(Aug. 29) Ray W. Bergin Jr., co-founder and president of Bergin Fruit Co. Inc., Minneapolis, died Aug. 21. He was 72.

Born March 26, 1930, Bergin grew up in the Lake Nokomis area of Minneapolis. As a child, he was involved with the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout.

He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1948 and then attended the University of Minnesota until he left in 1951 to begin his lengthy career in the produce industry. It was then that he co-founded Bergin Fruit with his parents, Raymond and Vernice Bergin. He became president of the company in 1982.

Over the years, Bergin saw the company evolve. What began 51 years ago has turned into a company with a nut division, a processing division and a wholesale produce division. Bergin said in May that he had seen the company acquire five companies since its inception and celebrate its 25th anniversary on Kasota Fruit Terminal in May.

One of his most recent efforts in the Minneapolis produce industry was trying to get approval to build a new Minneapolis terminal market, but his efforts were put on hold when agreements couldn’t be made with the other four companies on the market.

Bergin’s brother, Tom, runs the processing division and will take over as president of the wholesale produce division. His other brother, John, runs the nut division. Two of Bergin’s four children also take part in the family business. His son, Lee, is in charge of the company’s technology department and is a produce buyer. His daughter, Paula Soholt, serves as the corporate financial controller.

Throughout his adulthood, Bergin spent much time with his father and brothers at the Cathedral of the Pines Camp Men’s Retreat, and he loved to sail. He also served on the U.S. Naval Air Reserve’s TBM Squadron VS-811 from 1948 to 1957.

Other survivors include Bergin’s wife of 49 years, Grace; son Peter; daughter Mary Bates; father Raymond; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Vernice. All of his survivors live in the Twin Cities.

A memorial service was held Aug. 26 at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis. In lieu of flowers, send memorials to Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Cathedral of the Pines Camp or the University of Minnesota Foundation, Williams Fund, Suite 500, 200 Oak St. SE, Minneapolis MN 55455.