Bertsch, Joan Smallidge Brown 7/7/1929-12/3/2012


Joan Smallidge Brown Bertsch (83) was born to Ralph E. Smallidge and Grace E. (Humphrey) on July 7th 1929, at Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She is predeceased by her only sibling, Patricia (Sutton). Her family lived in Flint and Ypsilanti and after attending Ypsilanti High School, Joan attended Michigan Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching and a Master’s degree in Special Education. In 1977, she earned a second Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Michigan. She enjoyed a very fulfilling teaching career which spanned four decades beginning in Grand Rapids in the early 1950s. She was not only a classroom teacher but also a homebound teacher—for students with illness or disability—and finally a consultant in special education compliance for Oakland County Schools. Joan is predeceased by her first husband, Ian H. (Scott) Brown, Jr. whom she married in 1953. Joan and Scott lived in Midland and Birmingham before making their home in Farmington Hills in 1958. Joan is also predeceased by her second husband, Thomas Bertsch, whom she married in 2001. Joan is survived by her three children: Daniel (Claire) Brown, Lawrence (Connie) Brown and Rebecca (Edward) Brinskele and her three step-children: Frederick (Elaine) Bertsch, Maggie Hunkele and Lawrence (Diann) Bertsch. Joan is also survived by her seven grandchildren: Amanda, Caitlin and Bill Brown and Paige, Jake, McCall and Walker Brinskele and six step-grandchildren: Ethan and Parker Portice, Sarah Renee (Dave) Hytinen, Heather (Tim) Muir and Matthew, Michael and Thomas Bertsch and step-great grandchild: Liam Muir. Joan was an energetic, inspirational and loving mother, wife, grandmother and friend as well as a gifted teacher and an accomplished gardener. She will be dearly missed. A memorial celebrating the life of Joan Bertsch will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation at 10:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Saginaw, 121 S. Harrison, Saginaw, MI. Memorial donations suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org). Arrangements made by Case (casefuneralhom.com), Saginaw, Michigan. www.casefuneralhome.com