Bertha ‘Bert’ Beytes
Bertha “Bert” Beytes of Milford, New Hampshire, passed away peacefully at her home at Ledgewood Bay Assisted Living on May 10, 2017. She was 92.
Bert, as she was affectionately known to her family and friends, was born Bertha Matilda Ebbesen in 1924 in Carbon Cliff, Illinois, to Ernest and Caroline Ebbesen, who emigrated from Germany. She graduated from United Township High School in East Moline in 1942, then studied home economics in college. There she met her first husband, Howard Wegener. They married in 1944 and ten years later had a daughter, Wendy.
Bert spent part of her career working for International Harvester as a spectographer, analyzing metal samples for the tractor manufacturer. The family later moved to southern New Hampshire.
After divorcing her first husband, she reconnected with Deane Beytes of Tequesta, Florida, an old New Hampshire friend and recent widower. They married in 1982 and spent the next 30 years summering in Milford and wintering in Tequesta.
Bert loved to travel, hike and explore. She toured Germany by bicycle, and spent many hours with her daughter in the art galleries of Italy, where Wendy was working and studying art history. She trekked the coastal paths of southern England, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, and at age 82 almost made it to the top of Mount Monadnock (a late afternoon thunderstorm sent her scrambling back down). A nature-lover, she donated a parcel of woods in Wilton to the the town in honor of Wendy, who passed away from cancer in 1992. It’s now called Wegener Woods Conservation Area, and in it you can find a boulder with a plaque dedicating the forest to her daughter.
Her extended family knew her as an enthusiastic cook who always made Thanksgiving and Christmas extra special. Step-granddaughter Samantha Jones recalls, “Bert saw the experience of sharing food as a family as a luxury and treat (as long as we ate the leftovers!). She taught me cooking skills, how to properly iron clothes, set a beautiful holiday table, laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, and to clean the dishes right away (man, I love a clean kitchen!).”
A life-long Lutheran, she loved to sing, and was a member of choir groups in church and school, and she sang socially, as well.
Bert was preceded in death by brothers Herman, Henry and John and sisters Margaret and Anne; her daughter, Wendy; and husband, Deane. Survivors include her brother Carl Ebbesen of Petaluma, California, step-children Richard, Nancy Gratton, Chris (Laurie) and Philip (Sue), six nephews and nieces, six step-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren.
The family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Butcher and family of Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. Jen was Bert and Deane’s caretaker and loving friend for the past three years, and she brought much fun and sparkle into their lives every day. We would also like to thank everyone from Compassus Hospice for the fine care they gave to both.
Services will be private. A donation can be made in Bert’s memory to Compassus Manchester, 170 South Bridge Road, Bldg 2, Bedford, NH 03110.