David Randall Bertsch
February 1, 1968 – November 16, 2020
Always in our hearts.
David Randall Bertsch was born on February 1, 1968 and passed away at his home in Bailey, Colorado, on November 16, 2020, at the age of 52.
David was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of a career Army officer and former Army nurse. After living in a number of states and towns over the first dozen years of his life, Dave spent his adolescent and teenage years in Joppatowne, Maryland. Dave was gregarious and friendly and was quite accomplished at sports, excelling in both football and lacrosse. Dave also had a creative and artistic side; he had a talent for drawing, was an All-County tuba player and took a starring turn as Albert in the school musical, Bye Bye Birdie, during his senior year.
Dave attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in kinesiology. Dave also holds a second Bachelor's Degree in Health Science and Advanced Patient Care from Grand Canyon University. While at the University of Maryland, Dave was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and played with the Terrapin (“Terps”) football team his freshman year. (Sadly, his football career was sidelined by an ice skating injury….but that’s a story for another time.)
After graduating from Maryland in 1991, Dave worked as an exercise physiologist in a cardiac/pulmonary rehab center in Baltimore, and he earned his EMT badge, serving as an EMT in Baltimore City. Hearing the siren call of adventure, Dave moved to Vail, Colorado, in 1993. While in Vail, Dave worked as an orthopedic rehab tech at the world-renowned Steadman Hawkins Clinic, worked as a bartender and bouncer at the famed Red Lion, and enjoyed the good life, skiing in the winter and golfing in the summer.
Continuing his thirst for adventure, Dave relocated to Palm Desert, California, in 1995 to work as a golf caddy and then took a job designing and building rock walls and other landscape structures for resort destinations, which eventually led him to Tahiti to work on an Outrigger Resort project. While in Tahiti, Dave acquired a little French and learned how to make a mean coconut ceviche!
After his Tahiti escapades, Dave returned to the California desert, where he met his future wife, and then they relocated to San Luis Obispo on the California coast. It was in SLO that Dave began working at a hospital in central processing and then eventually as a surgical tech.
In 2005, Dave returned to his beloved Colorado, settling in a town just outside of Denver, before eventually moving to the mountain town of Bailey in 2017. During Dave's second Colorado tour, Dave earned his national accreditation as a Surgical Assistant, and he worked at numerous hospitals as a surgical assistant in Denver and around the Front Range. Dave also worked for 3 years as a technical support rep for an orthopedic device manufacturer, Biomet, Inc.
Dave remained a lifelong Terp, was an avid Broncos fan and continued to hold skiing and the mountains close to his heart. Dave loved live music of all forms but especially The Grateful Dead. Dave attended many dozens of their shows and enjoyed a successful side hustle selling grilled cheese sandwiches in the parking lots at those shows. Dave loved his children fiercely and was so very proud of them. Taking them ziplining was one of his favorite recent adventures, and Dave relished introducing them to his cherished music.
Dave will be celebrated and missed by so many friends and family - in Colorado and around the country and the world. He is survived by his parents, Marvin & Coleen Bertsch of Centennial, Colorado; his son Dakota Bertsch (17) and his daughter Cassidy Bertsch (15) of Bailey, Colorado; his wife Michelle Bertsch of Lakewood, Colorado; his sister Anne Bertsch and his nephew Robert Bertsch (1) of Denver, Colorado; his Aunt Cornelia & Uncle Joe Bain of Brentwood, Tennessee; his Aunt Sharon Turman of Frederick, Maryland; his Aunt Susan Turman of Memphis, Tennessee; many cousins around the country, including Tennessee, Alabama, California, and Maryland; and his French and German “siblings”, Robby, J-P and Béa. He was preceded in death by many family members and some dear friends, and we know that they are now reunited in eternal love.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Park County Search & Rescue. Given Dave's love of the mountains, his career in medicine and his history as an EMT, we thought this would be a most fitting way to honor Dave. Contributions may be made at: https://www.pcsar.org/donate-to-park-county-search-and-rescue/.
Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary and Cemetery requires that all attendants must be in compliance with the Colorado state mandate that requires anyone 11 years and older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths. Additionally, please maintain at least 6 feet of separation from each other.
Celebration of Life
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary & Cemetery
David Randall Bertsch
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November 19, 2020
Too many memories to catalogue, but the one that always sticks with me is when Dave and I, in the spring of '84, decided to take a drive. Each claimed to be spending the weekend at the other's home for a couple days. Just enough time for us to drive 3 1/2 hours from Baltimore to Richmond to pick up Bryan. We then drove 4 hours from Richmond to Ocean City. We stayed a night or two and then took the same path home. The details are lost to me now, but like it was yesterday, I can still smell how crisp the spring day felt, how exciting it was for three 16 year old best friends to be venturing out on our own, and how hard we laughed when Dave hung his head out of the window like a dog, and got hit in the forehead by a bug.
Thank you, Dave, for sharing a bit of your precious time with me. John