Unadilla – Ethel D. Berggren “Mormor” 97, went home to be with her Lord on Sat. July 24, 2021 after a short illness. She was born in Brooklyn, NY to Ernest and Hildur Nelson, the first of three daughters. When she was 6 months old, they moved to Smithtown Branch “out on the Island” in Hallock Acres, where she grew up surrounded by family and friends. She attended and graduated, in 1942, from Smithtown High School. After graduation she worked for a time for an insurance company commuting to New York City on the Long Island Railroad. She then worked for the New York Telephone Company (MaBell) in Smithtown for several years. She married her high school sweetheart, Albert Berggren, on April 14, 1946, upon his return from serving in Italy for 5 years during World War II. They built a house in Hallock Acres, with the help of both their fathers. They raised their three girls there until 1967.
In 1967 she moved with Albert and their three girls to Wells Bridge to follow his dream to be a farmer. She sadly lost Albert the following year. She and the girls remained on that farm for three more years continuing to “farm it” with the help of Arthur “Pa” Davis, a retired farmer neighbor. After selling that farm and moving down into the village she worked several different jobs; at the Unatego Jr-Sr High School library, owned a small grocery store in Otego, before returning to the farming life in Schenevus for several years. After selling off the herd she became a Milk Tester for The Dairy Herd Improvement Association, a job that took her out on the road early in the morning and sometimes late at night. She often said that DHI was job that she really loved, because of all the people she met doing it. She returned to the Unadilla area in 1977 and became the head bookkeeper at D.R. Chambers Livestock Auction Barns, finally retiring in 1999. She finally lived in her favorite little house in Sand Hill right across from the church and cemetery. She will always be remembered for her laughter, ready smile, her friendship, and strong faith in God. She was a faithful member of the Sand Hill United Methodist Church, but maintained her strong Lutheran upbringing. She also belonged to the Wells Bridge FD Auxiliary, Wells Bridge Senior Citizens and the (now defunct) Jolly Nine Group. She was predeceased by her husband, Albert, her parents Ernest & Hildur, her two younger sisters, Kathryn and Florence, and several nieces and nephews. She is survived by her daughters; Adrienne (Robert) Hendricks, Elizabeth Berggren, Priscilla (Bruce) Berggren-Thomas. Being one of three girls herself, the mother of three girls she was especially proud of her four grandsons: Timothy Hendricks, Kristian (Deb) Berggren, Nelson (Daisha) Berggren and Erik (Autumn) Butler-Berggren. Also, several cousins, nieces and nephews both upstate and on Long Island and down south, NC, Ga, and Fla.
She will be interred alongside Albert at the Sand Hill Cemetery in Unadilla. A Memorial Service will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity or charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at: www.wmaddenfh.com. Arrangements by the Westcott-Madden Funeral Home 123 Main Street Unadilla. A MADDEN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME.
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