Monday, November 25th, 2013
Robert Lee Bertke, 68, of Pioneer, passed away Nov. 22, 2013, surrounded by his family at his home.
He was born Feb. 2, 1945, in Celina, to Ralph F. and Ellen "Annie" Wenning Bertke. On May 1, 1965, he married Barbara L. Link at St. Francis Catholic Church in Cranberry Prairie, and she survives.
Also surviving are five children, Jennifer (John) Woenker, New Haven, Ind., Joe (Sheila) Bertke, Farmer, Don (Teresa) Bertke, Camden, Mich., Debra (Michael) Traxler, Pioneer, and Cathy Bertke, Pioneer; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; four brothers, Tom (Kathy) Bertke, Celina, Fred (Gerri) Bertke, New Knoxville, Virgil (Jane) Bertke, St. Marys, and Randy (Kim) Bertke, Franklin, N.C.; and seven sisters, Pat (Ken) Bensman, New Bremen, Bev (John) Froning, Lake City, Tenn., Karen (Fred, dec.) Schulze, Minster, Joan (Mark) Baumer, Coldwater, Joyce (Pat) Berger, Coldwater, Connie (Eric) Seger, Fort Loramie, and Pam (Jim) Simon, Troy.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandchild, John Robert Woenker.
He was a 1963 graduate of Marion Local High School and earned his mechanical/drafting degree at Allied School of Mechanical Trades in Chicago, Ill. He proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1966-1968. He deployed to Vung Tau, Vietnam, with the 148th ORD Company from 1967-1968. Since 1983 he was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and served on the finance council. He has been a member of the Pioneer American Legion Post 307. In 2008, he retired as an over the road truck driver. He was the owner of Bertke Trucking in Pioneer and also worked for several other area trucking companies. He was an avid craftsman and carpenter and enjoyed hunting and traveling, having travelled to all of the United States except Alaska.
Calling is 2-4 and 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Wilson-Geesey Funeral Home, Montpelier, where a rosary service will follow at 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Funeral Mass is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Montpelier, the Rev. Jim Halleron officiating. Interment of ashes will follow the service at Floral Grove Cemetery in Pioneer with military rites by the Pioneer Veterans.
Donations may be made to Community Health Professionals Hospice of Williams County or Masses.
Condolences may be left online at www.thethompsonfuneralhome.com.