When Marjorie King Bergantz was born in 1918, the Model-T was the automobile of the day and women were not yet guaranteed the right to vote. Marge was witness to innumerable changes in the chronology of her life, but always remained steadfast in her dedication to work and family.
After moving from Los Angeles to Lodi with her parents, Marge met Cecil Bergantz while working at her aunt and uncle’s nursery. Marge and Cecil married and moved to Angels Camp, where they started a nursery of their own on rented property in the area known as Stork Hill. Their success at growing pansies in the field and “Hino Crimson” azaleas from cuttings provided the resources which allowed them to purchase their own property, erect greenhouses, and take residence at the north end of Angels Camp, on Highway 49.
The business expanded to include a full-service nursery with Bergantz-grown poinsettias, native plants and trees, and seasonal bedding plants and vegetables. Marge worked long hours as the florist, meticulously creating exquisite floral pieces for celebrations near and far. She was especially proud of the perfect corsages she made, her slender fingers wiring each tiny flower. Marge’s beloved children, Denis, Connie and Jim, enjoyed an idyllic childhood growing up on the nursery property under the watchful eye of their mom.
Marge’s love and appreciation of earth’s natural beauty drew her to Moro Bay in her retirement years. There, she reveled in the scent and sound of the ocean and, with her daughter, Connie, cultivated an exquisite, flower-filled garden. Both Marge and her flowers thrived there. It was there, under the loving care of Connie and with the peace afforded her by Hospice angels, that Marge Bergantz passed away at the age of 100 years, on May 23.
Marge leaves the legacy of her family, the “flowers” that decorated her life: Denis, Connie and Jim, as well as four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.