Bruce Marshall Bertram, 84, passed away peacefully on December 16th, 2021, surrounded by his family in the comfort of the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.
Bruce was born on February 28th, 1937, to Borghild (Giswold) and Clarence Bertram in Duluth, Minnesota. After graduating from Denfeld High School in 1955, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering (1959) as well as his Master of Science in Business Administration (1964) from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. During his time at Michigan Tech, he became a lifelong brother of the Sigma Rho Fraternity.
Spending most of his career in the salt industry, Bruce began working in the salt mines near Detroit, Michigan. His vocation allowed him countless opportunities to work in unique locations. While in Detroit, he met his soulmate, Carolyn Wendy Kaarto. He was the Plant Manager of the solar salt works on the island of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. He was an engineer for Amira Leather in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as well as at the International Salt Company on Avery Island, Louisiana. He finished his career as the Technical Director of The Salt Institute in Alexandria, Virginia. Upon retiring, he and his wife, Wendy, returned to Sheboygan County settling in Kohler.
Bruce and Wendy summered on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan in their second home which is fondly referred to as, ‘The Camp’. Generations of their family have enjoyed sharing this special retreat with them, and The Camp has provided countless memories for their loved ones.
Surviving Bruce are his wife of 60 years, Carolyn Wendy Bertram of Hancock, Michigan; daughter, Jayne (Randy) Ries of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; son, Erik (Maria) Bertram of Tomball, Texas; and daughter Julie Mims of Winder, Georgia. He leaves behind seven grandchildren: Abby (Chris) Helminiak of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Kate (Tony) Knapton of Austin, Texas; Emmett Bertram of San Antonio, Texas; Alaina Bertram of Houston, Texas; Wendy Mims of Winder, Georgia; and Parker and Nolan Bertram, of Tomball, Texas. Additionally, he is survived by his five great-grandchildren: Sloane, Miles, and Hadley Helminiak and Josephine and Bennett Knapton. He is also survived by his sister, Carole (Bertram) McDonald, of Eagle River, Alaska, as well as many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Einard and Mabel Kaarto; his brother-in-law, Harry J. McDonald, his sister-in-law, Corinne Marie Kaarto Aho, his brother-in-law, Rudolph Aho; and nephew C. Michael Aho.
In addition to being a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Bruce was a faithful member of both St. Peter Lutheran Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as well as Bethany Lutheran Church in Mohawk, Michigan.
There aren’t enough words to describe the impact that such a great man has had on those around him. His wit, charm, intellect, and sense of humor were his greatest attributes, and to know him was to love him. His loss will be felt by countless individuals from the tellers at his local bank to his fraternity brothers at Sigma Rho. While we grieve the loss of Bruce, we celebrate his uncanny sense of humor and his legacy of love, faith, and family.
Funeral services will be held at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 2104 Geele Avenue, Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Sunday, December 19, 2021. Visitation begins at 3:00 pm followed by the funeral service at 4:00 pm. Due to Covid requirements, masks and social distancing are required. Those who would like to watch Bruce's service virtually can do so on the funeral home website on Bruce's obituary page.
Bruce’s family thanks the staff of the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for their gentle and compassionate care as well as Dr. Gurminder Dhillon and Dr. Michael Johnson for their exemplary medical expertise.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bruce’s name can be made to Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.