Leon Bertsch

leon bertsch

Leon passed away on Monday, July 9, 2012 at the Hillsboro Medical Center Hospital at the age of 53.

Leon Ray Bertsch was born on June 11, 1959, the son of Otto Sr. and Pearl (Ostby) Bertsch in Fargo, ND. He grew up on the family farm near Hillsboro and graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1977.  Leon attended aviation school at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He later returned to the family farm and joined his family in the farming and trucking business. Leon made his home south of Hillsboro where he raised his family.

Leon loved spending time with his family on trips to the lake, and cruises in later years. He traveled on many cross country road trips, on his beloved Harley, with his biker buddies. He treasured his time on the golf course, driving his Mustang – or any Ford, and was a great friend to many. Leon knew how to pick a song and be an entertainer for all to see. He always knew how to liven up a crowd. Leon loved the farm life - it wouldn’t be harvest if he didn’t have snickers and Mountain Dew in his combine. Leon enjoyed and loved being with his newborn grandson, Westin.

Leon is survived by his children, Jon Bertsch of Mapleton, ND; and Allison Bertsch of Hillsboro; his grandson, Westin Ford Lee; his loving friend, Jodi (Henn) Aukland of Bismarck;  his father, Otto Sr. (Sandy) Bertsch of Hillsboro; and his siblings - Pat Bertsch, Randy Bertsch, and Otto Jr., all of Hillsboro. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and many other very dear relatives.

Leon was preceded in death by his mother, Pearl; and his brother, John.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Woodbridge VATo Randy and Family,
    I was so sorry to hear about the death of your brother after seeing the picture of all the neighbors harvesting his barley in the Herald. What a wonderful community.

    Randy, I am not sure if you remember me but we went to the AC together back in the 60’s.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss.

    Diana Lund Turner

  2. Jon and Family,

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. It’s never easy to lose someone you love. Hold on to your wonderful memories as they will live in your heart forever.

  3. Hillsboro N.D
    .Leon, you are one of a kind and will be greatly missed. We will miss your big smile and your ability to brighten up everybodys day. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Its been a pleasure to be your friend since the first grade. Your pal and classmate Jody.

  4. Moorhead, MN
    PAT, I am so sorry to hear about your brother, LEON. I didn’t know Leon, but I met him as he was the OPERATOR of the elevator in the church after Bev Jacobson’s funeral. Sounds like he was a pretty good guy as expressed in these Guestbook Responses. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this painful time of loosing a brother.
    Sure was nice to see you and your daughter in Hasting, MN
    last month. Maybe again next year! God bless you, Pat and family!!

  5. West Fargo ND
    I have many great memories of Leon from the times our families spent together as I was growing up in Hillsboro. He always had a smile, a laugh and a witty comment! It is no wonder to me where Jon got his entertaining personality! About a year ago I ran into Leon and we spent some time catching up and reminiscing, but what I remember most from our conversation was how obviously proud he was of Jon and Allison and cherished his time with them. I was deeply saddened when I learned of Leon’s passing. He will be forever remembered, forever missed.
    Jon & Allison – My heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Hillsboro North Dakota

    Family of Leon Bertsch:

    Michele and I want to pass on our condolences on the death of Leon. He will be missed by all. Leon was a very special person-always there – always happy – treated everyone very special .

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bertsch Family.

  7. Cummings ND
    To all…

    We are so very, very sorry to hear of Leon’s passing. We wish you all the peace and healing only God can provide.

    Take care.

    The Mooneys

  8. Corcoran, CAI will always remember how well I was treated by the Bertsch family when I lived and farmed in the Hillsboro area. A great loss for the family – my deepest sympathies.

  9. Hillsboro ND
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Leon’s family and many friends. Our community has lost a fine man who assisted his neighbors and cared for his hometown. There is a big hole in our hearts right now but we are blessed with the memory of a good man. Don & Arleeta

  10. Beulah ND
    We’re so very sorry we won’t be able to come back to Hillsboro this week, but please know that Leon and his beautiful family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. We will forever cherish and never forget the wonderful memories of Leon and his beautiful smile and that wonderful laugh will be forever carried in our hearts. Love, Tom and Cindy

  11. Baudette MN
    I haven’t seen Leon for years but will never forget him. When we were little we used to ride his motorcycle on the farm he would drive with his eyes closed at least that is what he said and I would tap his shoulder to tell him which way to go. I have wanted to meet up with him at Sturgis which I will be going this year on the way I am going to close my eyes and see if I can feel a tap on my shoulders. You’re going to be missed Cousin. My prayers go out to all of Leon’s Family

  12. Alexandria MN
    -MinnesotaI am so sorry for your loss. It has been many years since I have seen Leon but my memory of him would be his big smile. He was always smiling. I know that he will be deeply missed.

  13. Rest in Peace, Leon. You were a young boy when I first met you, and became like a little brother. In the last few years we had lost touch with each other, but I thought of you often and thought what a great man you had become. I can see your greatness in your children. What a good dad you were. You will be missed by all who knew you.

  14. Fargo ND
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in the loss of Leon. With the folks being Leon’s godparents or sponsors, dad has always thought highly of Leon and appreciated his time with all of the Bertsch family. Leon was always so friendly and welcoming no matter how long it had been since you had talked. A wonderful man left this world too soon.

  15. hillsboro Leon was one of a kind and will be deeply missed by everyone. He always had time to talk and had a story about everything. God bless him and his family

  16. Marmaduke arLeon’s family and loved ones.. sincere condolences to each of you.. Marie Strunk, Ruth Glatt and I will be thinking of and saying prayers for the families as You mourn your loved one-’tis a bit difficult to understand– maybe someday we’ll know what it’s all about-God Bless and keep you– Lovingly Liz

  17. Fargo ND
    My condolences go out to you and your family. May you find peace in God’s love during this time of suffering. Thinking and praying for you.

    Melissa Magrum (co-worker to Jon)

  18. Moorhead MN
    I am so sorry for your loss! Leon was a great person who always made me laugh. He will be missed by many! Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Halstad MN
    I’m going to miss when Leon would just stop over to our house and we would have the greatest of visits. He was always so good at staying in touch. We will miss him terribly! To Jon and Allison, “He was simply the Best!”

  20. Hillsboro ND
    Allison and Jon:

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Losing a father is one of the hardest things to deal with. Remember the good times you had, those can never be taken away from you. Your father was a great man, and he will always be there to watch over you and guide you.

  21. Phoenix AzBummer deal.

    go-carts, horseback riding, 4 kids to drive a full sized tractor as team effort…etc…etc…and picking dinner from the garden…

    How about them Arizona watermelons.

    Just from one of your dumb cousins.

    You’ll most definitely be missed ya bum!


  22. Mesa azTo the family of Leon, I`d like to express my deepest sympathy to all.
    God bless you great memories of Leon.

  23. Hillsboro ND
    Leon was a big part of my life when I was younger. I was the first passenger in his plane when he got his pilot license, Ive never been in a small plane again after that. He made that promise to me, that I would be the first to fly with him and he kept it.
    Burning down the barn was another story. The class of 1977 and 1978 all remember this one. I will miss you and that big smile and big hugs.

  24. You have my condolences and want to tell you that I didnt know Leon very well but got to know him a little better when Otto, Sr. was in the nursing home. I could see the love Leon had for his dad and how he wanted to make sure we were taking good care of Otto and I really respected him for that. I have heard what a kind, giving and fun guy Leon was and you can see that through his children. God Bless you all and I am so sorry for your loss.

  25. Flower Mound TXIt was a pleasure to know Leon. He was kind, generous, even-tempered, and always willing to help. It was NEVER boring when he was around. The trips back to visit Hillsboro will not be the same without seeing him too. He will be greatly missed. He left many wonderful memories including being the best man at our wedding. My husband (Ed Baumgartner Jr) lost one of his best friends yesterday (as did all of us)! Our sincere condolences to Jon, Allison, Westin, Otto, Otto Jr, Pat, and his many friends. Until we meet again Leon…here is to you!

  26. West Fargo ND

    I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


    “I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them.” – Rita Mae Brown

  27. Casselton ND
    The world has lost a great man. Leon always had a way of making you smile. He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers to the Bertsch family.

  28. Our thoughts and prayers to Leon’s family. The family and community has lost a very special individual one that always had a smile on his face and time to visit. May the memories you created with him remain. God be with you all!

  29. Mesa azMy thoughts and prayers are with Leon’s family and friends. He always had a way of bringing laughter and smiles to others…may those memories, and the strength provided by the Big Guy up above, and the support of friends see you through these tough times. Liz

  30. Princeton MN
    Otto Sr, Jon, Allison, Westin, Otto, Pat and Randy…Our hearts go out to you at this unbelievable time. There are such great memories of Leon that we will hold close forever. Take care of each other and much Love. Becky & Donnie

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