Maria Bergstrom

Obituary of Maria J. Bergstrom

Maria passed peacefully into eternal life early on the morning of December 14, 2023 at the age of 79, with her beloved husband Rodney and pup Bentley at her side.

Maria was born January 30, 1944 in Madrid, Spain to Tomas Valdivieso and Maria Castillo Valdivieso. She attended a private Catholic high school in Madrid, and at the age of 17 went on to beauty school in Paris to master the art of hairstyling. Upon completion of her training, she returned to Madrid to join her sister Carmen in operating a beauty salon patronized by many wives of military members stationed at nearby Torrejon Air Base. It was during this period that she met and later married USAF S/Sgt Rodney L. Bergstrom of Bemidji, Minnesota, who was stationed at Torrejon.

During the twenty five years that her husband served in the US Air Force, Maria and her family were stationed at Minot AFB North Dakota, Clark AFB Philippines, Nellis AFB Nevada, and while Rodney was stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam for a full year, Maria remained in the US with their beloved children—daughter Sandra and son James—living with Rodney’s family in Bemidji, where she devoted herself to her kids and hairstyling work done for doctors’ wives in town.

After Rodney completed his assignment in Vietnam, the family was able to return to Spain as he received orders for assignment back to Torrejon AFB, and then later reassigned to Zaragoza AFB. After serving an additional four years there, the family was assigned to Altus AFB Oklahoma, Scott AFB Illinois, Ramstein AFB Germany, and Pope AFB N. Carolina. After Rodney’s retirement from the Air Force, the family moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida where Rodney gained employment with Raytheon Service Company at Patrick AFB. During their time in the Air Force, Maria enjoyed traveling extensively both overseas and in the United States. Despite the many sacrifices asked of military spouses, she remained a devoted and deeply loved wife, mother, grandmother to her family, and friend to many.

Maria was preceded in death by her father Tomas Valdivieso, mother Maria Castillo Valdivieso, brother Tim Valdivieso, daughter Sandra Helen Escribano-Bergstrom (Kermit Escribano) and son James Thomas Bergstrom (Mark Sweere).

Maria is survived by her husband of 59 years, Rodney L. Bergstrom of N. Charleston, South Carolina; sister Carmen Valdivieso and nephews Jorge and Fernando Millan Valdivieso of Madrid, Spain; sons-in-law Kermit (Ericka) Escribano of Atlanta, Georgia and Mark Sweere of St. Paul, Minnesota; grandchildren David Escribano of Dublin, Florida; Daniel Escribano of Littleton, Colorado; Devin Escribano of Alpharetta, Georgia; Adriana (Escribano) & Tyler Goblirsch of Maple Grove, Minnesota and their son (and Maria’s great-grandson) Theo Joseph Goblirsch.

A private celebration of Maria’s life will be held with her family and friends, followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota — where Maria will finally be at rest, alongside her beloved children James (+2018) and Sandra (+2020).

“De Madrid al cielo, y un agujerito para verlo.” — from Madrid to heaven, with a tiny window to look back on it.

Que los ángeles te guíen al paraíso: que los mártires te reciban cuando llegues, y te lleve a la ciudad santa de Jerusalén. Que el coro de los ángeles te reciba y con Lazaro, que alguna vez fue mendigo, que tengas un descanso eterno. Amen.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Willwerscheid Funeral Home & Cremation Service - Grand Avenue Chapel
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