Patricia Ann Bergren (née Dille) passed peacefully Saturday, February 19, 2022, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. A lifelong resident of Chesterton, she was 85 years old.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Robert Bergren; her daughters, Aimee Bergren and Christina (Craig) Thelen; her grandchildren, JJ (fiancé Ericka) Jablonski, Melanie (James) Randall, Lily Jablonski, Miles Jablonski, and Eliza Thelen; great-grandchildren, Amelia, Penelope, Blake, Brooklynn, and Brayden; as well as her siblings, Dennis Dille and Diane Rinker. In death, Patty joins her parents, John and Myrtle Dille, and her brother John Dille.
A small business owner, Patty was a longtime member of Chesterton’s business community. In 1970, at the age of 34, she opened a women’s clothing boutique, The Pacesetter, which was later renamed The House of Berggren. She ran the boutique for 50 years. On any given day, you could find her at the store, dressed in the latest fashion out of Chicago, helping women look and feel their best. When a husband dropped in looking for gifts, Patty could always tell him what dress or earrings his wife had her eye on the last time she was in the store.
Patty was smart, driven, and tough as nails. She was a Dille which meant that she was as stubborn as the day is long. It also meant that when someone needed something, she was there with no questions asked, doing twice what was necessary. She instilled her strong work ethic in her daughters, who went on to own their own businesses. She paved the way for women to live the lives they were called to live, even if those lives were outside of the expected social norms.
Patty loved musicals, Christmas, sitting by the pool (but not getting in it), reading, cleaning, speeding, riding her bike, her beloved dog Opal, butter pecan ice cream, needling her husband (with love), and songs from the green hymnal. She was an accomplished bowler and proud member of the Sigma Alpha Sorority. She absolutely adored her grandchildren and played a big part in raising them. Days with Grandma Patty always included a game of baseball in the big yard and reading unlimited books at bedtime.
Above all, Patty was a committed Christian. Her love of Jesus colored everything she did. Her faith wasn’t shown through grand gestures. She lived it in the small things she did faithfully over the course of 86 years. The ripple effect of her actions, done with uncommon humility, cannot be measured. She made a difference in the lives of her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and customers. If you knew her you were better for it.
Her family takes comfort knowing that Patty was received into the open arms of her Heavenly Father and is now laughing and retelling old stories with her parents and brother, in her new body, smoking a Pall Mall, and drinking a black cup of coffee.
Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at Augsburg Lutheran Church, 100 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter, IN, on Saturday, March 26, 2022. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by the service at 11:00 a.m. After the service there will be a luncheon held in the Fellowship Hall.
Memorial contributions may be made in Patty's honor to VNA Hospice of NWI, 501 Marquette St., Valparaiso, IN 46383.
Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com.