Agnes Bertels


Agnes Bertels, of Mexico, formerly rural Laddonia, died on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2024 at Boone Hospital Center, Columbia. She was 98 years old.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 17, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Derek Hooper officiating and Ronnie Deimeke, deacon. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation is Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church with a Rosary at 7 p.m.

Pallbearers are: Jared Bertels, Cody Bertels, Preston Paquette, Brice Bertels, Chad Castleman and Matt Smith. Honorary Pallbearers are all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They are: Amber with Cohen and Camden Castleman; Heather with Laila and Maliha Ogun; Kenda with Mason and Kaplan Smith; Kellie with Lacy Bertels; Christina with Rylan and Hayden Paquette; and Andrea Bertels. 

Agnes was born on March 13,1926 and was the daughter of Henry and Anna Ahrens Aulbur, Martinsburg. She graduated from Martinsburg High School.

In Sept. 1944 she went to St. Louis to work for Emerson Electric Co. There, she wired motors on the 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift as part of the war effort. The women who were employed in such jobs, that were formerly considered men’s only work, were known as part of the Rosie the Riveter wartime effort. Agnes loved the work and enjoyed the city. She joined a bowling league with her coworkers that bowled after their 2 a.m. shift. She returned to her parent’s farm in April 1945 when her father asked her to come home and help him with the dairy operation.

She married Gerald “Dick” Bertels on Sept. 6, 1948 in a rare double wedding ceremony with her older sister Mary Ann Aulbur who married Vincent Brinker. Their mother made their wedding dresses and all of the bridesmaid’s dresses.

Agnes and Gerald moved to a farm near Scott’s Corner where they raised four sons and a daughter. There was always work to do. She was an excellent baker and cook. She tended a large garden that meant canning and freezing many jars of food for the pantry. She also was a seamstress for her family and could do any kind of crochet or needlework project.

When Gerald died in 2001, she moved to a duplex in Mexico. Her mother had taught her how to quilt and she joined the Audrain Medical Center Auxiliary’s quilting group as a way to make new friends in an activity she loved.

Agnes is survived by her sons: Stephen (Kaye) Bertels of Meta, and Kenneth (Phyllis) Bertels of rural Laddonia; her daughter Faye (Ronald) Smith of rural Mexico; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Bertels; parents, Henry and Anna Ahrens Aulbur; sons, Daniel and Edward Bertels; brothers Richard and Raymond Aulbur; sisters, Mary Ann Brinker, Janette Grossmann and Estelle Nichols.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the St. Joseph Cemetery.

 Arnold Funeral Home in Mexico is handling the arrangements.

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