Rev. Ralph Derald Berggren


May 28, 1931 - January 22, 2010




Ralph Derald Berggren was born May 28, 1931 and raised on a farm in Leonardville, KS, the son of Martin and Agnes (Nelson) Berggren.  Ralph was one of seven children. He graduated from Leonardville High School in 1949 and received his Bachelors Degree in Education from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS after serving two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He graduated from Augustana Lutheran Seminary in Rock Island, IL in 1962.

On June 20, 1964, he married Jacqueline Backlin in Warren, MN. 

Immediately following his ordination into the Augustana Lutheran Church, Ralph served as Pastor at Zion Lutheran in Ortonville, MN. In 1973 Ralph took a parish at New Home Lutheran in Mitchell, SD where he served as Pastor for nineteen years before retiring in 1992.

Ralph was happiest when visiting with people, listening to music and telling jokes. He was notorious for fearlessly engaging total strangers from all walks of life and often found humor to be the great ice breaker.  Above all, he was devoted to his faith, his family, and his friends.

He leaves his wife of forty-five years, Jacqueline; his sons Roger (Peg) Sioux Falls, SD, Richard (Laura), Eden Prairie, MN, and Paul, Redwood Falls, MN; his brothers and sisters: Wendell (Betty), Lindsborg, KS, Robert (Fern), Leonardville, KS, Norma (Bart) Coutermarsh, Leonardville, KS, Lylas Schultz, Ellenwood, KS and Maurice (Bonnie), Manhattan, KS; four grandchildren; and many close friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Kenneth. 


A Memorial Fund has been established.



To Be Announced


Tuesday, January 26, 2010
2:00 PM
New Home Lutheran Church
1023 South Minnesota
Mitchell, South Dakota


Walsburg Cemetery
Leonardville, KS

Posted by Noel Kropp on January 27, 2010
Dear Jackie:

Our sympathy to you on the death of Ralph. We miss him. He was one of those people I always looked forward to seeing again. May you be embraced by the God of love. May Ralph rest in peace and rise in glory.

Noel & Joan Kropp
Posted by Sharon and Louie Martinez on January 26, 2010
Dear Jackie and family,
We are so sorry to hear that Pastor Ralph has passed away. We have so many wonderful memories of him from Zion in Ortonville. You both were very special to us. Cherish the many memories he has left with you and hold them close to your heart always.
Posted by Gloria Smith-Rockhold on January 26, 2010
Dear Jacky, Roger, Richard, Paul, and families,
I am so sorry to hear of Pastor Berggren's passing. We so much enjoyed our visit with him this summer. He was in rare form. I'll always remember what he said when George and I left, "Good-bye. I''ll see you in heaven." He was a wonderful pastor. I loved his jokes, his spirit, his caring, his dedication. He will surely be missed. May our Heavenly Father bring you peace and comfort.
Gloria and George Rockhold, Pierre, SD
Posted by Erin Hester on January 25, 2010
Our family is thinking of yours during this time. Remember the wonderful times you had together and cherish those memories.
The Hester-Merkovich Family
Posted by Martha Berggren and Scott Hall on January 25, 2010
Our sincere sympathy and prayers that God will give you His help, His strengh and His hope during this time of sorrow. Ralph will be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Heidi Phinney on January 25, 2010
I enjoyed delivering the newspaper to your family. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Posted by Jackie Bowman Cook on January 24, 2010
Dear Jacky, Roger, RIchard, and Paul,
I am so sorry to hear that Uncle Ralph has passed away. He was always so funny and told the best stories. His lighthearted spirit was my favorite quality among so many others. I am thinking about you all and praying to lift your spirits at this very sad time. He is with Our Lord, how awesome for him. God bless you all.

Jackie Bowman Cook
Lylas' Daughter
Posted by Rev. John Ragan on January 24, 2010
I was saddened to hear about Ralph's death. I pray that God will send His Spirit upon you during your time of loss and grief. It was wonderful seeing you folks at Zion's 125th celebration.
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