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Mary Louise Bergeson


Mary Louise Bergeson, 92, passed away on January 6, 2024, in Nevada, Iowa.  Mary was born April 16, 1931, in Kelley, Iowa to Frank and Margaret (George) Toll.  Mary was the youngest of six children born to Margaret:  Jim Delong, Tom Delong, Blanche Delong, Frayne Toll, and Hershel Toll.

 Mary grew up on a farm west of Kelley.  She attended and graduated from the Kelley school.  In 1948 she married Selmer “Zeb” Toresdahl of Ames.  They had six children:  Monte (Deana) Toresdahl, Sherry (Mike) Dallam, Darcel Toresdahl, Dru (Constance) Toresdahl, Faith (Richard) Maes, and Quentin (Bobbette) Toresdahl.  They farmed west of Kelley.

 In the 1960’s Mary started a medical career as a nurse’s aide at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames.  She worked there for 20 years then moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona and became a nanny for a few families.  Mary moved back to Iowa in 1990 to take care of her mother, Margaret, in Luther.  Margaret passed away in 1991, and Mary stayed in Luther.  Mary served as the Mayor of Luther from 2012 – 2014 winning in a close race by 3 votes.

Mary enjoyed her large garden, her family, swimming, horseback riding, reading, coffee, and friends. She was blessed with 12 grandchildren:  Jeremy and Jamey Grady, Zachary (Melissa), Cody (Robin), and Mallory (Mark) Toresdahl; Heather (Matt) Smith and Haley (Adam) Nelson; Brandon (Danielle) Toresdahl, Cole Toresdahl, Kaysn Bock, Daymn Bock, and Ryan (Giselle) Maes.  She had seven (7) great grandchildren:  Jamey Toresdahl, Ainslee Smith, Addison Smith, Zaida Nelson, Kyler Nelson, Finley Toresdahl, and Simon Toresdahl.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Margaret Toll, four brothers Jim and Tom Delong, Frayne and Hershel Toll, one sister, Blanche Delong, daughter Darcel Toresdahl, grandsons Jamey Grady and Kasyn Bock.

 In lieu of a service, the family is asking any memorials may be donated to the Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.  Mary’s daughter, Darcel, spent a great amount of time at Blank Children’s Hospital.  She passed away at the age of 4 from a brain tumor.  You may donate online at:

Be sure and click the “Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone” box.  Click the In memory of and enter Mary Bergeson in the name fields.  You may also mail memorials to: (Please note “In memory of Mary Bergeson” with your donation)

UnityPoint Health Foundation

Blank Children’s Hospital

1415 Woodland Ave, Ste. E-200

Des Moines, IA  50309


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