Paul Richard Bergeron II

The family traveled around the country and back as Paul’s job as a pharmacist and pharmacy executive sent them from Maryland to Indiana to Oregon to California then back to the Virginia side of the D.C. area in 1981. There were homes in Burke and Alexandria – and six years in Naperville, Ill. – before settling at Lake Monticello in 2002.
Laughter always came with the trips. Whether it was the corny jokes that work with young kids (and yes, years later, with his nine grandchildren) or on sitcoms (among others, ‘Bob Newhart,’ ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ ‘Taxi,’ ‘Cheers,’ and ‘Seinfeld’ always brought the tears of laughter), Paul always wanted to laugh.
And watch sports.
An ardent Redskins fan (you would think he was related to Sonny Jurgensen if you saw the memorabilia and photos that still adorn his walls), he was a season-ticket holder for all of their 32 seasons at RFK Stadium before passing along the seats to his boys (back when they were still a hot commodity).
The three Super Bowls the Redskins won were a joyous time. But they didn’t compare to the return of baseball to the city. He always identified himself as a Senators fan, wearing the red hat with the white script insignia even during the years when few remembered the team.
Paul did. Mostly because he remembered watching the games from the bleachers in old Griffith Stadium with his own dad – a tradition he shared with his boys by seeing a major league baseball game in 40 of the 60 ballparks in use during his lifetime.
He also shared his love of newspapers – ‘the greatest bargain in the history of mankind,’ he once said. Two of his kids eventually worked in the industry, an industry Paul never stopped supporting, getting four daily newspapers – and sending letters to the editor to all of them on a regular basis.
As he grew older – grew into the drinking-a-pot-of-coffee-while-watching-Fox-News club (yes, he was as Republican as they come) – he valued family as much as anything.
A curiosity into genealogy led to the discovery of a distant relative who fought and died in the Civil War. That led to a full-scale project of mapping over 1,400 family members back over nearly 1,000 years.
His family chart project was featured in the local paper – a proud moment for him to say the least.
Of course, the most important person on the family tree was Angie.
“Find the love of your life and love her with every ounce of your heart every day of your life,” Paul said when asked for a life lesson by one of his grandchildren.
Paul and Angie were inseparable throughout their marriage, a celebration of doting and devotion rarely seen these days. Aside from Paul seeing every state in the country, he and Angie eventually saw the world, taking more trips and cruises than they could count and visiting 30 countries (including Lithuania – Angie’s birthplace) on their way to setting foot on six of seven continents.
Their last trip came in December, when – after 16 straight years of trying – Paul and Angie won tickets to the famous Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker New Year’s concert in Vienna, Austria.
A highlight? Surely. But Paul himself said his whole life was a highlight.
“I’ve been able to see four children grow and prosper, I still talk to friends I’ve known since I was 10 years old and I’ve had the love of my life by my side throughout it all,” he gushed shortly after getting the news that his final days were coming.
“I’ve lived a fairytale life,” he said.
Paul was always upbeat; always positive. “So don’t feel bad for me,” he told his kids in his final months. At the service, he said, he didn’t want sadness. He wanted everyone to tell a story about how he made them laugh. He wanted everyone there to laugh.
Laugh, perhaps, until they cried.
A celebration of his life will take place at Thacker Brothers Funeral Home in Palmyra on Thursday, July 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (with remarks made at 7:30 p.m.). A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, July 18, in Palmyra at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church at 10:00 a.m., followed by burial at Monticello Memory Gardens in Charlottesville at ~12:00pm.
The Bergeron family gives special heartfelt thanks to Dr. William Grosh and the staff at the UVA Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in Charlottesville. In lieu of flowers, we kindly request a contribution in Paul’s name. By mail: check payable to UVA Health Foundation, PO Box 400807, Charlottesville, VA, 22904-4807 (check memo: UVA Cancer Center – Paul Bergeron). By internet: (click on “PLEASE GIVE NOW” then designate gift to ‘Cancer Center’ and type ‘Paul Bergeron’ into the “Special Instructions” box).

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