Douglas's Story

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Douglas Amos Bertling, 92, of Huntsville passed away on June 17, 2017, in El Campo. He was born Aug. 25, 1924, in Galveston, the son of Lewis Clyde Bertling and Sadie Mattie Ryman Bertling. He married Doris Harrington Wolf Feb. 3, 1947, in Waco.
Bertling graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1948 and worked in the insurance and hospitality business in Waco, Longview, Clear Lake City, Austin and Baytown before moving to Huntsville in 1975. In Huntsville he managed a Bonanza Steakhouse and the Chicken Shack restaurant, before managing and owning a number of his own restaurants, which included the Café Texan on the Huntsville Square, the Hitchin' Post restaurant, and Mr. B's Catering. He was known as "Mr. B" to many in Huntsville, where his catering business ranged from serving holiday meals to three shifts of workers at a manufacturing facility to gymnasts attending summer camp at Olympic Coach Bela Karolyi's Gymnastics Camp near New Waverly for 18 years.
He had served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Huntsville and was a longtime volunteer for the Huntsville Walker County Chamber of Commerce. He received the prestigious Mance Park Lifetime Achievement Award from the chamber in 2005, surrounded by family members and friends. For 32 years Bertling and his sons were volunteer chefs preparing hundreds of lobsters for the chamber's Lobster Fiesta, an annual fundraiser.
Bertling entered the Army from his hometown in Bellville and was a staff sergeant in the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He served in World War II in Italy and Southern France before being attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and fighting in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Belgium and received a Purple Heart and five campaign badges.
He volunteered for the HEARTS Veterans Museum in Huntsville, speaking to many community and school groups about military service.
He was recognized for his 65 years as a member of the Masonic Lodge in 2012, and was a past president of the Heart 'O Texas Chapter of Lions Club International in Waco (1954-55), a past president and area governor of Toastmaster's International in Waco. He has been a member of the Rotary Club and Lions Club and was a lifetime supporter of the Crippled Children Camp in Kerrville. He received the Sam Walton Leadership Award and the Hero Award from Huntsville High School.
A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m., Friday, June 23, at First Baptist Church of Huntsville, 1229 Avenue J, in Huntsville, Texas. A graveside service will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston.
Bertling is survived by his wife Doris Bertling; brother Francis Lee (Penny) Bertling of LaMarque; and four adult children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They include daughter Penny Lucille Hiltpold of El Campo and her adult children, son Carl Hiltpold and wife Jill Hiltpold and their sons Carson, Jackson and Max, and daughter Rebecca Hiltpold Pfardrescher and her husband Blair Pfardrescher and their children, Kate and Rhett;  son Douglas Earl (Bo) Bertling and his wife Patricia Bertling of Huntsville and their adult children, daughter Angela Love Bertling, sons Jordan Douglas Bertling and his wife Dana Olson, Jacob Benjamin Bertling and his wife Courtney Bertling and son Blake Christopher Bertling and wife Jessica Bertling, and grandchildren Tyler Elizabeth Roberts, Cole Benjamin Bertling, Charlie Douglas Olson Bertling. Mr. Bertling is also survived by his son Frank Clyde Bertling and his wife Terry Scott Bertling of San Antonio, and their son Bradley Austin Bertling and his wife Lindsay Bertling, and their children Austyn and Walker. And son Christopher Caleb Bertling of Houston and his children Nikolaus and Jenna Bertling, and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to Huntsville Baptist Church or a favorite charity.
Full obituary may be viewed and memorial condolences made to the family at www.shmfh.com.
Published on June 21, 2017
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