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A celebration of life for Bernie Burggraf, age 88, of Fargo, ND and formerly of Roseau, MN, will be on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 2 PM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Visitation will be one hour prior at the funeral home, with interment at the Moe-Rose Cemetery in Roseau. A memorial service will also be on Friday, August 24th at 6 PM at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND.
Bernie Burggraf peacefully passed away on Sunday, August 19, 2018, surrounded by his family. Clarence Bernard Burggraf, Jr was born on November 3, 1929, in New Rockford, ND to Pearl (Johnson) and Clarence Burggraf, Sr. He graduated from Stephen High School and went on to earn a business degree from Concordia College (1952) in Moorhead, MN. It was there that he met and married Nancy Harris. After graduating, Bernie and Nancy made their home in Roseau, MN where they raised their family and were active members in their beloved small town community.
Bernie lived his life to the fullest with his fun-loving personality, quick wit, and sense of humor. His jokes, masks, and pranks were a part of all areas of his life, donning a clown nose or leaving a fake snake were some of his favorites.
His business adventures in Roseau included a grocery store, sporting goods store, and 50 enjoyable years in retail at Burggraf’s Mens Wear. The store was a popular central meeting place for people to chat with Bernie about everything from sports to politics and was often the first stop for family and alumni returning to Roseau. Bernie was a mentor to many young men and women who would spend time in the store before leaving for their college careers.
Bernie was very civic minded and helped create Roseau into a prosperous, vibrant, and energized community as he served for many years as a city councilman and the mayor. He was Roseau’s biggest booster and loved his many years of being it’s advocate as he promoted businesses, sports, and the community. He wrote a sports column for the Roseau Times Region for many years. After moving to Fargo in 2003, he spent hours on the air with his hockey talk show, “Face Off with Bernie Burggraf” which was broadcast over the region.
His faith in Christ was unwavering and guided him throughout his life. He served on the church council at Messiah Lutheran Church and touched many lives as a dynamic Sunday school teacher. He was center stage in promoting people and events. He was always asked to be the Master of Ceremonies for Ducks Unlimited, Deer Hunters Association, Demo Derbies, County Fair Horse Racing, and hosted his own radio sports show for over 65 years. He was a pioneer in the announcing the MN State High School Hockey tournament bringing it back to the north country via a small hand-held microphone hooked up to a telephone line. His true personality and talents came through any microphone. His love for sports was unparalleled and he was well respected among the sports communities. Bernie quietly promoted many athletes from the county to area colleges. His contact rolodex was unmatched.
Bernie was an avid hunter who always enjoyed time with family and friends walking deer trails and laying in cornfields waiting for geese and ducks to fly in.
Bernie is survived by daughters, Becky (Mark) Lommen, Sally (Fraser) Norton; sons, Charlie (Bethany), Frank (Charlene); daughter-in-law, Joan Burggraf; 14 grandchildren, and 22 great -grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy; son, Rick, and his parents, Clarence Sr and Pearl.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Friday, August 24, 2018, 6:00 PM at First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND. VISITATION: One hour prior to services at the church.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 2:00 PM at Helgeson Funeral Home, Roseau, MN. VISITATION: One hour prior to the service.
BURIAL: Moe-Rose Cemetery, Roseau, MN.