Ellen E. Bergman

Ellen Elizabeth (Fahrbach) Bergman, age 69, passed away at her home in Genoa, Ohio on November 20, 2021 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ellen was born in Fremont, Ohio on September 27, 1952 to Wesley and Gloria (Gibbins) Fahrbach. She was the third of eight Fahrbach children, all raised in Fremont and graduates of Fremont Ross High School. She was inspired by a high school teacher’s dedication to students and subsequently pursued a career in education, earning a bachelor’s degree from BGSU and a master’s degree from the University of Toledo, respectively. Further educational and teaching opportunities sent her to London, England for Montessori instruction, and to teach at the American Embassy’s school in Buenos Aires, Argentina until the Falklands War escalation.

Ellen married Henry “Hank” W. Bergman II on December 29, 1982, and proceeded to have five loving children in six years: Elizabeth, Kathleen, Nicole, Henry, and Thomas. She loved Hank dearly, admiring his creative brilliance and work ethic. He preceded her in death in 2000 after seventeen wonderful years of marriage. She finished raising their five children as a single mother, enjoying the busy “Taxi Mom” years of shuttling her active children between numerous St. Jerome and Cardinal Stritch events. The fellow “Stritch Moms” became many of her close friends.

Ellen was a proud Catholic and followed the examples of Jesus’ ministry, especially in showing love and compassion to vulnerable members of the community. She repeated in her final days that “we are here to love others, that’s what it’s all about.” After Hank’s death, Ellen became the legal guardian for his older brother Bill, and helped him live a fulfilling life despite his battles with mental illness, until his death in 2017. Each year around Christmas she would bake apple pies and deliver them to families in the community who had recently experienced a loss.

She was passionate about the importance of education and its ability to improve lives. Ellen worked as a Talented & Gifted Coordinator for the Ottawa County Board of Education, and then as a Reading Specialist and Mentorship Coordinator for Genoa Area Schools. Through her work she aimed to help children “become a better version of themselves than they thought they could be.”

Retirement in 2017 allowed her to travel with her children and spend valuable time with her grandchildren (Evan, Eleanor, Clara, and Addison). Evan’s basketball games in Columbus, and raising Monarch butterflies for Eleanor and Clara to release were treasured times. She was an avid gardener and arborist, and would spend summers leisurely at work in the yard.

Genealogy and history research were important hobbies, and she greatly enjoyed discovering missing portions of her mother’s biological family, meeting them on a trip to New Jersey, and tracking the family lineage back to the Mayflower. As often as she could find the time, she would repaint Ohio Historical Markers in the area, to help others appreciate local history.

The list of organizations and committees to which she dedicated her time are endless. Over the years she would lead a 4-H group, join Genoa’s Tree Commission and Planning Commission, become a Master Gardener Volunteer, help organize St. Jerome fish fries, the Genoa Food Pantry, the Genoa Chamber of Commerce’s summer car shows, and help found the Genoa Historical Society, just to name a few. She was a dependable volunteer, and an invaluable organizer of volunteers. Wherever there was an opportunity to improve lives or the community, Ellen Bergman would lend a helping hand.

Ellen’s parents, husband, and brother Wesley preceded her in death. She is survived by her children Elizabeth, Kathleen, Nicole, Henry (Amanda), and Thomas; her grandchildren Evan, Eleanor, Clara, and Addison; and her siblings John (Sharon), Phyllis, Paul, David (Rebecca), Donna (James) Bergman, and Michael (Diane).

Friends are invited to visit with her family from 1:00-8:00 PM, Friday, December 3, 2021, at the Robinson-Walker Funeral Home & Crematory, 501 West St., Genoa. A funeral Mass will be celebrated for her at 10:30 AM, Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 204 S. Main St., Genoa. Her brother, Father Paul Fahrbach will be the officiant. Interment will be at a later date in the Clay Township Cemetery, Genoa. In lieu of flowers, Ellen requested donations to the Genoa Historical Society, P.O. Box 121 Genoa, OH 43430. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com.



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