William Russell Bergmark

October 28, 1940 ~ December 24, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old

William Bergmark Obituary


William (Bill) Russell Bergmark (Oct 28, 1940 – Dec 24, 2023) of Ithaca, NY died on Christmas Eve, following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease.


Professor Bergmark was born in Mankato, MN as the only child of  Russell and Arvilla (Brandt) Bergmark. He graduated from Mankato high school, then earned his BA degrees in mathematics and chemistry from St. Olaf in Northfield, MN in 1962. He earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1966 with a special interest in organic chemistry and photochemistry.


He met his wife, Donna (Caroon). They moved to Cambridge following their 1963 wedding, where they finished their respective degrees. After receiving his PhD, he became a research associate at SUNY at Buffalo as well as a research chemist studying chemiluminescence for the American Cyanamid Co in NJ.


The Bergmarks moved to Ithaca in 1968. Professor Bergmark was made an Associate Professor at Ithaca College in Organic Chemistry in 1971, judicial administrator in 1972, Professor in 1973, and was named Professor Emeritus in 2003. He served as a chair of the Chemistry Department and was author or co-author of over 40 research papers, chairman and board member of many Ithaca College committees and had career-long involvement in the local American Chemical Society.


Professor Bergmark was an avid skier and aviator, and was a member of the East Hill Flying Club. He enjoyed card games such as Cribbage, Canasta, and more significant competitions in the American Contract Bridge League.  He was also an exacting gourmet home chef using ingredients from their gardens and wine collection. He enjoyed travels with his many friends and family, on trips and cruises all over the world. He loved the rugged wilderness, including cross country skiing and hiking all around Ithaca, surrounding Finger Lakes areas, and the Appalachian Trail, as well as, backpack camping/canoeing on the Boundary Waters and MN lakes.


Professor Bergmark was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Donna (Caroon) Bergmark as well as his parents and in-laws Tom Caroon, David Ball and Joan Caroon. He is survived by his sister-in-law Janet (Caroon) Evans, nieces Katie and Kristi, nephews Scott and PJ, his MN cousins, his late-life companion Hope, his long-time friend Glenn Vogel, and his many former students. 


After Donna's passing, Bill met Hope Thorn Horst and they became close friends.  Together, they faced and managed Bill's long, painful, journey through Parkinson's Disease and his passing.


Bill’s internment took place at the Greenspring Natural Cemetery Preserve on New Year’s Eve. 


In lieu of flowers or memorial gifts, if you wish, you may make a donation in his honor to the Ithaca College Bill and Donna Bergmark Scholarship Award.

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