Harold Bermingham

Obituary of Harold Bermingham


Born the third of six children to William Christopher Bermingham and Mary Magdalene Fiedler on July 8, 1934 in Champaign County Illinois, this midwestern farm boy travelled far and loved much in his 83 years.  He fought Parkinson’s disease long and hard, for 20 years, and finally lost the battle with this insiduous disease on July 31, 2017. After graduating from Rantoul High School, he served at the end of the Korean war in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.  Coming home at last, he and his brother first installed indoor plumbing in his parents farmhouse. He then married his sweetheart from a nearby town of Ivesdale (pop 250), Rita Ann Flavin, on September 7, 1959.  Using the GI bill to pay his tuition he forged through University of Illinois to get his degree in mechanical engineering; the first of his family to do so.  Their only daughter Patti arrived in December, 1960. He chose Illinois Bell as his career path; they rotated him through AT&T in New York for experience which involved moving seven times back and forth and within Illinois. Along the way he picked up a masters degree from Northwestern University.  He took up running before jogging was a known form of exercise; covering thousands and thousands of miles. It was his great honor to bear the Olympic Torch five miles as it was carried across the country to Los Angeles in 1983.  He and Rita travelled far and wide visiting every state except Alaska, and covering most of Europe as well. In 1987, he retired from AT&T during a company reorganization. He found his new career in community involvement. He ran Morris Plains recycling center, became head usher at St. Virgils, and grand knight in the Knights of Columbus. He also found another career as grandpa to six grandchildren, whom he frequently transported home from school and to every imaginable activity, staying involved.

After the devastating loss of his wife of 52 years in 2011 the Parkinsons really began to take its toll, and in 2012 he moved to Acorn Glen Assisted Living in Princeton, NJ. Here he has been much loved “Mr. Hal” in yet another career for him, for indeed he never stopped working. He is survived by his daughter Patti, her husband Robert Maslanka, and grandchildren Christopher, Mark, Jeffrey, Rebecca, Carolyn, and Sara, as well as two brothers Daniel and Paul.  He joins his wife Rita, and sisters Lucy and Josephine, and brother William in the eternal web of love that awaits us all.  We will miss you Grandpa!

Family and friends are welcome to gather on Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 4-7pm at Dangler Funeral Home, 600 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 10:00am at St. Virgil’s Church, 250 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ. Interment will be at Princeton Cemetery, Princeton.