Lail Dean Bergquist, age 84, of Dassel, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
There will be a funeral service Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, with the Rev. Laurie O’Shea officiating, followed by interment at the Dassel Community Cemetery.
Visitation will be Friday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, continuing Saturday at the church for one hour prior to the service.
Lail was born May 2, 1935, in Collinwood Township, Meeker County, the son of Theodore and Margaret (Skalberg) Bergquist. He grew up on the family farm, helping with farm chores and field work.
Lail graduated from the Dassel High School in 1953.
He was a member of the United States Army National Guard, serving from 1953 until 1964. Military service was an important part of Lail’s life, and he was proud to be able to attend the graduation from Marine boot camp of two grandsons, Brent Bergquist (2007), and Michael Medina (2010).
Lail was united in marriage to Marilyn Neuhardt April 11, 1964, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis. The couple raised two boys, Tim and Tom, on the Bergquist family farm.
In addition to taking over the dairy farm, they owned and operated Lakewood Campground.
Lail was united in marriage to Darlene (Faust) Firkus in June of 1990, at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel. They made their home on the farm and continued to operate the campground.
After retiring from farming, Lail was employed by Smith Sanitation until his retirement, during which he continued to devote his time to the campground.
Lail enjoyed spending time with people. He always had time to say hello and have a conversation with friends and family. After the local coffee shop closed, Lail offered to have the men’s prayer group meet at his place, first in the shelter at the campground. As the weather cooled, the group moved to his “shed,” where it continued even after Lail wasn’t able to join them.
An avid collector of Farmall and International tractors, Lail enjoyed getting his collection out and parading around the campground to “burn out the carbon.” He was deeply fond of his grandchildren and great-granddaughter.
In his youth, he enjoyed spending time roller skating, dancing, snowmobiling, waterskiing, and ice fishing.
Lail loved to tease and could always be counted on to have a joke ready.
He is survived by his children, Tim (Laura) Bergquist of Wolsey, SD; and Tom (Amie) Bergquist of Dassel; grandchildren Brent (Kacey) Bergquist, Brianna (John) Douglas, Brandon Bergquist, Brittany Bergquist, Ted Bergquist, Gus Bergquist and Abe Bergquist; and great-granddaughter, Willow Bergquist.
Lail is further survived by a sister, Dolores Carlson of Grove City; step-children Rick (Kim) Firkus, Tammy (Gonzalo) Medina, Sue (Tim) Gilbertson, Nancy (Dave) Pettit, and Dave (Tina) Firkus; step-grandchildren, Tara Firkus Welch, Jodi (Jason) Houge, Jason (Melissa) Firkus, Kevin (Prairie) Firkus, Kara-Mia (Rick) Appleton, Michael Medina, Erik Gilbertson Jack Gilbertson, Hunter Pettit, Carter Pettit, Zach Firkus; and step great-grandchildren, Alexa Welch, Logan Welch, Alizia Welch, Lucas Welch, Kennedy Houge, Simon Houge, Bauer Houge, Grace Appleton, Joy Appleton, Shayla Firkus, Amaya Firkus, Tyler Firkus, Caroline Firkus, Mason Firkus, Wyatt Medina, and Hannah Medina.
He is also survived by brothers-in-law, Dan (Sheryl) Faust, and Denny Faust; sisters-in-law, Jessie (Don) Kiser and Charene Faust; a nephew; and five nieces and families.
Lail was preceded in death by his wives, Marilyn Bergquist April 3, 1988; and Darlene Firkus Bergquist Oct. 20, 2011; parents, Theodore and Margaret Bergquist; brothers-in-law, Chuck Neuhardt, Jerome Carlson and Buford Faust; a nephew, Scott Neuhardt; and faithful friend, Charlie.