Stephen Bertelsman

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Stephen William Bertelsman, 75, of Belleville, IL, born January 16, 1948, in Belleville, IL, died Saturday, January 28, 2023. He passed away at his residence with his family by his side, after a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and only days after his wife, Judy, passed away on January 5, 2023.

Steve was a friend to all and a man of all trades. He could do anything from building a garage, lawn care, to fixing almost anything. He was well loved by many in his personal life and his professional career. Even though he was a workaholic he never missed an evening for his daughters, including coaching softball teams to teaching them to drive. He was a “dad” to his own daughters as well as his nieces, other kids in the neighborhood, and to classmates of his daughters.

Steve started caddying at St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, IL, about the age of ten years old. He learned to love that golf course and the game of golf. He continued to caddy through high school and even was the Caddy Tournament Golf Champion at St. Clair County Club until joining the United States Navy at the age of 17. In the Navy he was stationed on the SS Holland and SS Canopus repairing nuclear submarines and always volunteering for kitchen duty. After the Navy, he returned home and eventually was back working at the St. Clair Country Club golf course. He was known as one of the best in golf course maintenance in the Southern Illinois area during his career. Horticulture teachers would even bring their students to learn from Steve about golf course maintenance. After many years at St. Clair Country Club, he took a job as the turf specialist for Munie Outdoor Services. During his years with Munie Outdoor Services, he traveled to over five states to service golf courses and sports fields until he started to show signs of early onset Alzheimer’s. The disease slowly took control of his brain, and his family was by his side protecting him through all the stages of the horrible disease. Over the last three years Steve had lost his motor skills and was bed ridden. Special thanks to Promedica Hospice, to the VA for providing home health aides, and to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, who have been able to help care for him and allow him to spend his entire battle with Alzheimer’s at home. Steve was a member of the American Legion Post 58 Freedom Farm, Freeburg, IL, and the Knights of Columbus Council 592, O’Fallon, IL.

He is preceded in death, by his wife of 56 years, Judy Ann Bertelsmann, nee Meirink, who died on January 5, 2023; his parents, Leo Joseph Sr. and Florine, nee Jarvis, Bertelsman; two brothers, Leo Joe, Jr. Bertelsman and Ralph Bertelsman; and a sister, Mary Lee Roberts.

He is survived by two daughters, Annette (Scott) Hente of Shiloh, IL, and Lisa Bertelsman-Kunkelmann of Freeburg, IL; two grandchildren, Dr. Kelsey Kunkelmann of Chicago, IL and Kaleb Kunkelmann of Belleville, IL; two sisters, Judy (Dennis) Meirink of Odin, IL, and Patty Sankus of Fairview Heights, IL; a brother, Billy Bertelsman of Belleville, IL; and nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, step grandchildren, and step great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Promedica Hospice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 1, 2023, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, February 2, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, February 2, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Godfrey Mullen officiating

Burial with military honors will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.

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7 Comments on Stephen Bertelsman

Anita Osborn said : Guest Report Feb 01, 2023 at 11:11 PM

Annette and Lisa so sorry for your loss. Be strong and know you have damily who love you we are here for you

  • Moravian falls
  • Nc
diane dean said : Guest Report Jan 31, 2023 at 2:33 PM

Lisa, i am so sorry for the loss of your father and your mother. I am sending prayers and God's Grace to you and your family.

  • Fairview heights
  • IL
Rita Hearn said : Guest Report Jan 31, 2023 at 9:55 AM

Lisa, I am so very sorry about the loss of your Father and your Mother. My heart breaks for you and your family. Praying for peace and comfort for you all.

  • Granite City
  • Illinois
Wade Belcher said : Guest Report Jan 31, 2023 at 6:43 AM

To Lisa and family, I offer my condolences. So sorry for your loss.

  • New Athens
  • Illinois
Kay Sabo said : Guest Report Jan 30, 2023 at 4:48 PM

My deepest sympathy to the Bertelsmann family. You have all had a hard start for 2023, however, The Lord is with you all & sunny peaceful days are ahead. God Bless

  • Millstadt
  • IL
Rocky & Laurie Boice said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 5:20 PM

Annette, We are so sorry for the loss of your dad. Although you knew this day was coming, it doesn’t take away the pain of loss especially after losing your mom so suddenly. Our hearts go out to you & your family.

  • Columbia
  • IL
roger Klucker said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 2:08 PM

Annette and Lisa and family....so sorry for your double loss....your mom and dad were Good People.......!!!!!

  • Swansea
  • Illinois

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