August 28, 1938-September 11, 2019
Russell Gertsch passed away on Sept. 11, 2019, in Park Ridge, Illinois, due to injuries from a car accident. He was 81 years old.
A memorial service and Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 at St. John's Lutheran Church LCMS, north of Columbus, with the Rev. Brad Birtell officiating the service.
Russ was born in Columbus on Aug. 28, 1938, the youngest of eight children. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1955, and went on to Norfolk Junior College, where he met Norma Hellbusch. They were married on Aug. 29, 1958. Russ joined the army and was stationed in Germany, where Leon was born. Upon being discharged from the military, the three settled back in Columbus, and Lisa arrived. Russ decided to further his education at the University of Nebraska, so the family moved to Lincoln, where Russ graduated and began his career as a CPA-financial controller.
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The family settled in Aurora, where the children were raised. Russ then followed a job to Park Ridge, Illinois where he and Norma lived for over 30 years, enjoying the Chicagoland area, their friends, and their church.
Russ enjoyed playing bridge, traveling and watching sports of all sorts, especially volleyball.
Russ is survived by his loving, devoted wife of 61 years, Norma, and their children, Leon Gertsch and Lisa Gertsch both of Houston, Texas. He will also be missed by his four grandchildren: Sean Gertsch of Sturgis, South Dakota, Karsten Lutz of Los Angeles, Merete Lutz of Seoul, South Korea and Drew Gertsch of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; brother-in law, Marvin (Marilyn) Bachman of Norfolk; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Calvin and Maddie (Pilling) Gertsch; and his siblings: Wayne, Alice Dietrich, Ellen Weller, Clyde, Lester, Jack and Marion.