Thomas “Tom” William Bertz, Sr.
Thomas “Tom” William Bertz, Sr., of Stevens Point and more recently, Waunakee, passed away on March 23, 2023, at the age of 85, in Madison due to complications from surgery.
Tom was born in Marshfield, WI on June 6, 1937; the youngest child of Edward and Florence (Hannan) Bertz. Tom graduated from Loyal High School in 1955. He then went on to continue his education at the University of St. Thomas where he graduated with honors in 1959. His next educational accomplishment was a law degree from Marquette University Law School (J.D.); graduating from there in 1962. While at Marquette, he served as the Assistant Editor of the Marquette Law Review.
On September 25, 1965, Tom married Frances Szymanski, the love of his life. Together they raised their son, Tom Jr. and daughter, Sue. Tom was a proud resident of Stevens Point for nearly 50 years and Waunakee for the past two years.
Prior to his retirement in 2018, Tom was an attorney at Anderson O’Brien, LLP for 39 years and tried over 100 civil trials. After graduating from Marquette, he gained legal experience as the Law Clerk to Chief Justice Timothy Brown, Wisconsin Supreme Court.
When it came to being involved and assisting with making positive changes to organizations he cared about, Tom began at a young age. While attending Loyal High School, he brainstormed the idea to change the school mascot from the Loyal Maroons to the Loyal Greyhounds. In 1995, Tom was instrumental in securing the Jacksonville Jaguars to have their summer training camp at UW-Stevens Point. Additionally, he had an extensive list of professional involvement: State Bar of Wisconsin: Board of Governors member, Executive Committee member, Executive Director Evaluation Committee member, Professional Ethics Committee and Law Office Management Section liaison, Litigation Section member; Wisconsin Supreme Court, Preliminary Review Committee (Office of Lawyer Regulation) member; Wisconsin Law Foundation, Fellow Member; Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association, past president (Federal Bar Association); American Bar Association; Portage County Bar Association, past president; Wisconsin Association of Worker’s Compensation Attorneys, past president. Tom was elected to the Wisconsin Judicial Council and re-elected 3 times. He served as the chair of the council from 2010-2018, Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, board member; and was a frequent speaker on Professional Legal Ethics subjects. Tom’s activities also included the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Chancellor’s Advisory Council, Backcourt Club President (Team NCAA III National Champions 2004 and 2005), Coach’s Committee; University of Wisconsin Badger Booster Board member, Stevens Point Rotary Club – Paul Harris Fellow; and most recently was a Waunakee Rotary Club Member.
While Tom was quite accomplished in his professional life, he was most proud of his personal life; he was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Tom’s greatest joy was attending his grandchildren’s sporting events; softball, baseball, soccer, cross country, track, and dance recitals; cheering them on with great pride. His love of sports extended even further as a lifelong Wisconsin Fan; whether it was the Badgers, Packers, Brewers or Bucks; he enjoyed them all. Tom attended UW-Stevens Point basketball games for nearly 50 years and UW basketball games for 27 years with his son, Tom. He cherished trips to watch the UWSP games and UW games at their Final Four appearances, even following the Badgers to their Thanksgiving tournaments in the Bahamas and Hawaii. When it came to participating in sports, Tom was an avid golfer. Above all else, Tom’s greatest enjoyment came from spending time with family and friends.
He is survived by his two children: Tom, Jr. (Jill) and granddaughters Emma and Julianna; Sue and grandchildren Samantha, Taylor, Tanner (Shelby) and great-granddaughter Avery. He is further survived by his sister, Connie Cooper; his brother-in-law, Jerry (Kathy) Szymanski; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Frances; and siblings, Carole Carpenter, Genevieve St. Onge, Mary Ellen Ruhn, Edward Bertz and Jack Bertz.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly suggests memorial donations may be made in Tom’s honor to the American Diabetes Association.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, the Villa at Middleton Village and Agrace Hospice. Their compassion, professionalism, and support when caring for Tom was deeply appreciated.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 14, 2023 at 10:00 AM at Holy Spirit Parish – 2151 Stanley Street, Stevens Point. Rev. Steve Brice will officiate. Friends and family are invited to gather and share memories on Thursday, April 13, 2023 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Shuda Funeral Chapel; 3200 Stanley Street, Stevens Point; and again on Friday at the church from 9:00 AM until the time of service. Burial will follow at Guardian Angel Cemetery.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com.