Delmar “Del” Bertsch, age 70, passed away in his home surrounded by his family, after a courageous battle with cancer, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.
A funeral mass was held Friday, Feb. 23 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown, S.D., with Pastor Paul Rutten as celebrant. Helen Gollnick was the organist with Paula Breid as the cantor, Ron Jensen as the soloist and music by the Immaculate Conception Choir.
Interment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Watertown. Honorary Urnbearers were Jon Heemeyer and Jordan Hinsvark.
Delmar Dale “Del” Bertsch, the son of Gideon and Mabel (Tschetter) Bertsch, was born on July 30, 1947 in Bridgewater, S.D. He attended country school Hoffman District #55; he then attended Freeman Academy. In 1964 the family moved from their farm near Bridgewater to Mitchell, S.D., where Del graduated from Mitchell High School. Del received a degree from the Mitchell Technical School in culinary arts and was employed as a chef in Sioux City, Iowa and Sioux Falls, S.D. Throughout his careers he worked in the trucking industry, in sales, including insurance. Del also worked at Walmart in various capacities. Later, he enjoyed his years as a school bus driver where he called the children on his route his “bussies.” Del took pride in delivering the kids safely to school and home again. Most recently he worked as a real estate agent in Watertown.
Del married Patricia Barkley on Oct. 23, 1976 in Watertown.
Del was a very loving man who loved to share his faith and was a great evangelizer. In 2014, Del made the decision to join the Catholic Church, where he felt “at home” and became a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Del enjoyed hunting, fishing, raising German shorthair pointers, and was a big fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Del is survived by his wife, Pat of Watertown; his children, Paul (Maria Jones) Bertsch of North Hollywood, Calif., Preston Bertsch of Auora, Colo., Kerry Pye of Winona, Minn., Daina (Jon) Heemeyer of Watertown, Rachel (Jordan) Hinsvark of Gary, S.D.; his brother, Darryl (Mary) Bertsch of Shawnee, Kan.; his brother-in-law, Michael (Renae) Barkley of Louisville, Ky.; his sister-in-law, Barbara (Marvin) Heins of Rochester, Minn.; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and his dog, Chance.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Emanuel Bertsch; infant sister, Romalee Faye; infant grandchildren, Elisabeth and Erin; and father-in-law, Marvin Barkley.