Amaryllis Bergstrom Dunn
March 24, 1928 – October 8, 2019
Amaryllis Bergstrom Dunn passed peacefully from her home on the old Bergstrom-Karling Hilltop to her new Mansion on Heaven’s Hill on October 8, 2019. We all knew her as Amaryllis with a middle name of Johanna, but as we’ve discovered, it was her middle name that everyone knew her by and not by her true first name, Johanna. Amaryllis lived her entire 91 years on the old Karling Dairy / Bergstrom Farmstead – an amazing heritage that not many enjoy in this day and age.
Born March 24, 1928 to Swedish immigrants Arthur Simon Bergstrom and Hannah Marie Karling at the old City Hospital - which most Austin residents knew as Brackenridge Hospital. The dairy farm where she grew up was part of the original homestead of her Swedish grandfather Swan Bergstrom who settled the land in the 1870’s. The Bergstrom’s were also a part of the Decker community that was comprised of many Swedish immigrants that came to Austin in the 1800’s.
Amaryllis grew up as a hard-working farm girl and one of her chores was to help her dad, Arthur, when he would do the milk runs to local residents and businesses. Dairy cows had to be milked every 12 hours and after the early morning milking was done, the milk would be separated and prepared for delivery. Her mom Hannah would fix a farm-size breakfast and at 6am – off to the work of delivering and ‘hopping’ on the milk wagon. As a milk ‘hopper’, she would be on and off the milk wagon, sometimes carrying 6 quarts at a time in the in the milk carrier to the customers’ door. She would then collect the empties – and if, in the process, any of the bottles broke, the reward of an ice cream cone or comic book at the end of the milk run would be forfeited.
Her mother Hannah taught grades 3 through 10 in the old one-room school at Manda/New Sweden, Texas. Education was encouraged in her household, and Amaryllis attended Southwest Texas State in San Marcos after graduating from Manor High School in 1944. It was the end of the war years and a hard time for many. She loved the farm and was only able to be away for a year at college as she would come home on the weekends via bus and when it was time to go back to college, the tears would start. So she came back to Austin and attended another year of college at the University of Texas.
It was during those war years that a new air force base was being built in Austin. Amaryllis’ cousin, Earl, had gone to serve at Clarke Field in the Philippines and on the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed, there was also bombing at Clarke Field. Her cousin Earl was instantly killed. Earl became the first Austinite to die in the war effort and the ‘then’ senator LBJ petitioned to name the base as Bergstrom Airfield – now known as ABIA (Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airport).
It was the newly built Bergstrom Airfield that eventually brought her husband-to-be, Clifford, to the area as an Air Force cadet. Clifford sought out a church when he arrived and through Glad Tidings church, he met Amaryllis and her family. They became engaged and married on the 7th of November, 1952. Clifford served as a radio engineer in the Air Force and was subsequently deployed to Korea after their marriage. Before his deployment, Amaryllis was expecting their first child and while he was deployed, their daughter was born. A year-and-a-half later, their second child, a boy, was born and then another son, five years later. While their two youngest children were small, Clifford and Amaryllis, built their first home on the old Bergstrom/Karling farm where they enjoyed living out in the country and close to Amaryllis’ parents. Amaryllis worked much of her life and at her first ‘real’ job, from 1947 onward, she continually worked 23 years at the Texas Health Dept. until her youngest son was born and then she took a break. She then took on part-time and seasonal jobs that would not keep her away from the house and family. Due to her excellent typing skills, one of her seasonal jobs was at the Texas legislature where they typed the long bills that were passed each day for the Governor’s signature. From there, she went on to work for the newly created Texas State Board of Psychological Examiners for several years and then took a job at Appraisal Associates of Austin. It was during this time that she and her husband went separate ways with Amaryllis staying on the old farmstead. At that juncture in life, she took a job at McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore as a legal secretary to Denny Ingram where her daughter also worked. It was at McGinnis/Lochridge that she finally retired from the paid workforce and began her volunteer work at St. David’s Hospital on 32nd Street. She lived out her days on the old farmstead while regularly attending Glad Tidings Church – now known as G.T. Austin. At her passing, she was at the top of the list as one of the longest-standing members of Glad Tidings – second only to Ms. Dickie Patillo, who survives her. Christ was her steadfast hope all of her life and it was Glad Tidings and all of her long-time steadfast friends, as well as her Swedish roots and family that kept her going all these years.
She was preceded in death by her parents Arthur Simon and Hannah Karling Bergstrom, as well as her only brother, Arthur Karling Bergstrom. She is survived by her sisters Virginia Thompson, Bonnie Smith and husband Tommy, and her sister Carolyn Boyd. Her children also survive her: daughter, Rebecca, son Randy and wife Esther, son Tommy and wife Donna. Eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also survive her: Anna D. Supac and her husband James, Madison D. Duxbury and her husband Adam, Jeremy Dunn and his wife Jourdan, Timothy Dunn, Tess D. Osborn and her husband Mark, Carly Dunn, Jeffrey Dunn and Natalie Dunn. Great-grandchildren: Stafford Supak, Faye Duxbury, Julianne Osborn and Eli Osborn. Her cousin Lil Ceder , as well as other “Swedes” survive her and carry the memories of the old Swedish Community around the ol’ Decker Methodist Church.
The Family is hosting a Visitation on Friday, October 18th from 5-7pm at Weed Corley Fish Funeral Home, 3125 No. Lamar Blvd, Austin 78705. For directions or other information, please call the funeral home at 512-452-8811.
The Celebration of Amaryllis’ life will be 11am on Saturday, October 19th at G.T. Austin Church located at 2700 Northland Dr., Austin 78756. The Celebration will be followed by a lite lunch in the church Fellowship Hall for all that attend. Graveside services will follow at Oakwood Cemetery Annex, 1600 Comal Street, Austin 78702. There will not be a procession to the cemetery but rather individuals and families that wish to attend will drive and meet at the graveside. Directions will be given at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Amaryllis requested that donations be made to OPERATION SMILE – her favorite charity. A special AMARYLLIS DUNN HONOR FUND has been set up at Operation Smile. Envelopes for the charity will be at the Visitation and at the Celebration of Life – or – you can call Doris Mercedes with Operation Smile at 757-321-7636 to make sure your contribution is in Honor of Amaryllis’ life.
REGARDING OPERATION SMILE: If you want to make a donation ONLINE in memory of Amaryllis - the website can be a little confusing. Here are step-by-step directions to help.
• Go to the website: www.OperationSmile.org
• Click on the red “DONATE NOW” button
• A New screen will pop up and you will go ahead to indicate your donation before you know who it’s going to
• BELOW THE DONATION AMOUNT that you put in – in very small blue print, you will see a 2nd blue box that says: This gift is in honor or In memory of someone
• AFTER you’ve checked the blue box that says in HONOR/MEMORY of someone – then another form pops-up to put in the Name of the person you’re Honoring. You can click either ‘Honor” or in “Memory” of - it doesn’t matter which one you click. You will then fill in:
• In Honor/Memory of: AMARYLLIS DUNN
• Recipients Name: YOUR NAME goes here
• Recipients Address: YOUR ADDRESS
• Recipients City/State/Zip: YOUR City / State / Zip
• *PLEASE CHECK THE e-Card* so the Family will know who to Thank (the amount will not be revealed – just the Giver’s name)
• e-Card email for Rebecca: TheVelvetMesquite@yahoo.com
• e-Card email for Randy: Randy@theDunns.net
• e-Card email for Tommy: DunnMont@gmail.com
• And then you will input your information for the donation
• Then please look over your input for accuracy and click “Submit”
- Operation Smile
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Weed-Corley-Fish North Chapel
3125 North Lamar Boulevard
G. T. Austin Church
2700 Northland Drive
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Oakwood Cemetery Annex
Oakwood Cemetery Annex
1600 Comal Street
Amaryllis Bergstrom Dunn
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
Connie Gastler Schmidt
October 17, 2019
Amaryllis was the "neighbor of neighbors" for my parents several decades on Karling Drive. On "the hill" she was family with them, partner in crime against snakes and armadillos, and ready rescuers for each other in any daily crisis. They bought a riding lawnmower together -- Amaryllis provided the garage to house it, my dad, Bernie, maintained it.
Because we had to travel so far from Alaska or Washington my family's trips were infrequent. But it was always a rest for the soul to see sunset from their homes. In a hot afternoon Amaryllis would come over, mopping her forehead and we'd sit in the shade of my parents' patio to visit, play board games in the evening and have one of my mom's desserts together.
I will always think of her at Christmas when I see the blossoms of one of my favorite flowers. How lovely to be given the name of a beautiful flower.
Amaryllis was one of my mother Ruth's dearest friends. When we got word of Amaryllis' passing, my mom said, "Well, she's another one I'll get to see in Heaven." What a blessing to know God's Love in Jesus is bigger than time and space. We give thanks for Amaryllis. Hug each other for us.
Ruth Gastler & Connie & John Schmidt
Judy Schober Miller
October 13, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family of Amaryllis. Praying that God will wrap His loving arms around you to give comfort at this time. I have know Amaryllis for the past 40 years at the Church of Glad Tidings....a wonderful, loving lady who always had a good word and a smile on her face. Our loss is Heaven's gain.
October 13, 2019
Dear Rebecca and family:
I only knew your mother for a very short time— as her meals on wheels Monday deliverer—but I always looked forward to seeing her. Though she was frail, she always met me with a big smile and a generous thank you.
She was born the same year as my parents (whom are no longer living) and it always saddens me to lose another of their generation. I am honored to have known her and am grateful to you Rebecca, for giving me the chance to say goodbye.
Catherine O’ Connor
1200 yaupon valley rd.