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BERGSMA, James H. 1909-1960


Posted By: K.L. Kittleson
Date: 3/20/2013 at 01:21:49

Two Dead
In Crash

Heart Attack Kills
Bergsma; Girl His
Car Hit Succumbs

The tragic story which started with an accident on Independence Ave. Friday ended with the death yesterday of a 13-year-old schoolgirl, Geraldine Pearl Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Miller, 1220 Bishop Ave.

Geraldine died at 4:20 a.m. in St. Francis Hospital of injuries received when hit by a car as she walked to school with a companion.

As the girl lay in critical condition Friday evening, the car's driver succumbed to heart condition at his home. He was James H. Bergsma, 51; Waterloo city milk inspector for the past 12 years.

Bergsma was driving a city owned car when it knocked the girl, down in the 1800 block of Independence. Geraldine's companion and classmate, Dolah Parker, also 13, was still hospitalized last night with injuries received in the accident. Her injuries were not serious.

Miss Parker is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. LaVern Parker, 2050 Independence Avenue.

Both girls were enrolled in seventh grade at McKinstry Junior High School. Police said they had no witnesses to Friday's accident Bergsma was detained for four hours by police afterward but was not charged with an offense.

Coroner Sidney Smith and another doctor agreed that Bergsma's death was due to a heart attack. He was found dead in bed at about 5:15 p.m. Friday.

Associates said the city official appeared to have been in ill health recently. He was at his desk in the city hall at 6 a. m. Friday to do some bookwork, then left with the city car. The accident happened in the 1800 block of Independence Ave., as Bergsma drove toward the city.

Funeral services for Mr. Bergsma will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity American Lutheran Church with the Rev. G. E. Melchert, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the Midwest Garden of Memories.

Friends may call at Parrott and Wood Funeral Home afternoon today. In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to the Allen Memorial Convalescent Home.

He was born April 11, 1909, in Le Mars, Iowa, the son of John and Sue Tamminga Bergsma. He moved as a young boy with his parents to Hospers where he graduated from high school.

He attended Iowa State University at Ames for two years. He married Irma Hellenschmidt in Waterloo on July 7, 1940. He was a milk inspector for Waterloo for the past 12 years. He was a member of Trinity American Lutheran Church, Waterloo Lodge 105 AF & AM, Waterloo Lodge, BPOE, 290; the Iowa State Association of Milk Sanitarians, the International Association of Milk and Food Sanitarians. He served for two and a half years in the South Pacific during World War II with the Navy Medical Corps.

In addition to his wife and his father, now living at Sheldon, Iowa, he is survived by two daughters, Sandra and Raye, both at home; and a brother, Homer, of Sheldon.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

GERALDINE PEARL MILLER was born in Waterloo Dec. 17, 1946, the daughter of Archie and Hope Lowrey Miller. She was a student at McKinstry Junior High School, and of the Church of the Open Bible.

Survivors include her parents, a sister, Linda, the maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Lowrey, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the paternal grandfather, Harry Miller, Pella, Minnesota.

She was preceded in death by a brother.

Funeral services will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at First Church of the Open Bible with the Rev. John E. Groen, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Poyner Township Cemetery. The body will be taken from the Locke Funeral Home to the church at noon Tuesday.

Waterloo Sunday Courier - May 29, 1960, pp 1 & 12


Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
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