December 6, 1951 - June 7, 2022
Marilyn Sue Bergquist, of Bremerton, WA, age 70, was born December 6, 1951 in Celina, Ohio to Ralph & Grace Schultz of St. Marys, OH. She had two brothers Roland and Dale and one sister Joyce all of whom she loved deeply. Marilyn developed her musical skills as a youth. She marched in the band playing clarinet and played piano for all the musicals at St. Mary’s High school. In 1970 she was invited to Juilliard School of Music to study piano but chose instead to become an RN at Miami Valley School of Nursing in Dayton, OH.
In 1973 she studied Bible at Nyack Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) College in New York. She then went to the Vietnam war zone in the summer of 1974 to serve as a nurse at a C&MA medical clinic. At night she could hear the shooting from the Americans fighting the communists. Once after returning to the clinic after treating Montagnard patients in a nearby village she received a chilling message from the communists, “When you were walking on that ridge we had you in our sights, and nobody knows why we didn’t pull the trigger. Don’t go back to that village.”
Returning to the USA she got her BSN degree at BIOLA University where she served as the school nurse and later as a clinical professor. Eventually she became the director of the home hospice program for Orange County, CA. On December 10, 1980 while traveling to a hospice patient her car was rear-ended at a stop light in an accident that eventually ended her nursing career and initiated 41 years of debilitating pain.
She met her husband Tracy on Thanksgiving morning 1980 and their first date was hearing the Thanksgiving sermon preached by Chuck Swindoll at their church, the Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. In the summer of 1981 she joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and on August 29, 1981 married Tracy L. Bergquist in Celina, OH. They were married for 41 years. In 1983 their daughter Joy was born in Santa Ana, CA, and Marilyn stopped working with Nurses Christian Fellowship in Los Angeles.
In 1986 the family moved to Bremerton, WA, where they lived at Harbel Drive until 2008 when they moved to nearby Silverdale Mobile Estates. Marilyn helped in the music ministry at the Olympic Evangelical Free Church from 1986 to 1999 where she had many awesome friends including the Barker, Jensen, Vigil, Hostetter, Walker, Rommen and Seitz families.
She then became active in the nearby Crossroads Neighborhood C&MA Church, especially the weekly home Bible studies at the home of Chuck & Sam Hubbard with John & Sheila Dean and Rod & Lois Bell. She also got to enjoy friends like the Tangeman, Trembley, Green, Coe, Adamson, Tomlinson, Reece, Haynes, Collins, Steinbrink & Kaiser families.
She enjoyed many friends from BIOLA University like Cheri Delhagen (her roommate 1979-80 in California and then close friend in Washington), Sue Bauer (Wycliffe missionary), and Nancy McDowell. In Bremerton her friends included Linda Rae Lind (with whom she went to Ohio and also celebrated many holidays, birthdays and anniversaries together.), Carol Miller (who lived nearby and helped Marilyn in dozens of ways) and Henry & Charlene Bergquist (Tracy’s parents) with whom she enjoyed dozens of events at the big brick house on 8th Street.
She had a special love and appreciation for Judy (Bergquist) Matzen, Alice Dunlap, Phyllis Rose, “JoJo” Joanne Morton, Carl & Helen Johnson, Gary & Penny Lent, Dr. Michael McCown, Dr. Timothy Johnson, Dr. Blake-Inada, Rick & Cathy Best, Jeffrey Weist, and Alice Gorman (wife of author Gorman Gray). She particularly loved and appreciated the local Gideons such as Ken Mickelberry, Dan McDonald, Jack Diehl and Phil Royer. Then she had two wonderful part-time caregivers from Catholic Community Services, Bonita Kolar and Tess Sheffler, with whom she enjoyed over 10,000 hours together.
In her final years at Silverdale Estates, being mostly bedridden or wheelchair bound, she became creative at keeping her mind and emotions engaged by sharing on the phone with her family and friends or via Facebook on her iPad. Using her Roku & TV (from Cheri Delhagen) she watched thousands of old movies, television shows (like David Suche’s Poirot series) and Christian broadcasting news and teaching (like Mike Huckabee and David Jeremiah).
With the iPad she also watched hundreds of YouTube music videos (like David Phelps with the Gaither Vocal Band.) Then she spent many thousands of hours talking (sometimes debating) with her husband about the Bible (like the 2-Stage Creation of Gorman Gray and the preterism of Brian Godawa). She also explored politics from the perspective of our sovereign ruler, Jesus Christ. She kept herself active to the end.
On May 14, 2022 Marilyn caught Covid which she apparently overcame by May 24. But somewhere along the line she contracted septicemia and was hospitalized at St. Michael’s in Silverdale, WA, from May 24 until June 7, 2022 when she went to be with Jesus and her family in heaven. The hospital staff, along with her RN daughter Joy (by phone and in person), worked feverishly attempting to save her from the bacterial infections in her bloodstream. When that proved impossible, they worked equally hard to ease her awful pain and comfort her anxiety.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents Ralph & Grace Schultz, her sister-in-law Judy Schultz and her in-laws Henry & Charlene Bergquist. She is survived by her husband Tracy Bergquist, daughter Joy Rowe and four grandchildren Grace, Isaiah, Trinity and Evelyn; Joy’s former spouse Taylor Rowe; brother-in-law Dean Bergquist; brothers Roland Schultz and Dale Schultz (Suzie) and sister Joyce (Johnny Bryant); nieces Jennifer (Doug Burrows), Krista Schultz, Ashley (Weylon Smith), Halley Bryant, Hannah (Jacob Matthews); nephews David AKA Julian Bergquist (Catherine), Daniel Bergquist, Corey Schultz (Caroline), Devin Schultz, Trevor Schultz, and Andrew Bryant (Courtney); and aunt Esther (Chuck Bush).
Gideon scriptures can be placed in her memory by donations sent to The Gideons International, PO Box 2614, Bremerton, WA 98310. Marilyn was buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, and her memorial service will be Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 1:00 P.M.
Crossroads Neighborhood Church