Vernon James “Pee Wee” Bartsch, went to be with the Lord on March 31, 2018, after a long battle with COPD and heart disease. He was 90 years old.
Vernon was born in October 1927 to John and Sophie (Hoffman) Bartsch in Red Rock, Texas. His family were sharecroppers. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Rockne, Texas. At the age of 17 he joined the U.S. Navy and served in both WWII and the Korean Conflict as a Captain’s Yeoman. After being honorably discharged in 1954, he married Minnie Lehman from Rockne. They have four children.
Papa, as he was known by many, worked for the Texas Highway Department for 40 years as a draftsman. He was a life-long, active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockne, where he served as a lay reader and often fried chicken for the two annual festivals at the church. He was Scout Master for local Troop 185 and received the Silver Beaver Award in 1965. He also coached little league baseball. From the time he was discharged from the Navy, he was an active member of VFW Post 2527. After he retired from the Highway Department, he served as bartender for the VFW cantina.
Papa enjoyed many hobbies, including hunting and watching sports. In his later years he took up winemaking, for which he won several awards in the annual Rockne winetasting contest. He was proud that bottles of his wine regularly brought a high price at local fundraising auctions. But his greatest joy came from spending time with his family.
Vernon is survived by Minnie, his wife of 63 years; son, Mark and wife, Donna; daughters, Kathy; Tina and husband, Terry Horyza; and Cleota and husband, Ted Murrell; 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandson, and one on the way; his sister, Alma Probst (100 yrs old), and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Adolph, and sister Olga Wilhelm.
Rosary will be at 7:00PM on Wed., April 4, and the Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30AM on Thurs., April 5, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockne. Interment will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his grandsons (Brad Bartsch, John Bartsch, Vincent Bartsch, Casey Bartsch, Christopher Horyza, Michael Horyza, Coltyn Murrell, and Trentyn Murrell). Honorary pallbearers are the members of Boy Scout Troop 185. Special thanks to the doctors and nurses at St. David’s Hospital for their great care and compassion for Dad during his recent stay with them.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to either the American Lung Association or the American Heart Association.
Funeral arrangements made by All Faith of the Pines Funeral Home, Smithville, Texas.
American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas TX 75231
American Lung Association
55 West Wacker Drive Suite 1150, Chicago IL 60601