Captain Bertram O. Christensen
AGE: 90 • Bayville
Captain Bertram O. Christensen, 90, of Bayville, passed away on January 14, 2017. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, he lived in Linden many years before moving to Bayville. Educated at the Metropolitan Maritime Trade School in New York City, Chris entered the Maritime Service in February, 1942 when he was 16. During the War, he served with distinction on tankers and transport vessels in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. Two of the ships on which he sailed were torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Africa. After the second vessel was torpedoed, he and other crew members floated on a life raft for several days until they were rescued and taken to South Africa. He earned the Atlantic-Mediterranean-Middle East and Pacific Campaign Medals, including a combat bar with stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. In 1944, Chris received his third mate's license and, after the war, began a career with Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso, later Exxon) which lasted until his retirement in 1982. During that time, he earned his Master's License and rose to become one of Exxon's senior Captains. He was so well respected as a Merchant Marine Captain, he lectured at the US Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point, NY. In one of his final assignments, he became one of a handful of Exxon tanker Captains to pilot a supertanker into the harbor at Post Valdez, Alaska, when the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline first opened. He was a proud member of several veterans' organizations and worked long and hard to obtain veteran status for Merchant Mariners who proudly served the United States, as he did, in World War II. He was Past President of the Denis Roland Chapter American Merchant Marine Veterans, Past Treasurer of the Marine Society of New York, and Past President of the Marine Square Club.
Chris is survived by his loving partner, Eunice Casabona; two daughters, Kaaren Scaturo and her husband Joseph, and Barbara McAuliffe and her husband William; a brother Ronald; six grandchildren, Catherine Bernard and husband Steven, Stephanie Morris and husband Al, Karyn Scaturo and husband Chris Minto, Charlie Pranio, Nicole Hulteen and husband David and Tiffany Christensen; five great grandchildren, Zac Morris, Joseph Worosila, Lillian Bernard, Gia Morris and Olivia Bernard. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Lillian (Gelin), by his brother Carl, by his son Nils, by his granddaughter Kristin Scaturo Worosila and by his great grandson Michael Worosila.
Visiting hours will be Tuesday, Jan. 17th, from 2pm to 4pm at the Mastapeter Funeral Home, 270 Atlantic City Blvd., Bayville. Funeral Wednesday, 9:30am at the funeral home before Services begin at 10am. Burial will follow later to Rosedale Cemetery, Linden.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Jan. 16, 2017.