Former Clay County Sheriff Bergquist dies

MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) – Former longtime Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist has died following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bergquist was 64.

A law enforcement career that spanned four decades, Bergquist joined the Moorhead Police Department in 1988 and served as Clay County Sheriff from 2003 to 2019.

Sheriff Mark Empting tells us everyone is mourning his passing. He is grateful for his mentor.

“Back when I was a teenager, cause I had an interest in law enforcement, and he took me under his wing. Not only did he take me  under his wing, but his family took me under their wing. Bill always had great advice for me. Sometimes I would listen to it and others I wouldn’t listen to it. Kind of that rebellious child,” Empting said.

Empting says it was bigger than the badge between them.

“He was very important he taught me a lot even outside of work, he taught me a ton. We would go, in the early years we’d go golfing together, we’d go hunting together,” Empting said.

He says Bergquist was the type of guy that led by example but was know to lighten the mood.

“Bill had a lot of little antics and things like that he would do on calls for service and stuff. Sometimes you could be in some of the most stressful situations and he would show up and say one thing and everyone start laughing and just kind of go where did that come from?” Empting said.

His successor as DARE officer says Bergquist had his own family but Clay County was apart of that too.”

“He cared so much and he gave so much and he had a heart of gold. He had talents unbelievable of being able to be compassionate and listening, and say the right thing, and he truly cared,” Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson said.

“Sheriff Bill Bergquist passed away peacefully with his family by his side. The family would like to thank the community for the support you have given Bill over his many years of dedicated service,” Empting said.

Bergquist’s wife, Annie died in April.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News