Rev. Dr. Marvin Martin Bergman

January 8, 1934 ~ August 24, 2022 (age 88)


Rev. Dr. Marvin Martin Bergman, 88, died in Christ on 8/24/2022.  He was an incredible and irreplaceable husband, father, grandfather, brother, colleague and friend to all who knew him.  Many words describe this Servant:  Faithful, Kind, Listener, Learned and Driven.  Marvin never wasted a moment of time his entire life and reveled in every moment.

Born in 1934, in Philip, South Dakota in the middle of the Dust Bowl to Rev. Elmer Bergmann, and the Laura (Meyer) Bergmann where his Dad was serving two congregations in Philip and Midland, S.D.  He was baptized into the LCMS faith two weeks later.  His Dad would faithfully serve both congregations driving his Model T back and forth between, and would most often be "paid" in goats and chickens for his work.  Marv would learn to detest goat cheese, and goat milk for the rest of his life.

The family made their way to Ernestville, Missouri (near Concordia), with Elmer being installed in 1937 as Pastor, Organist and Principal of St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School.  When Marv was in the elementary grades in the 1-room schoolhouse, he would move his chair closer to the older kids' area to eavesdrop on their lessons.  This would likely be the catalyst to inspire an insatiable need for lifetime learning.  Anyone who knew Dad knew that he was constantly exploring different fields:  the Brain; Faith Formation; Family Life; Confirmation; Theology and Moral Development; Sociology; the New Testament; Apologetics, and of course:  Orcharding, Beekeeping (before it was cool) and Gardening.  

His High School years were spent at Concordia Academy, Concordia, Missouri.  In addition to his studies, he loved to play baseball and basketball, especially because he had a team of brothers and sisters ready and willing to play at the parsonage:  Norman, twins Ron and Don, Gerry, Carol, and Margaret.  Some of you reading this may be smiling at adventures you either experienced first-hand or heard about regarding the Bergman Brothers and their propensity to live life to the fullest.  Dad was the nurturing oldest brother who tried to keep the siblings in order.  Try as he might, there are stories out there, all in great fun.

Marvin was confirmed into the faith in 1947.  He would then graduate from Concordia Academy in 1951 and earned his Bachelors Degree from Concordia, Austin, TX, in 1956.  He also took some graduate classes at the University of Texas before his deep desire to be a Pastor and share the knowledge of Christ with the world. He received his theological training at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1958, and did his Vicarage at Trinity Lutheran, Orlando, FL.  

After his Vicarage, Marvin went to Denver to see his folks who then were relocating to Colorado.  While he was in Denver for the summer, and through the clever matchmaking of his Mother, Marvin met his future wife Shirley, a teacher and organist.  Marvin and Shirley were married in Archbold, Ohio, on Easter afternoon, 1960.  They were inseparable for 62 blessed years.  

Marvin received a call to start a church in General Motor's backyard, in Warren, MI in 1960.  He wore out three pairs of shoes in just a couple of months canvassing the neighborhoods and introducing the mission church "Holy Cross."  Soon after, the building was erected, and Marvin and Shirley started their own family with the blessing of a daughter Joy Angela, in 1963, and son, Jonathon David in 1966.  The family would remain in Michigan until Marvin prayerfully considered furthering his education and getting his Doctorate.  The family relocated in 1967 to the Upper West Side of NYC, and he would graduate in 1970 with his Ed.D. from Union Seminary, Columbia University.

He received a divine call to Concordia Seward, Nebraska later that summer.  He had an idyllic experience spending the formative professional years and familial years in Seward, making multitudes of lifetime friendships and worshipping at St. John.  Marvin was a Vacancy Pastor for the Nebraska District for years, traveling to many churches throughout the state to spread the Word.  He would eventually serve Peace, Waco, for over ten years while teaching a full course load at Concordia.  His loved working with the students at Concordia.  

Always a student himself, Marvin received a Ph.D. from The University of Nebraska in 1982.  Wife Shirley was also earning her Ph.D. around that time, and the two became a dynamic pair in the LCMS, doing numerous workshops throughout the country for the next 25 years.  They were a busy couple and their life together was blessed immeasurably.  

Marvin will always be remembered as a loving and generous man.  He would say to us: Give our Father in Heaven thanks and gratitude for the multitude of blessings he gives each and every one of us, every day. To God be the Glory, forever and ever.  

He is survived by wife Shirley Bergman; daughter Joy Angela (David); son Jon (Caroline); and four Grandsons: Christian Ray, and Ty, Henry, and Harrison Bergman. 


If you cannot attend the service we invite you to worship with us by live streaming on YouTube "St. John Seward Live stream".


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Dr. Marvin Martin Bergman, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Rev. Dr. Marvin

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Volzke Funeral Home

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August 29, 2022

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Volzke Funeral Home
147 Main Street
Seward, NE 68434

Gathering of Family and Friends
August 29, 2022

5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Volzke Funeral Home
147 Main Street
Seward, NE 68434

Funeral Service
August 30, 2022

11:00 AM
St. John Lutheran Church
919 N. Columbia Ave.
Seward, NE 68434

Private Graveside Service

Greenmount Cemetery
900 Cemetery Road
Durango, CO 81301

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