Bergstrom, Theodore R. (Ted)
Age 89, of Oak Park Heights, passed away Sept. 14th from heart complications. He is survived by his wife Theodocia (Teddy); five children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild: John & Nancy; Carl with Briana, Haley & Woody; Bill & Bev with Natalie & Drew; Karen (Bergstrom) & David Hewes with Jacob & Ashley with Eddie, Nate & Kara, and Caitlin; Ann (Bergstrom) & Matt Lind with Bjorn.
Born August 22, 1930 in Chicago, IL, Ted attended Colorado School of Mines on a football scholarship to pursue a metallurgical engineering degree. While at a college dance he met a woman named Theodocia, who upon learning their common names and mutual values, felt destined to be together for life. They married on June 12, 1954 the day after she graduated, and then served in the Navy until 1957.
After military service, they moved to Spokane Washington where he worked for Boeing as the lead engineer on the Dyna-Soar project, the precursor to today’s space shuttle. During his time at Boeing, they had four children and he obtained his masters in metallurgical engineering. Despite their busy schedule, they made time to enjoy the outdoors and travel with their growing family.
After Boeing, Ted moved to Minnesota to work for 3M in the central research lab with metals. In 1973, he developed and filed a patent on the C-shaped fireplace grate which used the fire’s heat to recirculate air back into the room for energy conservation. That passion led him to start a company named Thermograte which he ran until 1983. During his career he published several papers and filed and was granted more than 14 patents, domestically and internationally.
An avid handball player for more than 50 years, Ted loved the sport as it was a great way to stay fit and have fun. He continued to play until three days before he died. During his handball career he won state titles in doubles and singles more than 10 times and national doubles championships twice, both in 2010 and 2011 at 80 and 81 years of age. He also shared his love of the game by teaching handball at the U of M into his 80s, and chuckled when students complained that an old man beat them. Ted enjoyed spending time with his family and sharing his love of the outdoors and hunting and fishing. He was a super fan of his grandchildren’s sports, and the Wild, Twins and Vikings. He and Teddy built a log cabin in Ely, MN where they lived six months out of the year for more than 20 years and shared their love of the north woods with family and many friends. Ted recently finished his memoirs which he titled The Long Lucky Life of Ted Bergstrom, now available on Amazon via Kindle or paperback. He will be remembered for his faith, family, zest for life, love of nature and genuine interest in others and the communities in which he lived.
A celebration of Ted’s life will be held from 4-7 p.m. (service at 5 p.m.) on September 30, 2019 at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater MN. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to YMCA Camp Du Nord, Shriner’s Hospital or St. Jude’s Children Hospital.