Merlin 'Bubby' Bertness

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Merlin "Bubby" Bertness

Funeral services for Mr. Merlin "Bubby" Bertness, 80, of Arnolds Park, formerly of Linn Grove, will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, at First Lutheran Church in West Okoboji. Rev. Bob Vaage will officiate the service.

Burial will be at Barnes Township Cemetery in Linn Grove at 2 p.m. following the lunch at the church.

Mr. Bertness passed away Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake.

Merlin "Bubby" Jay Bertness, the son of Herman and Elizabeth (Smith) Bertness, was born on October 19, 1931, on a farm in Buena Vista County, Iowa. He was baptized at the United Methodist Church in Sioux Rapids and attended school in Sioux Rapids and graduated in 1950.

On October 1, 1950, Bubby married Genevieve Van Houten at the First Lutheran Church in Sioux Rapids. Following their marriage, the couple lived in the communities of Sioux Rapids and Marathon, eventually moving to Linn Grove in 1955. They were joined by two daughters, Brenda and Diane. Bubby farmed and sold Pioneer seed. He was an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Linn Grove and served on various executive boards: the Linn Grove and Marathon Coop Boards, the Buena Vista County Soil Conservation Board, and the Sioux Valley School Board.

After retiring in 1997, Bubby and Genny made their new home in Arnolds Park. Bubby became a member of the First Lutheran Church in Milford. His optimistic spirit encouraged others as he volunteered at the Lakes Regional Hospital and was involved with Team Wave, an organization that helps with the beautification of Arnolds Park.

In his spare time, Bubby enjoyed golfing and bowling. He was an avid Hawkeye fan and loved John Deere tractors and chocolate. For the past 50 years, he and Genny have played cards with the same card club. Bubby loved being around people and having coffee with his friends. He treasured spending time with his family. He always found something to laugh about and was full of wit and humor. A man of integrity and generosity, Bubby was beloved by all who knew him.

After a short battle with lung cancer, Bubby passed away on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the Lakes Regional Hospital at the age of 80. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters-in-law: Carolyn Bertness and Charlotte Halverson.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Genny of Arnolds Park; two daughters: Brenda Halverson and her husband, Frank, of Linn Grove; and Diane Brunsting and her husband, Doug, of Hawarden; four grandchildren: Kerri Smith and her husband, Michael; Holly McHone and her husband, Aaron; Kyle Brunsting; and Josh Brunsting and his wife, Angela; six great-grandchildren: Skyler, Jace, Corban, Alexa, Alanna and Aiden; one brother, Kenny Bertness and his wife, Colleen, of Sioux Rapids; brothers and sisters-in-law: Robert and Dolores Zimmer, of Milford; and Norman and Jean Halverson, of Spencer; other relatives and many friends.

Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.