MARIETTA - With the Sunday passing of Paul G. Bertram Jr., 75, Marietta has lost a man who had a passion for his hometown and was heavily involved in government service, economic development and community work, said those who knew him.
An attorney who graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1962, Bertram served as Marietta City Law Director in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. He retired from his practice at Bertram Law in 2009.
Following in his father's footsteps, his son, Paul G. Bertram III is currently Marietta City Law Director.
"Paul (Jr.) was a great person, and very well thought of in the community," said Mayor Joe Matthews. "Everything he was involved in he gave it 100 percent."
"Commitment, honesty, integrity, loyalty and work ethic. Those are the (qualities) that he exhibited," said his son Paul G. Bertram III, 50, of Marietta.
A vision for development was another of Bertram's unique qualities.
Arrangements for Bertram
11 a.m. Friday: Memorial service, First Congregational Church, Marietta.
Immediately following the memorial service, there will be a celebration of life held at the Marietta Country Club.
To send online condolences, go to cawleyandpeoples.com.
"He had a very progressive business sense, was very pro development and made a lot of good things happen here," said Councilman Michael Mullen, who served as Marietta mayor from 2004 to 2011 and also worked with Bertram on city development projects.
"Some of the prosperity we enjoy today is because people like Paul have made an investment and had a real drive to make business better," he added.
Bertram played an influential role in some 29 local businesses including Eagle Realty, CBS, Magnum Magnetics, MKB, HiVac, Metal Tech, New Weihl Olds, Double Tree, Mole Master and Quantum Leasing.
"He's left business relationships, partners and friends to carry on a lot of those businesses, to provide jobs and services to the Marietta community, area and Washington County," his son said. "Everything in his mindset was for the enrichment of this community."
Community members feel Bertram's legacy will be carried on by others in the city.
"It leaves a void (but) we are so blessed that other people will step up to fill that void," said Charlotte Keim, president/CEO of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.
"I think that's what he would have wanted," she added.
Keim remembered an Easter Sunday sunrise service for First Congregational Church that was held many years at the Bertram home.
"We stood on a hill, watching the sun come up. It's one of those Easter services that I'll never forget because it was such a perfect place to have it," she said.
Paul Bertram Jr. was anxious to get back to that home after he recently left a Columbus medical facility.
"He knew he was dying and he wanted to make sure that he died in his hometown," said his son Seth M. Bertram, 37, of Marietta.
"He passed away overlooking the valley where he lived. That was very important to him," he added.
Bertram's wife, Janice, also played an important role in his life. Married for 54 years, they were also business partners. Together, they were named Business Person(s) of the Year by the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce in 1994.
"You can't leave mother out of the picture," Paul Bertram III said. "They did everything together. ...He would not have been where he was without her."