Robert E. “Swede” Boergesson died of heart failure on Jan. 16, 2022. He was 83 years old.
Swede was born on Feb. 1, 1938, in Greenport to Fred and Helen Boergesson. He was a lifelong Southold resident. He graduated from Southold Schools in 1955 and joined the U.S. Navy. In 1957 he married Johanna Navaretta. Upon his discharge from the Navy, they settled in Southold, where they raised their five children.
Swede went back to school and got his degree in nursing, starting his career as a registered nurse at Eastern Long Island Hospital, working in the operating room. He took this valuable experience on to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was part of the team that designed their operating rooms when the hospital opened. Over the years he worked for a traumatic head injury facility at St. Charles Hospital and then returned to Stony Brook as their kidney transplant coordinator. He then shifted his career to support those who struggle with mental health issues as a supervisor at Kings Park Hospital, and near the end of his career was the school nurse at Maryhaven Center of Hope.
During those years he was also a morgue clerk at the Suffolk County Medical Examiners office. In that capacity he worked support for the extensive work surrounding the Flight 800 crash. He was a long-standing member of the Association of Operating Room Nurses and continued his education to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Swede was also involved in his community. As education was important to him, he served as a member and president on the Southold Board of Education and the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Board of Education. He was a founding member of the Southold School Athletic Association and most recently served as president of the Southold School Educational Foundation.
He joined Southold Fire Department at 18 as a member of Hook and Ladder and was the infection control officer for many years until his death. He truly loved his community.
Swede was predeceased by his wife, Jo; his brother, Bud Boergesson; his sister, Jean Kart; and his son-in-law Michael Fouchet Sr. He is survived by his children, Cheryle (Tom) Amara, Bob (Chris) Boergesson, Judi Fouchet, Bill Boergesson and Erik (Jen) Boergesson; his grandchildren, Jonathan (Amy) Schlachter, Allison Schlachter, Bailey (PM) Paganelli, Chelsea (Charles) Ciambria, Michael (Kellie) Fouchet, Jacob Boergesson, Nicolas Amara, Christian Fouchet, Alex Boergesson, Peter Fouchet, Brigham Boergesson, Chloe Boergesson and Samuel Boergesson; and his great-grandchildren, Logan Schlachter, Liam Schlachter, Elodie Paganelli and Owen Paganelli.
The family will receive visitors Friday, Jan. 28, from 3 to 7 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold, where firematic services will be held at 6 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 [updated information], at the funeral home. Interment, with U.S. Navy honors, will follow at St. Patrick R.C. Cemetery in Southold.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Southold Fire Department, Southold School Educational Foundation, Disabled American Veterans or Shriners Hospitals for Children.
This is a paid notice.