Barrington area couple known for their love of nature
Judson Bergman and Mary Miller-Bergman loved to spend time at their Barrington-area home, nestled near Cuba Marsh amid its tall grasses, oak savannas and woodlands.
Family members say they retreated there often from their main Chicago residence, for a respite from the busy world of business and finance, where they both led successful careers.
The couple perished Oct. 3 in a San Francisco crash that police say involved an impaired driver going the wrong way on the expressway.
Bergman was 62, and Miller-Bergman was 57. They had married in 2010, blending two families that included seven children. Bergman's first wife, author Susan Bergman, died in 2006 of brain cancer.
"We're all in shock," said Susan Johanneson Packard, Miller-Bergman's twin sister. "It was such a peak time of their lives."
Bergman was a co-founder and CEO of Envestnet Inc., a Chicago-based firm that provides technology and other services for financial advisers and institutions.
Bill Crager, Envestnet's president and interim CEO, described Bergman as naturally curious about the world around him and his clients. He said more than 1,500 people from the financial adviser sector reached out with messages of condolences.
"He always understood there was an important role for the human adviser," a website tribute said. "It was the combination of technology and the human adviser that provided the best result for the investor."
The importance of relationships also drove Miller-Bergman, who founded Hanover Hill Wealth Advisors, an independent firm based in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, her sister said.
"She loved her business and taking care of her clients," Packard said.
However, family members pointed to many more interests that defined them, starting with their love of gardening, birds and restoring their land near the 782-acre Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve.
"We moved there in 1989, and my dad was always working on restoring the property," said his daughter Elise Bergman of Chicago. "He tried to restore its native grasses and keep it in line with all of the efforts to restore Cuba Marsh."
After the couple married, they established a large garden on the property and added a beekeeping colony to create their own honey. Miller-Bergman's children describe her as "most joyful" when she was picking her own produce from her garden.
"My mother moved through life with a real elegance, grace and goodness," said her daughter Kiley Miller.
Bergman also liked to identify birds on the property and follow their migration patterns. His interest recently drew him to join the board of the Field Museum.
The couple are survived by their seven children -- Elliot, Elise, Natalie and Bennet Bergman, and Kiley, Jenna and Cameron Miller -- as well as three grandchildren.
A funeral service for both will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Fourth Presbyterian Church at 126 E. Chestnut St. in Chicago.