Memorials -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 41:1 (Mar 1998)
Article: Memorials
Author: Anonymous


George Joseph Bertsche

George Joseph Bertsche was born on August 25, 1926, in Woodburn, Indiana. He was born again at the age of eighteen and became a member of the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Woodburn. After high-school graduation in 1946, George ran the family farm for a year because of his father’s illness. He also had a knack for repairing radios and other electronic equipment.

After two years of engineering studies at Purdue University’s extension in Fort Wayne, George transferred to the main campus and graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1951. In the summers he worked for International Telephone and Telegraph.

George was drafted into the United States Army and served for two years during the Korean War. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he taught radio.

George met his future wife, Mary Jacqueline Bergstedt, at an InterVarsity conference at Camp Shakamac in Indiana. They were married on August 30, 1953, at the First Missionary Church in Fort Wayne. Mary was a teacher.

George then attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he received his Master of Theology degree in 1957. George and Mary had hoped to be missionaries, but for health reasons that was not possible. George had diabetes, a thyroid deficiency, and cataracts. He eventually underwent a four-way heart bypass operation in 1983. Their son Kirk was also very sick at his birth in July of 1957.

George returned to Indiana with his young family, where he worked for Varo Corporation, then again for ITT. He earned several patents for the firm, including one for airplane radar. George served as teacher, Sunday-school superintendent and occasional preacher in the Mennonite Church. In 1963 he helped found the Calvary Bible Church in nearby Paulding, Ohio, where he served as an elder and did extensive preaching over the years. He retired in 1988.

George was a member of the American Scientific Affiliation and had been a member of ETS for forty-two years. He and Mary often attended the annual meetings together. George died shortly after heart surgery on June 18, 1997, at the New Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is buried in the Woodburn Mennonite Cemetery next to his parents. He lived seventy years, nine months and twenty-four days.

George is survived by his wife. They were married nearly forty-four years and had three children. Son Kirk Joseph Bertsche lives in California and uses his Ph.D. degree in physics to do research and development. Daughter Karen Elizabeth has a B.S. degree from Purdue in mechanical engineering and lives with her husband Kimball Callis in Plymouth, Minnesota. They

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