ABOUT STAN'S LIFE

Stanley Silvers Bergen, Jr., MD, passed away peacefully on April 24th, 2019, 8 days shy of his 90th birthday, with his loving wife of 53 years, Suzanne, by his side in the comfort of their home in Stonington, ME. Stan, as he would urge you to call him, was an early and staunch believer that healthcare was a basic human right, a giant in the field of medical education, and a dedicated public servant. He was devoted to his community on both the neighborhood and national scale, and equally devoted to his cherished and adoring family. He was also a runner and a reader, a lover of music and sweets, and a tireless teller of great stories to all who would listen.

 

Stan was born in 1929 to Stanley S. Bergen and Leah Johnson Bergen in Princeton, NJ, where his grandfather, Dr. Elston Bergen, practiced medicine for 57 years. A graduate of Princeton High School, class of 1947, Stan went on to attend Princeton University, where he joined the “IVJB” (Intensely Vigorous Jazz Band) as a drummer. After graduating in 1951, he earned his medical degree in 1955 from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and continued to play drums professionally throughout his residency. Like his father and grandfather, Stan was a member of the New Jersey National Guard, joining in high school and continuing to serve through college, during the Korean Conflict. After his residency, he was called up to the Army for two years and stationed at the Post Hospital, Fort Jay, on Governors Island in New York Harbor.

 

After his military service, Stan transitioned from practicing medicine to hospital administration, first becoming Head of Community Medicine for the Brooklyn Cumberland Hospital, and later, in 1970, the first Sr. Vice President of the then brand-new NY Health and Hospitals Corporation under Mayor Lindsay. After but one year heading New York’s hospital network, however, New Jersey came to him with an offer he couldn’t refuse: Founding President of the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which he worked tirelessly over 27 years to build into the largest free-standing health sciences institution in the United States by the time of his retirement in 1998. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Hastings Center of Biomedical Ethics, Chairman of the Board of the Education Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates, and one of the founders of the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ--all while making time to raise his large and active family and lead his sons’ Cub Scouts troop. He held, as well, 6 honorary degrees--from Princeton University, Stevens Institute of Technology, NJIT, UMDNJ, Bloomfield College and Ramapo College.

 

After retirement, Stan and Sue moved to live year-round in Stonington, ME, where he continued his life of service by volunteering as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and as its Trustee, and as a member of the Eastern Maine Healthcare System’s Board of Directors. His fondness for the arts, particularly music, led to his support, as well, of the historic Stonington Opera House’s restoration and reinvention as Opera House Arts, from which he took particular joy and satisfaction.

 

Despite his vast accomplishments, Stan would be the first to tell you that his greatest pride was his family and that the best thing he ever did was marry his second wife, Suzanne, in 1965, thereby blending their two young single-parent families into one loving and vibrant one. He was predeceased far too early by two sons, Stanley S. Bergen, III, and Steven R. Bergen, as well as by his sister, Marion Bakoulis. Surviving him and missing him deeply are his beloved wife, Suzanne; three adoring children, Amy Larranaga of Montclair, NJ; Victoria Hilles of Hampton Bays, NY; and Stuart Bergen of New York City; their three equally adoring spouses; and five wonderful grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Opera House Arts in Stonington would be sincerely appreciated.  

Opera House Arts is a 501 [c] [3] organization and donations may be made online here or  mailed to PO Box 56, Stonington, ME 04681. 

Please call 207.367.2788 for more information.    

© 2019 by Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House

207.367.2788 | info@operahousearts.org.org

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