Shirley's Story

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WATKINS GLEN - Shirley Alice Bergen, 74, of Odessa, died June 19, 2017.
She was born near Hicksville, during a blizzard in a car, delivered by a policeman on Dec. 18, 1942.
She joins brothers, George, Robert and William, who predeceased her.
Her parents, John and Alice Moddle Heintz moved the family to Smith Valley, Alpine, when Shirley was six, to farm and raise potatoes.
Shirley graduated from Odessa-Montour Central School Class of 1961, whose members have been a big source of support for her in the last several years.
Shirley married George Robert Bergen in 1962 and lived at Bergen Road, Odessa, where they took the helm of the Bergen family farm while raising six children who survive, Peggy of Burlington Flats, Bill (Linda) of Oriskany, Skip (Kathy) of Odessa, Mike (Barb) of Burdett, Jim of Odessa, and John of Odessa; grandchildren, Chelsea, Blake, Ron, Wally, Veronica, Jeremy, Justen, Kristy, Brian, Chantel, Tyler, Jimmy, Jordan, Delaney, Bella, and Elliott. She is also survived by a half-sister, Blanche Sennett of Weirsdale, Florida; nieces and cousins. Great-grandchildren include Aidryona, Levi, Trevor James, Breck, Dylan, Kevin, Cole, Aidan, Alexandria, McKenzie, Mordeci and Rachel.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, George Robert Bergen, in November 2003.
Shirley was a member of Mecklenburg Methodist and Norwich Corners churches where she found support in her "brothers and sisters" in Christ. Twice a breast cancer survivor, as well as surviving polio as a child, Shirley had many health issues but always remained upbeat. She was known as a legendary pie maker and baker, sharing her talent with many relatives and friends. Her lunch table was always open and full of folks where no one had a reason to leave hungry.
Shirley and George built the foundation of today's "Bergen Farms" literally with their bare hands. She was always busy with "milk things," tractor work and child rearing.
She and Hon enjoyed square dancing with the Gingham Squares in their younger years as well as traveling to many foreign lands. Shirley was also an avid needle worker and rug hooker, selling from her "unique shop" or selling her wares at local craft shows.
Services will be at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, 212 E. 4th St., Watkins Glen. The family will receive friends and relatives at the funeral home on Sunday, June 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday, June 26, from 9 to 11 a.m. with a funeral service to follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Pastor Walt Whassam will be officiating. A burial will be in the Mecklenburg Cemetery, followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the recliner, garden or birding fund in Shirley's memory, c/o Seneca View SNF (Activities Dept.) 220 Steuben St., Montour Falls, NY 14865. She appreciated the loving care of the staff at Seneca View in her last months.
You may sign a guestbook, light a "Candle of Remembrance," or express condolences to the family online at RoyceChedzoy.com.
Published on June 26, 2017
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