Larry Curtis Bergman, 70, died on Friday, January 6, 2017 near his Sellwood home.
Larry was born November 14, 1946 in Eugene, Oregon to his parents Herman and Freda. He grew up in Canby, Oregon in a home built by his father, where he lived with his parents and his younger brother Bruce. Growing up, Larry frequented the Canby Southern Pacific train station, where he discovered his love of trains and machinery.
He was “employed” at an early age gluing labels on freight for Dad in the depot. Cub Scouts and Zoar Lutheran Church activities framed his early years. When he graduated from Canby Union High School in 1964, Larry was active in band and basketball and was an Eagle Scout. In 1968, he graduated with a BS in Engineering from Oregon State University, where he also earned his private pilot’s license.
Quickly, he was then drafted into the Army and eventually sent to Vietnam as an E-6 Airborne Ranger. After only a few months, he was dropped from a helicopter into a pit of poisoned punji sticks, one of which punctured his lower leg. He came home via combat hospitals in Vietnam, Japan, and Tacoma, completing his military service as a mountaineering instructor at West Point.
After his service, Larry found employment starting up steel mills in Morocco and Argentina. In 1975 he returned to Oregon where he joined forces with his brother Bruce to start Bergman Photographic Services, which later became GeoTerra, Inc. The first airplane of many to serve the Bergman brothers was a 1939 Piper Cub. Larry’s piloting career spanned 50 full years with no accidents, accumulating 14,267.9 logged hours in the air.He helped launch many pilots into airline careers.
Larry and Bruce were avid gear heads and spent ten years racing classic cars at Portland International Raceway. He also loved boats, from canoes and kayaks to his restored 1962 Tollycraft, Dora Mae. Alongside his beloved partner Elizabeth Nugent, he enjoyed good food and beer, music, and gatherings with friends. Larry and Elizabeth loved spending weekends and holidays in their newly purchased home on Puget Island, which was to become their retirement haven. Larry is survived by his brother Bruce, sister-in-law Barbara, two nephews Matt and Jeff, along with their wives Rosie and Kim and growing families.
Larry left us too soon, and we will all miss him.