A Family Funeral Home

Paulette Therese Berggren

May 17, 1939 - October 7, 2023
Racine, WI



Saturday, October 28, 2023
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CDT
St. Patrick Catholic Church
1100 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402


Saturday, October 28, 2023
11:00 AM CDT
St. Patrick Catholic Church
1100 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Shriner's Children's Hospital of Chicago

Life Story / Obituary


We mourn the passing of Paulette Therese Berggren (nee:Potempa) who passed away Oct. 7, 2023 in the company of friends, and surrounded by the love of her family and the community who adored and admired her.

Paulette is survived by her husband, William (Bill) Berggren, her sister Jeanine Hoffman, six extraordinary children - Teri, John, Paul, Mark, Katie, Matthew and nine beautiful grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held in Paulette's honor on Saturday, October 28th, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. with visitation beginning at10:00 A.M. at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, 1100 Erie St, Racine, WI.

Memorials and Honorarium to the Shriner's Children's Hospital of Chicago would hold special significance.

Paulette was the lovely daughter of Paul and Victoria Potempa, from the North-West Side of Chicago. She was raised in a vibrant Polish immigrant community where her family created new opportunities in America. In 2023 Paulette celebrated sixty years of marriage to her husband William who she met in a creative writing course at Loyola University. William (Bill) was immediately smitten by the beautiful, elegant woman with an unforgettable smile. From the birth of their third child, Paulette & Bill moved their young family to Racine Wisconsin, for Bill's Engineering career, seeking better schools, and community for their growing family. Soon Paulette centered her faith with Saint Patrick's Parish, where she regularly read from the gospel, and built many enduring friendships.

Paulette possessed an extraordinary heart - She was kind, warm, generous, (often to a fault). She made enormous sacrifices for friends and family -- Creating opportunities for her children, and anyone she could inspire. Through boundless kindness and generosity Paulette built a magnetic, welcoming household which drew friends, nourished thousands, fostered acceptance, and built relationships for children, friends, students and parishioners. Their household would become a sanctuary for all in need, hungry, or adrift. Driven, smart, capable and soon quite busy with six children, Paulette balanced a household of eight, her career, sports, tutoring, and myriad events, while completing her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin, [Summa Cum Laude]. Well into her 50's Paulette became a university professor teaching Educational Psychology and Early Childhood Development, to many generations, until early 2023 when she reluctantly retired. Paulette cherished a decade’s alliance with fellow scholars, in AAUW. As an educator, Paulette inspired people to succeed, to accomplish career objectives, and to think critically. Paulette competently guided many hundreds of people to achieve advanced degrees. Balancing two careers and a family, Paulette & Bill prepared their children to explore, to be brave, to travel, and to discover opportunities around the globe. Paulette enthusiastically shared the joy of travel with her family's travels. They would share the fall of the Berlin Wall, dive the Great Barrier Reef, sail across the Atlantic, climbing in Yosemite, sleep under the stars of Joshua Tree, Yellowstone, and sunset seaside in the Caribbean. From Israel to India, Cambodia, to Vietnam, Nicaragua, to Rome, Guatemala, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Greece and so many other places; Paulette cherished meaningful travel, as her master's course in humanity. She insisted her contemporaries explore with her brand of eagerness, kindness, acceptance, and insatiable curiosity. Paulette's indominable spirit for travel continues to inspire self-improvement through exploration. Paulette’s incredible self-sacrifice, humanism, and relentless drive diminished most challenges with kindness. This skinny (so-called crippled) girl from the North-West side of Chicago ignited an empire of compassion, cuisine, and caring. For contemporaries, and her closest friends, it is with great sadness that we memorialize her maverick spirit. She spoke of every friend with boundless, respect, admiration, enthusiasm and a profound love. Paulette will never truly leave any of us alone, and we are grateful for her love.

[Of course, Paulette would have written this page far more

eloquently, with perfect grammar, punctuation, and likely a few

loving double underlines for emphasis.]