Keystone co-founder Jane Bergman dies at age 91 |

Keystone co-founder Jane Bergman dies at age 91

Greg Ellison
Jane Bergman and Bill Bergman share a laugh while riding the gondola at Keystone.
File photo |

Jane Bergman, a pioneer in Summit’s ski history, took her last breath in a Denver-bound Flight For Life helicopter while passing over her beloved Keystone Resort on Sept. 27. She was 91.

Rita Bergman, Jane’s daughter-in-law, said she died while flying by the Blood Moon.

“It seems fitting this diminutive, yet larger-than-life, beautiful woman departed this planet in such spectacular style,” Rita wrote in a statement.

Increasing health challenges over the last two years had deprived Jane from participating in two of her favorite past times: Golf and skiing. More recently, she lost the ability to drive and had difficulties with mobility.

On the Saturday prior to her death, she was unable to walk and was taken to St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center where her condition rapidly deteriorated over the next day.

Jane and her husband, Bill Bergman, co-founded Keystone along with Max and Edna Dercum in 1970.

Jane’s eldest son, Bill Bergman Jr., said his parents teamed up to make Keystone a reality.

“Max had the idea, and my dad pulled it off,” he said. “He had my mom as marketing director.”

Mike Goar, Keystone Resort COO, said in a statement that Jane had an immense passion for Keystone.

“The entire Keystone Resort family mourns the loss of Jane Bergman,” he wrote. “She was influential in establishing the Keystone guests know and love today.”

Born during the summer of 1924, Jane grew up during the Great Depression — an experience that left an indelible mark on her generation. In a 2006 interview with the Summit Daily, she reflected on her early days.

“We never had a lot, but we never went without,” she said. “That’s the way I lived my whole life.”

The Bergmans were married for 68 years. The couple met at a college pub in Iowa and became acquainted when Bill offered to teach her pinball.

Joyce Clary, one of Jane best friends for the past 20 years, said the couple was always together.

“She was so loyal to Keystone and so loyal to her husband Bill,” she said.

The ladies’ friendship blossomed during a chance meeting at a Summit Historical Society gathering in Breckenridge. Clary said she and her husband had recently relocated to Keystone.

“Bill and Jane’s were sitting in front of us, and Jane turned around to introduce herself,” she said. “We told them where we lived, and, the next day, Bill brought over some newspaper articles about the founding of Keystone.”

Although she was originally from Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S. in history and political science in 1946, Colorado was also a part of her youth.

In the 2006 interview, she said as a child her family made regular summer treks to Parshall, where her Uncles Charlie and Earl had a cattle ranch.

During college, she joined the Delta Gamma Fraternity, making friendships she maintained for over half a century.

Clary, also a Delta Gamma alumni, said when their mutual association came to light, it cemented their friendship.

The two couples had a long-standing routine of breaking bread at the Sunshine Café in Silverthorne on Sundays. This past Sunday, Clary said Jane’s daughter Lolly Dykstra and her husband joined her and her husband to continue the tradition.

“The staff had tears in their eyes,” she said.

Clary said Jane had a very distinct personal aura.

“Somehow, we couldn’t believe she could ever pass,” she shared. “She still had the get-up-and-go even though she was terribly ill. I will miss her a lot, but I’m glad she’s not suffering.”

The family of Jane Bergman has requested that in leiu of food, flowers or cards, all donations should be directed to the Keystone Science School.

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