Louis Chandler Bertsch, 99, of Santa Maria, CA passed away on March 29, 2018. Louie was born in Redondo Beach, California on October 11, 1918 at the home of his parents. He moved to Santa Barbara County with his wife Donna Gummerman Bertsch after retiring as owner from L. C. Bertsch Sprinkler Company.
Louie had seen many things over his lifetime from the first TV's to computers and cell phones of which he never owned either of the last two. As a small boy, he lived through the great depression. When times were tough, Louie would go down to the beach at dawn and catch sand crabs. He would then go up to the pier and sell them as bait to the fishermen. All of this was in the hopes of earning enough money to give to his parents to pay the taxes on their property.
While attending Redondo Beach High School, Louie was a four sport athlete lettering all four years as a varsity athlete in football, basketball, swimming, and track. At one time, he held the record for pole vaulting at Redondo Beach High School. Louie was also very good in academics where mathematics was his favorite.
After graduating from Redondo Beach High School, Louie married Betty Lucile Wulff, his wife of 25 years. He worked for a short time delivering bread, as a cashier at a local market, and as a sprinkler/pipe fitter, before he joined the U.S. Army. Under General MacArthur, Louie completed several projects for the general in the Southwest Pacific during WW II. With his knowledge of pipe fitting and mathematics, he constructed a pipeline for fuel from the shore to the military boats out at sea as well as constructing a field hospital with the necessary angles and plumbing for the surgery tables. At the time of discharge, Louie was given two certificates of merit beyond the call of duty for work performance in the army core of engineers.
Louie returned from the army to his family and eventually began his own fire sprinkler business. With his reputation and work ethic, he was able to retire while still very young, 45. Louie loved hunting, fishing, and later in life his roses. He was still driving and taking care of his own yard at the age of 99.
Louie is survived by his daughter, Jerry Morris and step-son Terry Gummerman. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Deanna Marlin Diggs, Darlene Morris, William L. Morris, Clark E. Marlin, Kimberley Marlin Woods, Gary Gummerman, Teri Lynn Gummerman, Gail Ann Gummerman, Dennis Gummerman, Terry Wayne Gummerman, and Sandra Gummerman; eleven great-grandchildren, Kyle Marlin, Katie Marlin, William Tyler Morris, Bradly Hatfield, Breanne Hatfield, Michael Hatfield, Jacob Marlin, Joshua Marlin, Sarah Marlin, Nevaeh Woods, and Blessy Marlin; three great-great-grandchildren, Remy Anna Renee Zogg, Victoria Adison Avery Housel, and Hannah Marlin.
Louie was preceded in death by his three brothers, Milford Bertsch, George Bertsch, and Robert Bertsch; his wife of 25 years, Betty Lucile Wulff; his wife of 33 years, Donna Gummerman Bertsch; daughters, Darlene Bertsch and Linda L. Marlin; step-son, Dennis Gummerman; son-in-law's, Richard E. Marlin and William (Butch) W. Morris Jr.; grandson, Richard W. Marlin.
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