CARL RUDOLPH "RUDY" BERGHULT 1937-1942

(From the Duluth News Tribune - February 19, 2000)

Former Duluth mayor dies at 94

Berghult served from 1937-1942

Carl Rudolph "Rudy" Berghult, who at 31 became the nation's youngest mayor of a city larger than 100,000 when he was elected mayor of Duluth in 1937, died Wednesday. He was 94.

Berghult also was Duluth's first native-born mayor and was credited with helping secure the government funding for the construction of the Blatnik Bridge, linking Duluth and Superior.

He also beautified the city's Civic Center, ordering the planting of 25-year-old elm trees, shrubs and flowering plants.

"He was a real outgoing person," said his brother, Gordon, of Duluth. "He had charisma that I don't have. He would walk into a room and people would say, "Who's that guy?".

Berghult, who died at his home in Arlington, Texas, served one term as Duluth mayor before being commissioned into the Navy as a lieutenant in 1942 while attending Princeton University.

Born in 1905 in Duluth to Swedish immigrants Carl and Ida Berghult, he was a 1923 graduate of Denfeld High School. He received a bachelor's degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1926 and a master's degree at Upsala College of Columbia University in New York, where he served as a professor in European history.

In the Navy, Berghult served in Oslo, Norway. He was awarded the Bronze Star in London in 1944 for his actions as captain of a minesweeper escort on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Berghult directed the landing of ships onto Normandy Beach and saved the lives of 15 seriously burned and injured soldiers on a disabled landing craft.

Berghult went on to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he retired after a 21-year career that included work during the Apollo mission years.

His wife, Eva Louise, died in 1995. He is survived by a daughter, Sondra Dietert, and a son, Robert, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his brother.

 

C. Rudolph "Rudy" Berghult Former Duluth mayor

C. Rudolph "Rudy" Berghult, 94, of Blue Ridge, Ga., died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, in Arlington, Texas, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born to Swedish immigrants Carl Emil and Ida Berghult in 1905 in Duluth. In 1937, he was elected and served one term as mayor of Duluth before being commissioned into the Navy as a lieutenant at Princeton University in September 1942. Berghult was a 1923 graduate of Denfeld High School and recieved a bachelor's degree in 1926 at Gustavus Adolphus College and earned a master's degree at Upsala College of Columbia University in New York, where he served as a professor of European history.

Duluth's population in 1937 was 102,000 and Berghult, at age 32, was the youngest mayor of a city in the U.S. of over 100,000 people. One of Berghult's largest accomplishments was his trip to Washington, D.C., where he met with Senator Shipstad in an effort to obtain help in Congress which eventually, with Congressman John Blatnik's leadership, led to the government funding of the Blatnik Bridge between Duluth and Superior.

As World War II was winding down, Berghult served in Oslo, Norway, as deputy chief of a U.S. Naval component of the "Shae's Mission" to Norway. He was awarded the Bronze Star in London in 1944 by Admiral Harold R. Stark, Commander of Naval Forces, Europe. As a captain of a minesweeper escort, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, his ship served as a primary control ship, directing landing ships onto Normandy Beach. He was awarded the Bronze Star for action in saving the lives of 15 seriously burned and injured soldiers on a disabled landing craft. He was also awarded the American Area Campaign Medal, EAME with star and the Haakon VII Freedom Medal (Norway). Rudy retired from NASA after a 21-year career at the space agency during the Apollo years and had been residing in Blue Ridge where he was chaplain of the Mountain Chapter of NARFE.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Eva Louise (Drewes) in 1995.

Rudy is survived by his daughter, Sondra (Lloyd) Dietert; a son, Robert (Judy) Berghult; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother, Gordon (Dorothy) Berghult of Duluth.

Memorial service: today in St. Marks Episcopal Church, Arlington, Texas. Arrangements by Moore Funeral Home, Arlington.