Judson Taft Bergman
February 1, 1957 – October 3, 2019
Jud Bergman made all our lives better. No matter who you were, he made sure you felt valued, loved and heard. While his accomplishments are extraordinary, he will be remembered most for his profound love for God and his family, his broad shoulders that carried many friends through tough times, and his uncanny ability to find a road around any problem, even if it meant building it himself.
Jud was born in Crookston, Minnesota to Clinton and Juanita Bergman. He was raised outside of Minneapolis, where he excelled in sports, played the trombone, and worked for the family business, Bergman Silo. He attended Wheaton College in Illinois where he studied English, played basketball, and met his first wife, the late author Susan Bergman. Their life together was filled with deep friendships, travel, intellectual and spiritual rigor, and a love for music, art, and literature that deeply influenced all four of their children. Jud often referred to the quote, “I am a warrior, so that my son may be a farmer, so that his son may be a poet,” and he could not have been more proud of his children -- Elliot, a musician and visual artist; Elise, a fashion designer and musician; Natalie, a singer/songwriter; and Bennet, a poet.
Jud carried on his father’s love for historical knowledge. He had an incredible memory and ability to retain statistics, poetry, passages of scripture, songs, and Latin plant names, particularly his new-found interest in cacti. He had several of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches committed to memory, and a sizeable repertoire of Bob Dylan songs; he was known to break out highly personalized renditions at gatherings of family and friends.
Jud earned an MBA from Columbia University and went on to excel in business. He was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Envestnet, a company that leverages cutting edge technology to empower independent financial advisors and democratize financial advice. He was enjoying starting a new business with his son-in-law, Collin Moore.
Jud was a long-time member of Christ Church in Lake Forest where he served as chair of the elder board and occasionally delivered sermons. He served for many years on the board of the Juvenile Protective Association in Chicago and was newly appointed to the board of The Field Museum. He was a popular speaker at investment conferences where his innovative thinking offered fresh perspectives on the financial industry. His generosity and care for the downtrodden and the poor were rare qualities in a top-level executive, and his business philosophies were firmly rooted in a belief in people over profit.
In late 2006, Jud met Mary Miller, a phenomenal woman who not only commanded a room when she walked in but captured people’s hearts in a way that made them feel adored and empowered to accomplish great things. Mary was an independent financial advisor with an MBA from the University of Chicago. The couple married in 2010 and Jud played a significant role in the upbringing of Mary’s three children: Kiley, Jenna and Cameron. The Miller children shared many interests with Jud, and their natural athleticism was a source of pride and camaraderie for the newly joined family. Jud and Mary loved to talk business, but also had a shared passion for golf, boating, art and travel.
Jud strove to live the words of Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Jud was predeceased by his first wife, Susan, and is survived by his parents Clinton and Juanita Bergman, four children: Elliot, Elise (Collin Moore), Natalie and Bennet (Oren Pinhassi), three stepchildren: Kiley, Jenna and Cameron Miller, three grandchildren: Lewis, Malin and Cora Moore, brother Barton (Beth) Bergman, sister Constance (Brian) Glover, and eight nieces and nephews.
Funeral Service Saturday, October 12, 2019, 10 a.m., at FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Michigan Avenue at Delaware Place, Chicago, IL. Private burial Saturday, October 12, 2019, White Cemetery, Barrington, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Juvenile Protective Association, 1707 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614 www.jpachicago.org.
To express your thoughts or memories in the online guest book, visit www.chapelc.com or www.facebook.com/centralchapel. Arrangements by CENTRAL CHAPELS, Chicago. Info., 773-581-9000.