Father Erwin Bertke
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Erwin J. Bertke was celebrated on Dec. 4 at St. Lawrence Church in Price Hill. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk presided. Father Bertke, 92, died Dec. 1 at Mercy Franciscan at West Park.
A native of Cincinnati, Father Bertke did his preparatory studies at St. Gregory Seminary and studied theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. He also received a master’s degree in history from Catholic University. Father Bertke was ordained in 1943 by Archbishop John T. McNicholas at the former Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Norwood.
In May 1943 Father Bertke received his first assignment as assistant pastor of St. Joseph Church in Cincinnati. He was then assigned to teach at Purcell High School with residence at St. Francis de Sales Parish. He began teaching at Elder High School in 1944. During his 18 years at Elder, Father Bertke served as assistant pastor at the former St. Augustine Parish (1944-47); St. Louis Parish, Cincinnati (1947-48); St. Vincent de Paul Parish (1951-57); and St. William Parish (1957-62). He also served as a chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati from 1948-51.
Father Bertke served as pastor of the following parishes: St. Paul, Yellow Springs (1962-66); St. Brigid, Xenia (1966-70); St. Dominic, Cincinnati (1970-86); and St. Simon the Apostle, Cincinnati (1986-92). He retired in July 1992 but remained active at St. Lawrence Parish, where he was raised.
He is survived by his sisters, Rosemary Scanlon and Jeanne Scholtman. Interment was in St. Joseph Old Cemetery.