Karl Heinz Bertram, Jr., age 68, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on February 8, 2020 at Marshfield Medical Center. A memorial service will take place at Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home, 1010 East Veterans Parkway, Marshfield, on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 11:00 am with Father Barry Saylor officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 9:00 am until the time of service at the funeral home. A private burial will take place at a later date.
Karl was born on February 27, 1951 in Hagen, Germany to Elfriede and Karl Bertram, Sr. At two years of age, he and his family immigrated to Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Karl attended St. John the Baptist Elementary School, and graduated from Columbus Catholic High School in 1969. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Wood County from 1969-1971.
He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Baltus on August 19, 1972 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Marshfield and together they had three daughters. They later divorced.
Karl worked as a disc jockey and sales representative for Goetz Broadcasting WDLB and WDRB Radio from 1969-1974 in both Marshfield and Reedsburg, WI. In 1974, Karl joined the Baltus Oil Company working as a fuel oil delivery representative, followed by the Car Wash and office manager. He was also a member of the Wisconsin Car Wash Association Board of Directors. In 1992, he became part-owner and treasurer of the Baltus Company Corporation. He then sold his share of the company in 2002. From 2005-2009, he owned and operated Illuminations Lighting Showroom of Marshfield.
Karl was a past member and President of The Kiwanis Club of Marshfield, past member of the Marshfield Elks Club, volunteered for the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon and coached girls youth basketball for Our Lady of Peace school.
Karl was a loyal and die-hard Wisconsin sports fanatic, and spent countless hours watching the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Columbus Catholic Dons. He would happily discuss any statistic and provide game analysis to fellow sports fans and strangers alike.
Karl enjoyed playing golf, softball, and bowling, and going to coffee with his friends. He had many treasured friendships, and was the proud leader of the annual “Knarly Karly” boy’s weekend in Minocqua which lasted for over 25 years.
His greatest joy in life was spending time with his daughters, son-in-law, and three precious granddaughters. His grandchildren were the true light of his life, and nothing made him prouder than watching them play volleyball and basketball in a Columbus Dons jersey.
He is lovingly survived by his three daughters: Amy Bertram of Brooklyn Center, MN, Laura (Mitch) Kibbel of Spencer, and Julie Bertram, of Roseville, MN and his grandchildren Meghan, Jenna, and Abigail Kibbel. He was affectionately called “Papa” by his grandchildren, and they will miss him dearly. He is further survived by his sister Inge (Peter) Hendler, many nieces and nephews, and several wonderful friends.
Memorials in Karl’s name may be designated to the Columbus Catholic High School Athletic Department.
The family wishes to thank the Emergency Department, 4 North, 6 North, and the Palliative Care Unit at Marshfield Medical Center for the exceptional care he received over the past two months. A special thank you to nurses Jessica, Mandy, and September; Sarah Mutcshlecner, NP and Dr. Soskos for their loving care provided to Karl in Palliative Care.