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David (Dave) Harold Berggren

The world lost a great man on February 1, 2024, when David (Dave) Harold Berggren, 86, of Old Lyme, CT, passed away. Dave was born in Hartford, CT on October 23, 1937, to Hilma (Mimi) Larson Berggren and Harold (Poppy) Berggren. Dave grew up and attended school in Old Lyme, CT, and after graduation joined the Merchant Marines. Dave returned home and spent his life as an incredibly talented craftsman. From running his own marina on the Connecticut River, to logging, to creating stainless steel railings and other hardware for boats, to being a commercial fisherman, to building sea walls, to being the primary supplier for years for Fortier Boats, there wasn’t anything Dave couldn’t build or fix.

You always knew where you stood with Dave, and some might have called Dave a curmudgeon, but his bark was bigger than his bite. He had a huge heart and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for those he cared about or who needed a helping hand. He was as generous and as smart as he was strong. He loved all animals, and he was devoted to the many “throw away” dogs he rescued and cared for over his lifetime, including Rottweilers, Dobermans, Poodles and Beagles. The last five dogs he had all bore the same name, Shiloh. When asked why, Dave said in his trademark gruffness, “So I won’t forget!”

Dave was a fixture in the Old Lyme community, even continuing to fight to the end for his beloved Black Hall pond and home, which are being destroyed by beavers.

Dave is survived by his sister, Linda Marsh (Ted Marsh), his son, David Berggren Jr., his grandson Hayden Berggren, his Great Granddaughter Leynea Bergren, nephew Geoffrey Marsh, his nieces Christina Underwood and Kimberly Cappello. Dave is lovingly remembered by Lee Detwiler, who Dave always said was the daughter he never had, and Sam Detwiler, who considered Dave his grandfather.

Our thanks go out to his incredible neighbors, who were so very helpful in his time of need, especially Nicole and Matt who are fostering Shiloh until we find her a loving forever home.


Dave will be missed by all who visited Camp David, drank beer and listened to his epic stories of a life well lived.

Donations can be made in Dave's name to Pandemonium Rain Forest Project in Deep River, CT, or any SPCA.

A Celebration of Dave's Life will be held in May.

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