Peggy Whittier Berggren

Peggy Whittier Berggren

November 18, 1938 ~ June 17, 2024

Date of Service:
June 29, 2024

Date of Viewing:
June 28, 2024


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

Born November 18, 1938, Peggy was a surprise to her mother as her twin brother, Pete was hiding her within her mother‘s womb. She weighed less than 5 pounds at birth and not expected to survive, but she was a fighter.

Peggy started playing piano at five years old. She walked into Mrs. Nelson‘s home and had to fight with cats to get to the piano, which is when her dislike for cats began. As a senior in high school, she played the glockenspiel (xylophone) and the piano. She competed in band because her daddy didn’t want her working for money in high school.

She didn’t go her first semester to FSU but worked in the meat market with her mom and dad. Her dad broke his leg, riding an army mule, and her mother had double duty at the market on the river. Her father built the Ocean Aire motel in downtown Vero on US 1 in the 50s.

Peggy’s father, Vernon Whittier had bought property on 4th street in Vero as well as 640 acres on Blue Cypress, which he sold to put Peggy’s brothers through college. The school board paid to put Peggy through college, and she worked for them after completing her bachelor’s degree. Mrs. Woodin and Walters were both English teachers at Vero Beach high school that she really liked and encouraged her to be an English teacher. Peggy continued her education after her son’s were in school, earning a master’s degree and all the credits for a doctorate.

Peggy and Dave both felt strongly that all people deserve a good education. Both encouraged and helped others get started in college or certification at trade schools. Peggy’s oldest brother, VL received a doctorate in law, her brother Bob, was an ENT surgeon. Peggy proofread her twin brother Peter’s papers while in college and learned a lot about theology which is what his doctorate degree is in. Peggy loved her brothers dearly and spoke of them often.

Peggy met Dave through her oldest brother VL. They were neighbors and Dave spent a lot of time around the house. He got along well with Peggy‘s brothers and father. Peggy said that Dave was never a stranger to people.

Peggy graduated from Florida State University in 1960 and they were married Christmas Day 1962. They went to Sanibel Island for their honeymoon by boat which was a beautiful place to go.

Peggy was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority and helped set up a retirement account for the local teachers. Peggy was a member and officer of Grace evening circle beginning in 1962. She was also a member of Thrivent and on the local board at one time.

Peggy taught English at Vero Beach high school for 35 years and was the head of the English department when she retired in 1995. Peggy then worked for Berggren equipment company for four years until its sale in 1999.

After the death of Dale Berggren, Dave’s brother, Dave and Peggy took over running Berggren‘s hobby shop from 2003 to its close in 2010. The hobby shop was originally Berggren’s 5 & 10.

Peggy taught Sunday school and organized many years of vacation Bible school at Grace Lutheran Church as well as serving on various committees. Peggy learned how to play the organ after retirement due to a need at the church and was the church organist for many years.

Some of Peggy’s fondest memories were of being at FSU with both her brother VL and her brother Bob being the only freshman with two older brothers as chaperones.

Many of Peggy‘s favorite people were members of the VBHS class of 1956 and because of that Peggy worked many years helping to coordinate Golden Grad events.

Recently, Peggy had mentioned some of her favorite coworkers at the school were Willard Shinn (who had caught her brother Bob hunting on State Road 60 many years earlier) and Frank Messina, who she had recently reconnected with while attending Pathway Church.

Peggy loved reading and became very close friends with Peggy Poysell as the librarian at Vero Beach high school. Peggy started writing Poetry and in journals as she encouraged her students to do the same.

Some of Peggy‘s favorite things to do were going fishing with her family and being a part of the booster club when her son Mark played football at the high school. Peggy also loved watching college football. There were always sparks flying at the Berggren house the day Georgia Tech and FSU played! (Dave being a Georgia Tech graduate).

Peggy loved dogs and has had one or more by her side her entire life. Her favorite food was fried shrimp, and her recent requests were always for her son, Mark to get it from Maryland Fried Chicken.

Peggy is survived by her two sons, David John Jr. (Jennifer), Mark Eric (Carol); brother Pete (Paula); 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.

Peggy is preceded in death by her parents, Vernon Lee Sr. and Cornelia Conner Whittier, her Aunt Bessie Bear, her brothers Vernon Lee Jr. (Teri) and Robert Whittier (Marti) as well as her beloved husband of 53 years, David John Berggren, Sr.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged in Peggy’s name to the Pathway School of Leadership c/o Pathway Church ( 1105 58th Ave
Vero Beach, FL 32966

A Visitation will be held Friday, June 28, 2024, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, 1655 27th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1150 41st Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

Date of Service:
June 29, 2024

Date of Viewing:
June 28, 2024


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


Carrie Boehm

June 19, 2024, 9:49 pm

So sorry for your loss. She was a great lady.

Kim Kranenburg Durrell - Friend

June 20, 2024, 12:10 am

One of the few classes I thoroughly enjoyed was with Ms. Berggren in 11th grade. As a brand new student to VBHS, she made me feel very welcomed. Aside from my constant confusion between Adjectives, Adverbs, compound sentences and so on, she enjoyed my writings. Her belly laughs were few and far between but oh so memorable. May she rest in eternal peace. Prayers for comfort to all.

Emma Carroll Stevens - Student/friend

June 20, 2024, 10:26 am

Mrs. Berrgren was so much more than a teacher to me. I absolutely loved her. She spent so much time helping me with English. She would not stop untill she knew that I understood everything! She was a Great teacher, a good friend and an angel here on earth. She will be missed…and loved…

Ann Mathis - friend

June 20, 2024, 12:20 pm

Ms. Peggy was a treasure. She always had a smile for you and a kind word. Such fun to reminisce with her about old Vero. Her (Uncle?) Bob Whittier was the butcher at Allison’s Meat market for SO many years, when my mother worked there, too. I guess until it was sold. He had been in the Navy and had very few tales to tell a little girl, but they were funny. Ms. Peggy remembered all those older folks, too.

Joyce Smith - Friend

June 21, 2024, 3:13 pm

My sympathy to all of Peggy’s family. I met her at Pathway women’s bible study and enjoyed her stories filled with joy and gratitude.

Steve Hayes - Friend

June 22, 2024, 3:14 pm

My heartfelt sympathies and prayers go out to Mis Peggy’s family and friends.I remember her from the early 60’s when I used to spend my very modest allowance at Bergren’s Hobby Shop. I also remember hunting on their Blue Cypress Property once with Arley Woods. I got to know Miss Peggy through The Golden Grads where where her kind words and continuous smile were present at most meetings. May she rest in peace with The Lord forever. She will be missed.

Jackie Springer - Friend

June 24, 2024, 1:13 pm

Goodby old friend. So very sorry for your loss David, Mark & family we all just lost a really good person. Peggy, Pete & I grew up together in the same neighborhood as children & stayed friends on through adulthood. She will be missed by many & certainly by me.

Debra Charlton Smith - Student

June 24, 2024, 9:49 pm

I had her as an English teacher in high school. I enjoyed being in her class and she was a great teacher. Condolences to her family

Shawna Pennell - Former Student VBHS "back in the day"

June 26, 2024, 3:20 am

As a former student of hers, I have always thought of her as a true legend. In addition, she is one of the teachers that inspired me to become a teacher.

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