Charles Daniel ‘Dan’ Bergfeld

Charles Daniel Bergfeld – “Dan”

Dan BergfeldRemembrances

The Whiffs of ’65 remember: Be it good genes, good habits, or good luck, the ’65 Whiffs have been fortunate to remain intact since we lost Bob Swartz the year after we graduated. We’ve had some scares (we nearly lost Pruett some years back), but all in all we’ve remained a healthy bunch. So the passing in September of our beloved friend and second tenor Dan Bergfeld hit us especially hard. It signaled our mortality; it certainly will change our sound and our group dynamics next time we reunite; but most of all it meant losing one of the finest men we’ll ever know. Bergie spoke softly but listened intently. As one old Whiff said about him, “A room was always made brighter when Dan entered.” Another called him “… the kindest, most gentle man I ever knew.” He also was a skilled sculptor, a fierce tennis player, and a helluva musician and singer. If there wasn’t enough to love about him, he also brought into our lives the beauty and joy of Holly Adams, his wife for the last decade. Jon Ingham summed up our thoughts in a recent email: “Let us be reminded to treasure the friendships that we still have and make a greater effort to keep them up…” RIP, Bergie.


Obituary

Dan Bergfeld (77) died at home peacefully in Vero Beach on September 25th after a long battle with cancer that he met with faith and courage.  The genuine smile that lit up his face reflected his lifelong gratitude for a good life, well lived, with people he loved and who loved him.   Dan will be remembered for his warmth, his welcoming smile and white fluffy hair, his kindness and thoughtfulness for others, his wit, and his embodiment of love through the language of music.

Born in Bronxville NY, he lived most of his life in Stamford and New Canaan Ct, until he and his wife, Holly, moved to Vero Beach fulltime in 2018.  He was educated at New Canaan Country School, Milton Academy, and received a BA from Yale College in 1965, where he was a proud T1 with the Whiffenpoofs.  He later received his MBA from the Stephens Institute of Technology.

His career in NYC was in management consulting and operations analysis for NYC government during Mayor Lindsey’s administration.  But his real life passion was music, and his tenor voice gifted quartets, choral groups, Whiffalumni benefit concerts, and church choirs in NYC, CT and FL.  He relished concert tours with the Greenwich Choral Society and the Yale Alumni Chorus in Russia, China, Cuba, Bulgaria, France, Italy and Greece. If not singing, Dan could be found on a tennis court in men’s and mixed doubles.  Or in the workshop at Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan CT) where, as a juried member, he’d create large sculptures to move in the wind, as evidence of the invisible Great Spirit.  Raised in the Quaker tradition, he has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church and choir (New Canaan) for much of his adult life, but he drew his faith from many traditions, particularly the Lakota Sioux: “Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.  So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.”

He is survived by his wife, Holly Adams, the love of his life; step-children Lisa (Pope) Ward, Andrew Regier, and Abby Regier (Burton Fletcher) and grandsons Tucker, Chris, Briley and William; brother-in-law John Adams (Melissa), sisters Lisa Bergfeld Soleau and Kristin Bergfeld, and nephews Jason and Tyler Soleau.   He was pre-deceased by his mother, Tina Mansfield, his father Albert Bergfeld, and his stepfather Walter Mansfield.

Contributions in his name may be made to a musical organization of your choice, or to his favorites:  Greenwich Choral Society (Greenwich CT), Vero Beach Choral Society (FL), Sea Oaks Chorus (FL).

Celebrations of Life will be held Saturday, November 21 at 10:00 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach (masks required) and Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 11:00am at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan.  A full obituary available at millenniumcremationservice.com.