Arthur Eugene Bertke, who went by Gene because he was the second child in his family to bear the name, was born in 1934, second youngest of eleven children - nine of whom survived childhood.
He worked in the family business, Bertke Electric - no relation to Bertke & Young - and married in 1958 to Mary Catherine Fritsch (d 2010). They had six children - Julie, Ken, Diana, Karen, Paul, and Mary.
Gene started taking German lessons around 1978, and actively participated in many German culture clubs in Cincinnati, including Kolping, Burgeliga, Taste of Cincinnati, Oktoberfest, and more. He helped start the Kolping Hog Roast as a fundraiser for the Sangerchor. He helped support an exchange program between German and American teenagers.
His love of German language and culture were a mainstay of his life, but he also had a great love of learning in general. When Gene and Mary bought a new set of encyclopedias to suit the increasing ages of their children, Gene read the entire set cover to cover. I think it took a bit over a year. There are rumors he may have read the earlier, more simplistic set as well.
His love of learning and drive to be useful and do good work inspired his children.
He is survived by his brother Jack, his sister Anne, his children Ken (Ellen), Diana (Rick), Karen, Paul (Shari), and Mary; his grandchildren Elise (Brady), Parker, Jenna, Alex, Michael (Abby), David, Ryan; and great grandchild Peyton (and another in progress).
Services will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes (3450 Lumardo Ave., Cincinnati) on Friday, November 10, 2023. Visitation at 9:30, Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30. There will be an early luncheon (again at Lourdes) after return from the cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Queen City Hospice, 4605 Duke Dr, Unit 220, Mason, OH 45040.