In Our Care

Bertil "Bert" Verner Wikstrom, of Arlington, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on October 5, 2023, aged 84. Bert will be sorely missed by his wife of almost 55 years Sandra "Sandy" (Goshgarian) Wikstrom, his sons Kerry and Toby, his daughter-in-law Stella Samúelsdóttir, his grandchildren Alexander, Sylvía Guðrún and Sara Björk, and Stella's family in Iceland.

Bert was an expert watch and clock repairman who proudly ran Three Crown Jewelry in Needham Center with Sandy for 32 years. His passion in life was sitting at his workbench and repairing watches and clocks, often for hours on end. He kept a schedule that was as constant as the timepieces he repaired, coming to work 7 days a week. Even though he had a ferocious work ethic, Bert was a kind, warm man who would always give himself time to chat with customers at the store. Over the years he built up a dedicated group of customers who would return time and again.

Like his father and grandfather before him, Bert had an adventurous streak which would draw him back and forth across the Atlantic, from the woods of Sweden to big city America, several times during his life. He was born to Petrus Wikström and Maria Tjernberg Wikström in Karlstad in the province of Värmland, Sweden, on April 26, 1939, and grew up in the forests of Gräsmark and the small town of Filipstad. In 1953 he followed in his father's footsteps and decided to become a watchmaker, attending the Swedish Watchmaking School in Borensberg. Wanting, in his own words, to see the world, Bert traveled to the US in 1962 and spent two years working as a watch repairman in the Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville in Chicago. He worked his way back to Sweden as a deckhand on a ship in 1964. A year later, he returned to the US again and continued working as an itinerant watch repairman, living in New York City, Los Angeles and, finally, Denver, where he met his future wife Sandy in 1967. They married on December 20, 1968. In 1972 they moved to Filipstad, Sweden, where Bert worked in, and then took over, his father's watch and clock shop. During their time in Filipstad, he and Sandy had two cherished sons, Toby, born 1973, and Kerry, born 1976. In 1982, Bert and his family moved back to the US and settled in Arlington, Massachusetts. Bert worked at the Waltham Watch Factory and then at Shawmut Jewelry in the Jewelers Building in downtown Boston before fulfilling his dream of starting his own business in 1991. Three Crown Jewelry opened its doors at 943 Great Plain Avenue in Needham Center that year. For 32 years, until Bert's death, he and Sandy offered expert watch and clock repair and sold clocks, watches and jewelry. At Christmas time, they would also sell Swedish jultomtar (Santa Clause) figures and other Scandinavian holiday decorations, treating their customers to mulled wine and gingerbread cookies on Saturdays. The shop was an oasis on busy Great Plain Avenue; when customers walked in, they would be greeted by the calming sound of ticking clocks, and by the friendly Swedish watchmaker at his bench.

Bert will be deeply missed by his family, friends and loyal customers.

Private arrangements only.