerald Jr. (Sharleen) of Sturgis, SD, Keith (Brenda) of Sioux Falls, Philip of Sioux Falls SD, Five daughters, Barbara Myers of Sioux Fall, SD, Roxane (Evan) Snow of Brookings, Jennifer (Larry) Klingbile of Brookings, Faith (Robert) Bradley of Sioux Falls, SD, and Emma Bergum of Shokopee, MN. Son-in law, Patrick Solsaa of Aurora SD, Daughter in law, Antonia Bergum of the Philippines, 12 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. One brother Ronald Bergum, his wife Angie, of Inger Grove Heights, MN.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Emma (Meyer) Bergum, one brother, Andrew Bergum, his son William on Sept. 4, 2008, of the Philippines, his daughter Patricia Solsaa on Oct. 14, 2008 of Brookings, and son-in-law Donald Myer on Nov. 27, 2016, of Sioux Falls.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.