The Rev. Clarence Lee Bertram, 88, of Campbellsville, died Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
Son of the late Johnny C. and Bessie Dishman Bertram, he was born Aug. 20, 1925, in Wayne County, Ky.
He was married to Mary Ella Cooper Bertram for 56 years. She survives.
Survivors also include two sons and their wives, Gary and Dianne Bertram and Tracy and Brenna Bertram; four grandchildren, Zachary, Mason, Macayla and Hanna Bertram; a sister, Grace Bertram Hall and her husband, Melvin; a brother-in-law, Wendell Hurt; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Jeanne Carol Bertram; two sisters, Glenna Hurt and Ella Barnes; a brother, Charlie Bertram; two half-brothers, Elbert and Fred Bertram; and four half-sisters, Florence Perdue, Zora Barrier, Artie Bertram and Hattie Edwards.
He accepted Christ as his savior early in life and joined Edwards Chapel Methodist Church. In 1952, he accepted God's calling into the pastoral ministry of the Methodist Church. He preached his first sermon at Edwards Chapel and preached his first revival at Jennings Hollow School. He served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church in Taylor, Wayne, Pulaski, Russell, Cumberland, Washington and Green counties for a total of 53 years. Thirty-six of those years were spent as pastor of United Methodist Churches in Taylor County. At the time of his death, he attended Spurlington United Methodist Church.
He received his education at Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern University and Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He was a retired elder in full connection of the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, retiring from full-time pastorate in 1995, but continuing to pastor in a part-time status until 2006.
In addition to his call to the ministry, God also endowed him with the gift of music. Growing up in a musically talented family, music was an intricate part of his life. He and his brothers and sisters sang as the Bertram Family Quartet for many years. Wherever he went in his pastoral ministry, he could always find people with whom he could enjoy music. During his first pastorate in Russell County, he formed the Coffeys Chapel Quartet, which performed for several years. Later, after his marriage, he and his wife sang as a duet and led the music for many revivals throughout the area. As the family grew, a new Bertram Family Quartet was formed with his wife and sons. Over the years, his music ministry greatly enhanced his pastoral ministry.
His family and his ministry were his first priorities in life. In addition, he loved farming. As a young boy, he had operated his family farm in Wayne County, Ky., and never lost the love of working of soil. His favorite part of farming was growing and harvesting hay. He was known for his strength and ability to heft bales of hay onto the wagon using a pitchfork. He felt his witness for God was shown as he worked beside men in the field.
He was a minister, pastor and preacher to many, sharing his generous love throughout his life of ministry. But, above all, his deep faith and committed service will continue long after his passing through the many lives he touched.
Funeral was Sunday, Feb. 23, at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home in Campbellsville. The Revs. Todd Love, Lawrence Brockman Jr. and Robert Morris officiated.
Burial was in Campbellsville Memorial Gardens.
Family requests expressions of sympathy be in the form of donations to Gideon Bibles, and they can be made at the funeral home.