Former Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist remembered for dedication to community, giving spirit

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:24 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - A long time law enforcement officer and public servant has been laid to rest today after a years-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Hundreds gathered in Nemzek Hall on MSUM’s campus on Monday, Aug. 15, to honor and remember former Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist who served in law enforcement for over four decades, as well on the Dilworth Fire Department.

“Today we are here because of how God used the life of Bill to serve this community.” Rev. Jeff Seaver, a pastor at Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church and the officiant of Monday’s funeral said.

“Bill’s life embodied service to others,” Brian Norberg, a retired Clay County Sheriff’s deputy said.

A husband, a father, a grandfather, Bill was also one many in the community called a hero.

“I don’t think he would consider himself a hero, I think he would say, ‘I was doing my job, but more importantly, I was doing what I love,’” former Clay County Attorney Lisa Borgen said.

Bergquist was remembered Monday for his love of raffle tickets, volunteering his time in church and putting his family first, and was described as an empath and a leader who both understood and wanted to be there in times of tragedy.

“He had a kind heart. As sheriff, Billy took nearly all the death notifications. He was the one who would break the news of a death and cry with the families who suddenly lost their loved ones,” Borgen said.

A man remembered for having faith in others and believing in second chances, however, Borgen added, ‘if he had multiple run-ins with the same people, there was no third chances in the cards.’

Rev. Seaver told the crowd Bergquist died at 7:01 a.m. on July 29.

“And by the way, Bill’s badge number was 701,” Rev. Seaver said.

A firefighter, a DARE officer, and eventually the sheriff of Clay County, many say Bergquist may be gone, but his loving and giving spirit will be one that lives on in the community he so dedicated his life to for years to come.

“Even though he passed away long before I was ready to say goodbye to him, this occupancy shows me how he was loved. God loves you Billy, and so do I,” retired Moorhead Police Lt. Chris Carey said.

“In these times of disagreement and discord, we could all channel a little Billy Bergquist in our hearts and in our actions,” Borgen said.

“By God’s grace, we say goodbye today. No, we say, ‘See you later,’” Rev. Seaver said.

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