Rev. Victor E. (Gene) Bertrand, CSV, died at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL the morning of Thursday, January 14, 2010.  He was 75.  He had moved to the province center from Little Rock, Arkansas on January 7, 2010.

Gene was born in Chicago on November 22, 1934, the son of Victor and Winifred (Belcher) Bertrand.  He is survived by his two brothers, Joseph of Springfield, IL and Thomas of Normal, IL.  He pronounced his first vows as a Viatorian on September 8, 1953 and his final vows on September 8, 1956.  He was ordained to the priesthood in Chicago, IL on June 9, 1962 by Bishop Hillinger.

Gene graduated from Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield in 1952.  He earned a B.A. degree in Political Science and an M.A. degree in History from Loyola University, Chicago. He also held an M.ED. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in Counseling and Guidance.  He taught at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights in 1962, at Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas, from 1963 to 1970, and at Griffin High School in Springfield from 1970 to 1971.

In 1971, Gene began a twenty-five year career as chaplain in the United States Navy.  He rose to the rank of Commander and fulfilled the saying, ‘”Join the Navy and see the world.”  His assignments included Texas; Virginia; California; Mississippi; Diego Garcia, Guam; Okinawa; U.S.S. Midway in Japan and Arkansas, where his duties were administrative and pastoral.  He ministered to the needs of thousands of military personnel and their families.

Visitation was held at the province center chapel on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial followed the visitation. lnterment was at Queen Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.

Please remember Gene in your Masses and prayers.

Taken from letter to the Viatorian Community January 14, 2010 from the Provincial, Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV