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Austin County Obits


Bellville Times
Funeral services for Grace Cleo Bertrand, 95, of Wallis were held Wednesday,
Sept. 20, 2006 at 3 p.m. from Knesek & Sons Funeral Home in Wallis with the
Rev. John Crowe officiating.
Interment was at Wallis City Cemetery in Wallis. Pallbearers were Danny
Stratman, Wade McCain, Robert Ehrland, Jesse Bertrand III, Bubba Orsak,
Nathan Bertrand, Derrick Bertrand and Joey Orsak.
Grace Cleo Johnson Bertrand was born Oct. 16,1910 to Curren Adolphus Johnson
and Abbey Lillian (Mosely) Johnson in Cuero. Her mother died when she was 1
1/2 years old. Her father married her stepmother, which Cleo always called
Miss Laura. She had one older sister Thelma and several half brothers and
sisters. Cleo and Thelma were raised by her grandmother Johnson.
Her early years were spent on a ranch owned by her uncle in New Mexico. She
rode horseback several miles to a one room school come rain or snow. She
went to live with her dad and Miss Laura when she started high school. After
graduating, she moved to San Antonio to work and live with her sister
She met and married Jesse James Bertrand. He was a Career Air Force Master
Sergeant. He had a five year old son which Cleo helped raise and always
loved him as her own.
Her husband retired shortly after WWII, and they traveled for several years.
She worked as a waitress, working in big hotels and resorts. She talked of
meeting a lot of the old movie stars and celebrities, (one being Lucille
Ball). They visited every state except Washington. They traveled to Mexico,
Canada and the Virgin Islands.
They bought a home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. and lived there before deciding
to move to Katy in 1985.
Her husband passed away in 1986. She came to live with her daughter-in-law
Joy Bertrand after her son passed away in 1996. She resided there until
breaking her hip in February this year, then going to reside in Avalon Place
in Wharton.
The great grandchildren loved to hear her talk about the "Good Old Days,"
some of them not so good she would chuckle. She saw electricity, telephone
and atomic energy put to use. Went from horse and buggy to airplanes that
can go around the world in just hours. She lived through WWI, the
depression, WWII, the Korean, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
She loved baseball, especially the Astros, even catching the foul ball at
the young age of 85 when she was at a game, and watching all the games on
TV. The three Killer B's were her favorite.
She was a very good seamstress, making most of her clothes including the
beautiful blouse she is wearing today, also a wonderful cook and loved to
work in the yard. She was one fine lady and will be sadly missed.
Grace Cleo Bertrand died Monday, Sept. 18, 2006 in Wharton.
She is survived by her daughter-in-law Joy Bertrand of Wallis; half sisters
Patsy Hutcherson of Taylor, Texas, Lorene Ellis of Alaska; grandchildren
Susan Stratman, Rhonda McCain, Jesse Bertrand Jr., and Patricia Orsak; great
grandchildren Danny Stratman, Ronald McCain, Christina Erhland, Jesse
Bertrand, III, Nathan Bertrand, Crystal Orsak, Ronald Orsak, Derrick
Bertrand, Joseph Orsak; seven great-great grandchildren and 3 soon to be
great-great grandchildren.
Preceded in death by her father Curren Johnson, her mother Abbie Johnson,
stepmother Laura Bertrand, her son Maurice J. Bertrand, her sister Thelma
Jones and great granddaughter Penny Stratman.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of Knesek Family Funeral Chapels in
Posted by Joy Neely


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