AURORA -- Callie Kryder said the people who attended a celebration of life service for her late father, former Colorado High School Activities assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, knew him for different reasons.
“But I’d like to tell you a few things that he loved that you didn’t know about,” she said March 4 at Smoky Hill United Methodist Church in Aurora. “He loved Rice Krispy treats and Diet Coke. Every time we went somewhere, he’d stop at a gas station, buy a 20-ounce Diet Coke and one of those foot-long Rice Krispy treats.”
Bert Borgmann died from complications of hip surgery in January. He spent 33 years at CHSAA before retiring in 2021.
His brother, Bruce, was 15 months younger than Borgmann.
“It made us more than brothers,” he said. “We could be sidekicks .. and even friends. There were times when we didn’t get along, and our parents made us get along.”
Bruce Borgmann’s “issues” were with his brother’s employment at CHSAA. Bruce Borgmann said once people recognized his last name, they started peppering him with complaints about CHSAA, his brother and high school athletics/activities in general.
“I’d have to stop them and say, ‘I don’t work at CHSAA,’” Bruce Borgmann said. “I’d say, ‘Call Bert.’ They never did.”
“You often don’t meet your heroes. They often disappoint you,” said Bert Borgmann’s son, Logan. “I was raised by my hero. I learned how to break bad news to people, how to best present myself. I paid attention to what he said and how he said it. He never missed a chance to make memories with us. Every place he took us was a chance to learn.”
Bert Borgmann loved cheese-and-cracker snacks, books (“He eventually moved to an e-reader. He thought it would save the rainforest,” Kryder said) Southwestern art and wooden spoons.
“He loved his cell phone. He was always on the phone. He was on the phone while having a conversation with you,” Kryder said.
Kryder said her dad also loved The Hallmark Channel, long drives and had a habit of not finishing sentences.
“He’d get halfway through a sentence, and you’d wonder, ‘and what?’” she said.
“He put me on a team in a scramble golf tournament. He said it was because of my power off the tee,” Logan Borgmann said of his dad. “I found out it was an excuse to spend more time with me. Maya Angelou said people won’t remember what you said but how you made people feel. That was dad. He made kids in the smallest towns feel like celebrities.”
The family requests that donations be made to The Gold Crown Foundation or the CHSAA Foundation.
“I couldn’t have had a better partner than Bert,” Bruce Borgmann said. “I thank God for the time He gave us to have Bert in our lives. And if anyone asks if I’m his brother, I’m damn glad to say I am.”