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Cheryl Kohler holds a memorial picture board of her daughter, Amanda Bergstrom, who died in a snowmobile accident Jan. 3. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Woman killed in Becker County snowmobile accident lived life with no regrets

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A Christmas letter Amanda Bergstrom wrote to family and friends paints a picture of someone at peace with herself no matter what may lie ahead in the future.

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"I know that if I die tomorrow and get to take my ride on angel's wings, I will do it with style and with no regrets," Amanda's letter said.

That future lasted only a few weeks as the 30-year-old native of Becker County died in a snowmobile accident Jan. 3 northeast of Detroit Lakes.

Her mom, Cheryl Kohler, and aunt, Sharon King, were fighting back tears, but also sharing laughs when looking back at their cherished Amanda.

"She just prepared us all," King said.

They said that Amanda spent the past several weeks spending special weekends with her family doing various things together.

"We went to the zoo, the Twins game and so many different things," Kohler said.

"She just wanted one more day with us," King said. "That was just her thing."

Amanda was recently laid off from her job as an electrician, which gave her lots of time to come back home.

"She was so excited about Christmas," Kohler said. "She came and helped me decorate and bake. We got to spend the whole month together. It was like a godsend.

A quote in her obituary from King said: "Amanda was able to do anything she set out to do. She could change the oil in your car and highlight your hair, all in the same day."

Kohler said Amanda was the type of person willing to get dirty to help people. Amanda helped get Kohler's 30-year-old home north of Rochert fixed up.

One of Amanda's last projects was to tile the bathroom on New Year's Day.

"She was here," Kohler said. "She did everything from A to Z."

Her stepfather Tim Kohler, who was like a biological father, King said, recently broke his leg and Amanda helped him. She was excited about getting a Kiwanis Christmas wish for him.

"She was called one night at 10 p.m. when the cows got out," King said. "She went out and fixed the fence."

Kohler said that Amanda was a tomboy just like her.

"She could do anything," Kohler said.

Amanda often teased her mom about becoming a wimp, Kohler said, as both were getting older.

Kohler said Amanda's work ethic was outstanding.

When Amanda was 17 years old, she moved to the Twin Cities to help her friend, Bethany Mattson. Mattson was paralyzed from the chest down and lost an arm in a motorcycle accident more than 15 years ago.

King, who worked with Mattson in her job as a home-care nurse, said Amanda really took a liking to Mattson.

"Mandy always took care of her," Kohler said.

A good example of Amanda's willingness to help came on a trip to Mexico. Mattson's wheelchair was put in the storage of the airplane and someone else had taken a manual wheelchair, leaving Mattson with no way to get around.

No problem. "She took Beth back into the plane and parked her in a seat," King said of Amanda carrying Mattson.

In the past few months, Amanda redid the windows and bathroom in Mattson's house while Mattson was in the hospital.

Amanda took a liking to city life, but still had a place in her heart for Becker County.

"We used to joke that she would move back and take care of me when I got old," Kohler said.

King said Amanda always wanted to help those who needed a boost.

She kept in touch with her stepfather's family and took her nephew out for trick-or-treating.

"They said they were so glad to see Mandy," Kohler said.

With Amanda dying suddenly, the family feels a loss, but know that she is in a better place.

"We'll miss her tremendously," Kohler said.

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