Denny Bertelsman, 77, lifelong resident of Salinas, passed away at home Tuesday, July 9, 2013, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's. His wife and youngest daughter were at his side.
Denny was born August 7, 1935. A graduate of Salinas High School, class of 1953, he served as Student Body President and lettered in both basketball and track. He went on to earn a BA in Agribusiness at UC Berkeley in 1958. While at Cal, he played basketball for his coach and mentor, Pete Newell.
In 1957, Denny married Arlene Mill, also a Salinas High class of '53 graduate, eloping with another couple, Gabe and Kay Arrillaga, to Las Vegas. They've been together for nearly 56 years.
Following his ROTC training at Cal, he served in the Army
as a First Lieutenant in the Intelligence and Security Division at Fort Knox, KY. After leaving the service, Denny began his career working for his father at Soil Serv, then went on to become the General Manager of Salinas Marketing Co-Op which later became River Valley Marketing. His last 25 years in the produce business through 2010 were spent working with Mike Storm at Central Coast Cooling, a company they co-owned. Denny also served as Grower Shipper president in 1988.
Before Parkinson's slowed him down, in his spare time he loved to golf, especially at Corral de Tierra where he was a member for more than 50 years, get away with family to the cabin or Palm Desert, and occasionally Hawaii. Traveling south of the border to Cabo with good friends was also a much enjoyed getaway. And then there were the "Brown Brothers".... a group of fraternity brothers who never failed to bring humor, friendship and adventure to Denny's life. When at home, he was a loyal supporter of his teams through thick and thin, the Cal Bears, the 49ers, and the SF Giants, who gave him much pleasure, and also a bit of pain.
A loving husband, father and grandfather, he was the backbone of his family and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Gary; and his parents, Cal and Marie Bertelsman.
Denny is survived by his wife, Arlene Bertelsman; daughters, Julie Shanagher (Denis) of San Francisco, Susie Doss (Dan) of Oregon, and Keri Rothhouse (Ken) of Salinas; grandchildren, Katie and Denis Shanagher, Kelsey and Kylie Rothhouse, Brad, Chris and Paige Granger, and Will Doss; and cousins, Eric Bertelsman of Salinas and Anne Zuckerman (Gordon) of Gardnerville, NV.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 830 Padre Dr., Salinas, CA 93901.
Donations may be made to the Parkinson Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 100, Sarasota, FL 34232, or to
Funeral arrangement by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com