Deidi Ann Strickland Bergestuen, M.D., Ph.D., passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, after a 8.5 year battle with cancer.
Deidi was born June 21, 1968, in Plainview, Texas, to Judy Gail Graham Strickland and Chester DeJuan Strickland. Her family later moved to Onida, South Dakota, and Deidi attended Sully Buttes High School, where she was a drum major for the marching band and graduated as valedictorian. She attended college at Texas A&M University, where she was an active member and president of the Women’s Chorus, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She attended medical school at UT Southwestern in Dallas where she completed the first two years of an internal medicine residency. Deidi finished her residency at State University of New York in Syracuse, New York, where she also served as Chief Resident. Deidi worked as an internal medicine doctor at UMDNJ (currently part of Rutgers) before moving to Oslo, Norway in 2001. After completing a training program for international doctors, Deidi worked as an attending and research fellow at Oslo University Hospital, where she earned a Ph.D. in Gastroenterology.
Deidi met her husband, Trond Bergestuen of Oslo, Norway, while attending a language program at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1989. They were married in 1996. Their first daughter, Silje Kristine, was born in 1999 while the couple lived in New Jersey, and their second daughter, Hannah Margrethe, was born in 2002 after the family had moved to Oslo, Norway.
In 2011, Deidi was diagnosed with stage 4 non-smokers’ lung cancer and the family decided to move back to the United States to be closer to her family. Deidi received excellent care at UT Southwestern in Dallas and at the University of Colorado in Denver. She was able to return to work to finish up a fellowship in Gastroenterology at UT Southwestern before she was hired as Director of the Clinical Skills Program at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth. She also practiced medicine at USMD Health System.
Deidi was a strong Christian and a faithful servant of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When she was diagnosed, she immediately called the elders of the church to come pray over her and she put her faith in the Great Healer. She believed in full and complete healing of her body until the very end.
Deidi was known for her kind, loving, and compassionate demeanor, but most of all, she was known for the steadfast sharing of her faith with people she met. As both a doctor and a patient, she held a unique perspective that helped her share the gospel in a very impactful way.
Deidi passed away peacefully at her family home in Fort Worth, after spending her last day with the people she loved.
Deidi was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Madeleine and Henry Ervin Graham; paternal grandparents, Eddie and William Clarence Strickland; great-grandmother, Leone Yancey Golden; and aunt, Sharinne Strickland Weiller.
Survivors: husband, Trond; daughters, Silje Kristine and Hannah Margrethe; mother, Judy Gail Graham Strickland; father, Chester DeJuan Strickland; mother-in-law, Gina Bergestuen; father-in-law, Bjorn Bergestuen; brother, Michael DeJuan Strickland (Gina Melink); sister, Kären Gail Strickland Jones; nieces and nephew: Caroline Kirby Jones, Madeleine Grace Jones, Kaitlyn Elise Strickland, and Austin Graham Strickland.
Service: Funeral services will be at Christ Chapel Bible Church, (3701 Birchman Ave, Fort Worth, Texas) at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 24, 2020. The funeral will be live streamed.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials in Deidi’s memory may be made to Lung Cancer Research Foundation (donate.lungcancerresearchfoundation.org) or the Salvation Army.
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family, please visit www.greenwoodfuneralhomes.com.