Joseph ‘Joe’ Bertsch

Joseph Bertsch, 82, Williston, died at the Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home in Williston on Friday evening, March 29, 2013.

His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday afternoon, April 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Williston, by Father Russell Kovash. Interment will follow in Riverview Cemetery, Williston.

An Evening Vigil will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at Everson Memorial Chapel, Williston.

Joe was born to Andrew and Margaret (Kunnanz) Bertsch on Dec. 11, 1930, in Rugby. He attended school in Silva, where he was raised.

In October 1950, Joe enlisted in the Army. He served with the 3rd Infantry Division and was deployed to Korea, where he was stationed on the Korean Peninsula. He returned to Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was honorably discharged in 1952. He earned the Korean Presidential Award.

Joe returned to Minot, where he attended Minot Business College. While attending college, he joined Voeller Furniture and was employed there until 1962.

Joe met Phyllis Larson in Minot and they were married on April 6, 1956, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Minot. To this union, they were blessed with two children, James and Patricia.

In 1962 Joe moved to Williston and purchased a store with Irv Keating which he called Keatings Big Red Furniture. In 1965, Joe and his partner built Keatings Home Furnishings Center on the Million Dollar Way in Williston. Joe managed the store and became sole owner in 1971, remaining such until his retirement in 2009, when the Kramer family purchased the business.

Joe was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, served nine years on the Mercy Medquest Board, was a director of the Williston Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of Octoberfest, a life member of both the Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus. He was also active in the American Legion and the Moose Lodge, where he obtained his Fellowship Degree, was on the board of directors, and was a Moose Legionnaire.

He enjoyed wood-working, fishing and his vegetable garden, giving away all the produce. He was also a former golfer. He loved playing cards. And, most of all, loved spending time with his grandchildren and his great-grandson.

Surviving Joe are: his wife of 56 years, Phyllis; son, Jim (BJ) Bertsch, and daughter, Patty (Kirk) Schoepp, all of Williston; grandchildren, Dustin Bertsch, Williston, Trista (Matt) Oleksik, Williston, Shawn Schoepp, Minneapolis, and Tiffany (fiance, James Sickinger) Bertsch, Williston; great-grandson, Landon Oleksik. He is also survived by his sister, Catherine Holzer, Minot; three brothers, Sebastian (Penny) Bertsch, Dennis (Ella) Bertsch, and John (Janet) Bertsch, all of Minot, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Luella Conine, Newman, Ga., Olive Hill, Minot, Donald (Marge) Larson, Minot, Arnold (Yvonne) Larson, Woodland, Calif., David (Mary) Larson, Minot, Russell (Claire) Larson, Minot, Barbara (William) Jenson, Minot, Fran Bertsch, Brooten, Minn., and Clarence Tryhus, Minot; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Margaret; brothers, Albert and Ed; a sister, Marge Tryhus; and brothers-in-law, Jim Conine and Duane Hill.

Friends may call at Everson Funeral Home in Williston today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m., and at the church for the hour preceding the funeral.

All are welcome to visit ( to share memories of Joe or leave condolences for his family.

The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.