William Bergum

February 6, 1923April 18, 2013

William Bergum was born in Phoenix, Arizona February 6, 1923 to John Baptist and Salena Beatrice Williams Bergum; he passed away April 18, 2013 after a brief illness. He was 90.

At the age of 4 the family moved to Coolidge, AZ where Bill graduated from Coolidge High School in 1940. After school, he was in the United States Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1945 serving as a flight engineer flying in B-17s and B-29s. In 1946, he married his first wife Elaine and attended Arizona State College. After graduation in 1949 the family moved to Phoenix where he started his 41 year career as a New York Life Insurance agent. Bill moved to Ventura from Phoenix in 1960 and was a resident for 53 years. He retired from New York Life Insurance Co. in 1990.

While selling insurance was his profession, his true passion was breeding and showing Pekingese dogs. While pursuing this hobby with his wife, he became a renowned dog show judge judging all over the world. He judged at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show several times and was seen on television judging other shows. His career as a dog show judge lasted over 50 years. His last assignment was in Hawaii in October 2012.

Bill was living independently and driving until his illness in late January 2013.

Bill was very active in the Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association and was a member for 50 plus years. He was the dog show chairman for many years. He belonged to several other dog clubs as well. Bill was a delegate to the American Kennel Club and was very proud of the work his accomplished in this position. He was also a member of the AKC Trial Board Committee.

Besides his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his first wife Elaine Bergum, second wife Lee Bergum, and his only brother John Boyd Bergum. He leaves behind his daughter Cathy Villa and her husband, Robin; son, Clinton Bergum of Ventura, CA; step-daughter, Sugar Price of El Paso, Texas; grandchildren: Julie Franck of Ventura, CA, Dawn Arnold and Erik Moore of El Paso, Texas; nieces: Nancy Dexter and Cindy Morrey and nephew John Boyd Bergum, Jr. all of Utah.

The family wants to thank every single employee of the Ventura Convalescent Hospital for their attentive and loving care of Bill during his last months of life.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday April 30th at the Ventura Baptist Church, 5415 Ralston St. Ventura, CA 93003.

Donations can be made in Bill's name to: Ventura Baptist Church, 5415 Ralston St. Ventura, CA 93003 attn.: Jubilee Ministries and The AKC Canine Health Foundation, PO Box 900061, Raleigh, NC 27675-9061. You can mail your contribution to them or visit

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Charles Carroll Funeral Home in Ventura. For more information you may phone (805) 642-8134 or you may visit our website at for flowers (877) 894-0431, code #51188.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, April 30, 2013

William Bergum

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Christine & Mark Bartnick

May 7, 2013

We will miss you, Bill. Our hearts go out to the Bergum family.

John & Zoe Ann Bergum Jr

April 28, 2013

Kathy-Clint, Loved Uncle Bill and I always injoyed being around him. He reminded me so much of dad in many respects. So sorry our family can't be there in your time of need but our prayers and love will always be with you.

April 26, 2013

One of my saddest days ... Bill or "Uncle Bill", as he was known to my four adult children and Elaine spent hours with our family back in the days of real puppy matches.
He was a friend of long standing, a mentor of all breed judging and a totally gentle man. He always took an interest in my family's dog show successes and failures.
We loved him and send our Prayers and condolences to Kathy and any other relatives he might have had.
What a gift to the world of dogs (and the humans within it) he has always been and he will always be so fresh a loss in our family's remembrances.
Eileen Lane and the Lane Family (Antelope Valley, California)

l brown

April 26, 2013

have known him for close to 40 years - in the world of dog shows, he was well respected and always had a smile and a quick wit - he was one of the "great ones" in our little world!

Jack & Karen Smith

April 25, 2013

To the Bergum family ... our deepest condolences. Our world of dogs was blessed to have such a wonderful man in our sport. He was a great friend of all those in both the Long Beach Kennel Club and Great Western Terrier Association. We will all miss him.

Best, Jack and Karen Smith

Kim Morrey Rollins

April 24, 2013

I'm so sorry to hear about Uncle Bill's passing. I am Cindy's daughter and had the opportunity to meet Uncle Bill only once, but I will never forget it. It was so fun to talk to him and hear of his experiences with the dog shows. Such a nice, and intelligent man. We are thinking of you, Cathy, and you are in our prayers.


Richard and Cindy Morrey

April 24, 2013

Kathy, so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. We all sincerely enjoyed the brief opportunities we had to get to know him a little. I was astonished at the similarity and yet difference between he and John, his older brother. It was fun to see both characteristics. May Heavenly Father bless you and your family at this time of separation.

Jill Hopper

April 23, 2013

So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He was a true gentleman, and a talented and dedicated "dog man." Sincere condolences to the Bergum family.