A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Robert "Bob" Maxwell Wertz, Sr. will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20, 2013 in Our Lady of Prompt Succor with Rev. Adam Travis officiating. Visitation will be held at John Kramer & Son Funeral Home in Alexandria on Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again on Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Robert "Bob" Maxwell Wertz, Sr., age 93 formerly of Alexandria, passed away Thursday, May 16, 2013 in his oldest son's home in Baton Rouge, LA. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years Margaret Hill Wertz; his parents Marcus Wertz and Roberta Struble; one brother Marcus Wertz; one sister Margaret Beresford and brother- in –laws: Howard Beresford and Walter Hill. Bob was born to Roberta and Marcus Wertz on January 2, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey. He attended college at Lehigh University in Lehigh Valley, PA. Bob excelled in academics and all sports during his college years; but his most mentionable experience was when he was on the team when his brother threw the touchdown pass enabling the Lehigh "Engineers" to beat Penn State. When war broke out in WWII his brother joined the Navy and Bob joined the Army Air Corp. After completing pilot training in the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Bob came to Alexandria as the 1st instructor pilot of the B-17 at England Air Force Base. His assignment to Alexandria is how he met his wife Margaret Hill and her siblings Walter Hill and his wife Allie and Betty Hill. Walter and Allie had six children Catherine, Dave, Elizabeth, Margaret, Louise, and Ann. After training many flight crews for the European Theater he was transferred to Molesworth, England. He was on the 24th mission, one more and he was going home, when he was shot down; Bob and his crew became Prisoners of War in Germany. For this last mission he and his crew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1992 at the opening ceremony for the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA. In 2013 Bob was honored as a special guest at the Houston Air Show of the Former Blue Angels Team Members and Top Gun Aviator Instructors, to thank him for his service in WWII. Being able to meet many wounded warriors from the current conflicts he was told that it was an honor to meet a warrior from the "Greatest Generation"; in turn he brought tears to their eyes when he told them "No, you are the greatest generation of warriors, because you all are volunteers." In 1946, after returning from WWII he married Margaret Hill where they lived together all of their lives in Alexandria, LA. While living in Alexandria he worked at Southern Chevrolet, where he later retired. Through all of their years together they served as great pillars in the community; being active in the Republican Party and participating in various sport organizations including Alexandria Aquatic and Tennis Club. He was the most selfless man always putting others first, especially his wife. Bob spent the last 5 years of his wife's life by her side at the nursing home day and night watching and caring for her until she passed in 2006. Bob's two passions after being a great doubles partner for his wife were fishing and hunting. He enjoyed all the activities with his sons and grandsons. Bob will be greatly missed by all that were able to have known him. Those left to cherish his memories include his sons: Robert M. Wertz, Jr. and wife Nancy of Baton Rouge, LA., Thomas C. Wertz of The Woodlands, TX and John H. Wertz and wife Rae Lyn of The Woodlands, TX; his 5 grandsons Don Dustin Wertz of New Orleans, LA, Robert Christopher Wertz and wife Lindy of New Orleans, LA, Lt. Andrew Paul Wertz of Alaska, Michael Dale Burnham on Baton Rouge, LA and Phillip James Lee of Houston, TX; his great granddaughter Amelia Margaret Wertz and newborn on the way. Pallbearers honored to serve will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be Tom Stafford of Alexandria, LA and Mark Wertz of Dallas, TX. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made in honor of Bob Wertz to Hope for the Warriors @ 5101C Backlick Rd. Annandale, Va. 22003. Online notes of condolences may be made to the family at email@example.com.
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Published in The Advocate from May 17 to May 20, 2013