SASKATOON — Sister Dorothy (Gertrude) Bertsch, OSU (Prelate), died Dec. 25 at the age of 101.
She was born in 1915 on her family’s farm near Tramping Lake, where she was baptized at St. Michael’s Church. She celebrated her first communion and received the sacrament of confirmation in the same church.
She was taught by the Ursulines of Prelate at Tramping Lake School, and in 1932 she attended St. Angela’s Academy in Prelate for Grade 11, entering the Ursuline novitiate in 1933. She made her fist vows in 1935, followed by her Perpetual Profession in 1938.
In 1934-35 she attended Normal School at Moose Jaw and was then assigned to Dante School, where she taught Grades 1 — 9 three years, paid by “promissory notes.” Her second three-year teaching assignment was at Glen Eden School, six kilometres from Denzil. After upgrading her teaching certificate, Bertsch’s 45-year teaching career in the elementary grades took her to Revenue, Billimun, Denzil, Goodsoil, Barthel, Liebenthal, Fox Valley, Quinton, Primate, and St. Mary’s, Cosine. While teaching, she was also involved in parish ministries, including catechetics, sacramental preparation, and sacristy work.
On her retirement in 1980, Bertsch moved to Glengarda residence in Saskatoon where she provided ministry visiting the sick and elderly, served as a tutor, librarian and receptionist, as well as undertaking typing for the Oblates and being engaged in community service. She participated in a renewal sabbatical in 1987 in Arnprior, Ont. She also spent a year cooking at the Generalate and then served for 10 years at St. Angela’s Academy as support staff taking on the responsibility of the laundry. She enjoyed hobbies such as needlework and stamp collecting, and was an avid reader.
After hip surgery in 2004, she moved to St. Angela Merici Residence in Saskatoon. Occasions of joy and gratitude included celebrations of her 75th anniversary as an Ursuline in 2010, and her 100th birthday in 2015.