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‘He was a loving man’: Daughter remembers dad who was found dead in Saanich tent

Dave Bergman was a loving man who, like many others, struggled with the stigma around mental health
Dave Bergman was identified by his daughter after his body was found by Saanich Police near Swan Lake in October. (Courtesy of Kori Balaberda)

A man who was found dead in a tent at Swan Lake in October has been identified by his daughter.

Kori Balaberda said her father Dave Bergman was a good man and a hard worker who suffered from mental health issues.

Balaberda remembers her dad as a man who would go out of his way to help people, especially his four daughters.

Bergman had been experiencing homelessness, but made friends through using the services offered at Our Place Society.

Saanich police found the 66-year-old’s body in a tent near the Swan Lake Sanctuary Oct. 12, but couldn’t locate any personal items that identified him, prompting them to reach out to the public for help. A few weeks later, Balaberda said she got a call.

Balaberda wants her dad to be remembered as more than just an unnamed man found in a tent, specifically as someone who was loved.

“He was a loving man with a family who cared for him very deeply,” she said.

Bergman was an animal lover who enjoyed spending time outdoors, specifically camping and windsurfing.

“He was the handiest man ever,” Balaberda said. “He knew how to do everything, from laying carpet to laying bricks, electrical work to organic farming. He will be missed in every way.”

His cause of death is still to be determined, pending a toxicology report.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Blanche Sanderson, four daughters and 11 grandchildren.

Bergman’s family have started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.

READ MORE: Mental Health: Stigma leads to a life on the streets


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Hollie Ferguson

About the Author: Hollie Ferguson

Hollie moved to Victoria from Virginia in September 2022 with her partner Zachary and their two pups, Theodore and Bibi.
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