BERTLING John Dee Bertling, 85, passed away on August 22, 2023 at his home in Port O’Connor, Texas. Visitation was held Saturday, August 26, 2023, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Nobles Funeral Chapel. Funeral service immediately followed at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Tim Owens officiating. Interment followed in Concord Cemetery in Iola, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel.
John Dee Bertling was born on June 24, 1938 in Mckinney, TX, to Rodger Dee Bertling and Frances Bertling. John graduated from Smiley High School in Houston, Texas. After high school John joined the Air Force where he was an in-flight refueler. Following his service in the Air Force, John embarked on a remarkable entrepreneurial journey that showcased his resourcefulness and determination.
Starting from humble beginnings, he began by acquiring discarded junk and extracting copper out of anything from old refrigerators to alternators and starters. As his ambitions grew, John transitioned into the trucking industry hauling sand and various aggregates. This marked a pivotal step in his career, and his resilience propelled him forward. Seizing opportunities wherever they arose, he eventually entered the realm of ready-mix concrete production in Houston, Texas. Always eager to expand his horizons, John ventured into the sand business, where he demonstrated his tenacity by mining and dredging sand to meet market demands.
John’s enterprising spirit knew no bounds. After establishing a successful foothold in Houston, he extended his reach to Iola, Texas, where he opened an additional concrete plant. A true visionary, he didn’t stop there; he opened two more concrete plants in Madisonville and Marquez, each was a testament to his unwavering commitment and innovative thinking. Even as his professional endeavors flourished, John’s passion for work remained. He was not just a businessman but was also a cattle rancher and held the Grimes County Commissioner Precinct 1 seat from 2005-2012.
In a bold move, he decided to embrace the world of hospitality and became a restaurateur, opening “The Log Cabin” restaurant adjacent to his Iola concrete plant. John was also a proud member of the FreeMasons.
When John wasn’t working, you could find him indulging in his favorite pastimes. He loved heading to Port O’ Connor, Texas where he’d spend his time fishing from his houseboat along Saluria Bayou. John also cherished his ranch in Cotulla, Texas, Lost River Ranch. A true outdoorsman, he could be found in a deer stand or out in the shop, where he skillfully worked on various projects and embraced the hands-on work that brought him joy. Another one of John’s favorite pastimes was his love of flying. He became a private pilot in the early 1970’s and continued flying for the remainder of his life.
John possessed a remarkable talent for storytelling that left an impact on everyone fortunate enough to hear his tales. His words had a unique power to captivate any room, especially as he recounted stories from his own upbringing and the humble beginnings of his business ventures. Frequently, he would jokingly remark, “If I wrote a book about my life, they would call it fiction cause no one would believe it.” Beyond his storytelling capabilities, John had a knack for humor.
Whether he was sharing a joke that brought laughter to those around him or delivering a memorable one-liner that stuck in your mind, he had an uncanny ability to uplift spirits and create moments of joy. John’s words were a true reflection of his vibrant personality and will stay with us, reminding us of the special person he was.
John was blessed with 3 sons, Roger Bertling, Keith Bertling and Kevin Bertling. As a father, he found pride, happiness and fulfillment in watching them grow and succeed.
John is survived by his sons, Roger (Catherine) Bertling, Keith ( Bridget ) Bertling, Kevin Bertling; his grandchildren Stephanie (Blaine) Brooks, Katie (Cameron) Powney, Kyle Bertling, Brice Bertling, Kenady Bertling, Zane (Briana) Vestal, Tobi Bertling, Sky Vestal Branson Bertling; his 8 great grandchildren; his sisters Gloria (David) Richardson, Arleen (Doug) Hopkins and Marilyn Vrana; and his loving partner Sharron Isbell and her family Carrie (Ryan) Borroway, Sara (Mathew & Baylie) McNeill & Cameron Robinson John is preceded in death by his father Rodger Bertling, his mother Frances Bertling, his brother Cecil Bertling and his sister Helen Dianne White.