Christopher Robert Bertram, cherished husband, son, grandson, uncle, brother, and friend passed away at his home in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday March 18th at the age of 32.
Chris is survived by his loving wife Pamela Hall and her parents Dan and Lori Hall, parents Rebecca Bertram and William Bertram, sister Elizabeth Bertram, niece Alexandria Vedvik, grandmother Helen Bertram, best friend Buckley, and extended family members Karla Kieffer, Jessica Hrdina, Ed Hrdina, and Savanna Craig. He is also survived by many dear cousins, aunts and uncles.
Chris was born in Springfield, Illinois on December 5th, 1985. He was a brilliant and happy child who was full of smiles. Chris was a stellar student who exuded a passion for learning and always strove for excellence. He graduated from Wausau West High School and proceeded to attend Augustana College in Rock Island, IL where he graduated with honors with bachelor's degrees in biology and history. He furthered his education at the University of Illinois where he obtained a master's degree in ecology. While working as an environmental analyst Chris realized he may be able to make a greater impact with an environmental law degree, and he was currently in his final semester at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Chris married Pam on a beautiful sunny day in August 2016. The unconditional love between them was palpable and their joy infectious. They shared an affinity for nature and together with their dog Buckley they roamed the outdoors near and far. Chris valued the comradery and bond of friendship he had with his dad, Bill, and shared a special relationship with his mother, Becky, who was nurturing and supportive; both loved Chris without limitations. Also important to Chris was his grandmother, Helen, with whom he enjoyed endless banter nearly every day.
Chris had an innate curiosity about other cultures and destinations, and he took every opportunity to travel. He delighted in international culinary experiences and recreating his own versions of these dishes for others to enjoy. Chris's eagerness to learn was also reflected in the way he devoured literature, mastered woodworking, and trained for ski patrol. Chris devoted his unrelenting energy to numerous activities, including hiking, SCUBA diving, biking, canoeing, and camping. His family and friends can attest to his enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge with others, as he encouraged us to enjoy so many of these activities with him. Chris will be remembered for the way he lived and the ways he inspired us.
As much as Chris will be missed, and as much as our hearts are devastatingly broken, we will be resilient because we know he will live forever through the people who loved him.
There will be a visitation from 3:00-5:00PM on Thursday, March 29th, 2018 at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 SPEEDWAY RD, MADISON. A memorial service will follow at 5:00PM.
Please consider making a donation to Recovery Foundation, http://recoveryfoundation.net . A scholarship fund in Christopher's name has been created to access treatment for individuals suffering from mental health issues and/or addiction.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Rd, Madison
"I'm very sorry for your loss. May you find some measure of comfort in your treasured memories and in the words written in Isaiah 25:8. It says; "He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces...""
"Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Lifting you up in thoughts and prayers. Christopher remains with you in the love and good memories you shared. GOD is with you as you grieve your loss along with the many relatives and friends who care.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Joshua 1:9"
"I am saddened to hear of Chris's passing and at such a young age. I got to know Chris when he was an MS student at the University of Illinois. He took two courses under my instruction and was always at the top of each class - outperforming the PhD students. He had an infectious smile and loved to talk science and life in general. Although I have not been in touch with Chris since he left Illinois I will miss knowing that we might once again have an opportunity to catch up. I will miss you my friend and colleague. Sincerely, Ken N. Paige, Professor, University of Illinois"
"May your memories of Chris and the love of your family and friends surround you and give you strength and peace in the days ahead. "
"You all are in our thoughts and prayers, may you find comfort in knowing he has rejoined others he has loved and missed. The love you shared with each other will forever be etched in your hearts."
"I know we never lose the people we love. They live the rest of our lives with us in our hearts."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Pam, and the rest of Chris's family. We will miss you Chris...RIP"
"To the Family & Friends of Christopher Robert Bertram:
My deepest sympathy to each of you for your loss. When death overtake our loved ones, we feel helpless. We can take comfort in knowing that our heavenly Father is there to help us during this difficult time. He is close to the brokenhearted.