Thomas H Bergmann

This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of Thomas H. Bergmann. Bergmann, 59, died unexpectedly on July 27, 2011 in Cancun, Mexico, near where he had a vacation home.

For years he restored Balasses House’s antiques. His woodworking skills came to the attention of George and Teda Ballasses after Thomas moved upstate to Roxbury in the late 1970s. He and the Balasses, who opened a store on Amagansett’s Main Street in 1962, met when he was painting the trim on their house. In a Star interview in 2002, Balasses said he and his wife intended that Bergmann should “take the business over lock, stock and barrel” in the future. He did so after Balasses died a several years ago.

Bergmann not only restored the store’s popular English country style furniture, including the large dining room tables that Balasses had a special fondness for, but he helped with the sales and also went on buying trips.

A friend recalled Bergmann once saying, “Teda and George took me under their wing. They were like family to me. They gave me my life here.”

Bergmann left two children, Kate, a preschool teacher in Boston, MA and Max, of Los Angeles, CA who plans to do graduate work in zoology and marine biology.

“He was a great father,” said Max. “All my friends were very close to him. He was a wonderful cook. He was a generous, kind person. He was loved by everyone who knew him.”
Kate said her father loved gardening and reading, had ‘a wicked sense of humor,” and often walked and ran on the beach in the early morning.

Last year some of Bergmann’s ashes were spread at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett as the sun set. His son said to those who gathered there that “he loved this beach as he loved every one of you…He made me the man I that I am.”

Born in Rockville Centre on December 8, 1951, Bergmann, one of nine siblings, was a son of Frank and Gloria Logan Bergmann. The family moved upstate from Long Island when Bergmann was eight years old. His parents predeceased him.

In addition to his children and his former wife, Marcia Izant, he is survived by two sisters, Dori Hamilton and Christine O’Connor, both of Virginia, and by six brothers, four of whom, Frank, Billy, Keith and George, live upstate, and two of whom, Tim and Jim, live in Virginia.