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Paul Bergan

“Coach” Paul Bergan

April 8th, 1943 - November 26th, 2023

“Coach” Paul's Obituary

“Coach” Paul Bergan, 80, of Eau Claire, was welcomed to Heaven on November 26, 2023 in Venice, Florida.

Paul was born on April 8, 1943 to Paul and Marie (Lucas) Bergan in Fort Wayne, IN. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in South Bend, IN then furthered his education at Lewis University and earned his Master’s Degree through Texas A&M. On January 27, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Linda Decker, in South Bend, IN.

Paul worked for Texas Instruments before following his passion as a teacher, administrator, and coach at high schools in Bishop Lynch (TX), United Township (IL), Eau Claire, Benton Harbor, and Berrien Springs (MI). Paul served as Regional Director of Career & Technical Education for Berrien RESA from 1992-2011. He served on the Board of Trustees at Lake Michigan College for 25 years, earning the Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award in 2021 and was an early champion of implementing direct credit classes for high school students at LMC, including the Berrien County Early/ Middle College program.

A long-time football coach, Paul led the programs at Eau Claire and Benton Harbor High Schools. In 1972, he was recognized as the Coach of the Year, Class C; Regional Coach of the Year, and coached the East West All Star Game in 1988. Paul was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991. From 2007-2019, Paul coached at Berrien Springs with his three sons and grandson. His impact as a coach and mentor to his players will be a lasting legacy. Paul made his big screen debut in the 1993 movie Rudy as the football technical consultant and Notre Dame football coach. As a competitive powerlifter, Paul won the WNPF National Masters Powerlifting Championship in 2003 and held two world records.

Paul and Linda grew their family with love, kindness and loyalty to be a strong and close family. They were married 57 years until she passed June 30, 2019. Paul is survived by his children, Pam (Dave) Kaiser, Bill (Terica) Bergan, Sean (Nkenge) Bergan and Nick (Linda) Bergan; grandchildren, Max, Michael, Jake, Kathryn, Chris, Imara, Jackson; four great grandchildren; brother, Tim Bergan; sister, Kate Bergan; plus countless longtime friends, coaches, and players. He loved his faith, family, and football. Knowing that he is now in the arms of God and reunited with his love Linda will sustain us.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:30 PM on Saturday, December 9, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor, MI. Inurnment will follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Sodus. Friends may visit with the family from 10 AM until 11:30 AM, Saturday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Memorial contributions in Paul’s name may be made to Lake Michigan College. Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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