Billy Bertram

Billy James Bertram

1928 - 2024

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Obituary of Billy James Bertram

Billy James "Bill" Bertram passed away at home April 27, 2024, just days after celebrating his 96th birthday. 

Visitation: 10:00 a.m. with Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at Travis Avenue Baptist Church.

Interment: 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. 

Memorials:  Should friends desire, memorial in lieu of flowers may be given to Travis Avenue Baptist Church. 

Born April 22, 1928, in Quanah, Texas, to Mable Claire Barnett and Porter "Jack" Warren Bertram, Billy's father died just 5 years later.  To have her family lend support raising Bill and his older brother, Jack, Mabel drove their cattle and her sons back to North Txas, in time marrying E. E. "Jimmy" Hicks.  In the future, school, work, and service to his country would require Bill live briefly elsewhere in Texas, but he would always return home to his beloved Fort Worth. 

Upon graduating Keller High School, Bill packed his trumpet and love of marching ban and went to "join the best" in a place called Aggieland.  Texas A&M Class of '48, Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, senior boots, Bugle Rank, not a 'fight song but The War that never faded, devotion that never faltered.

Graduating with a B.S. Engineering, Bill's success in A&M's Corp of Cadets earned a commission in the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lt.  His service delayed in the post-war period, he followed in the footsteps of his father and dear uncle Peter, going into bridge and road construction just as the need exploded for everything from National highways to subdivision streets.  Working for the City of Fort Worth as an inspector, Bill met and was hired by Rip Dial, President of Worth Construction.   Soon, however, came the call of duty and, taking a leave of absence, reported to Fort Briggs Air Force Base in El Paso, where he served 2 years.  After that there were 4 years in the Air Force Reserves, but Bill was never called back to active duty and returned home to build in earnest his career and his family.

Mr. Dial’s company became part of Austin Industries of Dallas, Bill in it’s Bridge and Road Division in Fort Worth, where he was “MISTER Bertram” – renown for his incomparable worth ethic, innovations, and communication skills.  In furtherance of quality highways he was on the board of Texas Asphalt Pavement Association (president in 1985), and the Highway Division and Heavy Division of Associated General Contractors of Texas (area chairman).  In 1992, when he retired after 39 years with “the company”, Bill was Austin’s Executive Vice President and Division Manager in Fort Worth.  But his heart and mind was always there, and with the industry of which he was so proud to have been a part.

Bill’s four children benefited from his engineering skills (tiny doll furniture), sense of humor (pet skunk), company perks (Casa Manana in it’s heyday), and love of golf (pool at Colonial Country Club).  And speaking of golf: he played over 30 times in the Colonial NIT’s Pro-Am, and, despite the ‘pro’ he’d play with being drawn at random, he was teased about cheating with he often drew names like Palmer, Nicolaus, Player, and Trevino.

A life-long Baptist, many times  his faith was tested, but with wife Irene at his side, he knew he wasn’t alone.  And despite bouts of anxiety, Bill was never dispossessed of a goodness and love of life.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Mable and Porter Bertram and his step-father, E.E. (Jimmy) Hicks, and his daughter, Diane Bertram.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Irene; his children, Linda Bertram Zeman, Susan Bertram, and Mark Bertram, and his children by marriage, Garry Stotts, and Larry Stotts; grandchildren, Aaron Bertram Zeman and partner, Dane Ruccio, Sara Bertram Boyd and husband Justin, Dalton Bertram, Crystal Stotts Zschirnt and husband, Kris, Jonathan Stotts and wife, Kasi, and Codey Stotts; great grandchildren, Regan Bertram-Boyd, Jaxson Stotts, Parker Stotts, Mason Zschirnt, Zach Zschirnt, Kenzie Stotts,  Codey Stotts Jr., Chayn Stotts; and nephew, Jack Bertram and wife, Lynda.