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Albert “Al” Verlyn Bartels was born October 24th, 1937, to Walter and Anne Bartels at their family home in Ricketts, IA. He had one older brother (Warren) and two older sisters (Ethel and Loraine). He grew up on their family farm doing chores, riding his horse, walking to school, and causing mischief. He frequently snuck out of his bedroom during nap time to play outside.
He attended Danbury High School in Danbury, IA where he played baseball, basketball, and ran track. One of his greatest athletic accomplishments is turning a triple play all by himself during a high school baseball game. His interests didn’t stop there as he was also involved in the marching band, choir, and other various musical activities. This is where his love of music began. He graduated from High School in 1956.
One of the most impactful moments of his life also occurred in high school. Yes, this is where he met the love of his life, his wife, Elaine. They met at a high school basketball game, and it was love at first sight. From there on, he would visit her in Cushing, IA as often as he could and “as fast as his car would go”. They eventually married on May 18th, 1957, and soon after they welcomed their son, Scott.
After high school, he enlisted in the National Guard where he served from 1956 to 1964. He also attended Wayne State College and Morningside College to receive a bachelor’s degree in Music with a minor in English in 1962. Then he taught vocal music and band at Jefferson High School in South Dakota. And in 1966 the family moved to Spencer, Iowa where he was a high school choir director. During the summers of 1967 through 1970 Al and the family ventured out to Laramie, Wyoming where he would attend the University of Wyoming. There he would obtain a master’s degree in Music and Education.
In 1971 they moved to Omaha, NE so he could be a teacher at the then brand-new Northwest High School. Al taught vocal music, but also dedicated his time to madrigal choir, swing choir, and musicals. However, through his 13 years at Northwest High School, his impact didn’t stop in the classroom. There are countless stories of Al making a difference in his students’ lives. He truly cared about them and their future. He went above and beyond to ensure his students could reach their full potential. Next, Al and Elaine would move to Escondido, CA in 1984 where he would start a new career owning three Merry Maids franchises. They moved back to Omaha in 1990 to work for Merry Maids corporate. In 1995, and for the next decade, he worked at Pathway Ministries.
When Al wasn’t teaching or working, he was enjoying one of his many hobbies. Most of the time, however, you could find him directing church choirs. He did this for 50 years. To say he loved music is an understatement. To those that know Al well, know he cherished his time being around his family and friends, whether it was bible studies or hanging around fellow music lovers.
This man loved to travel. Al and Elaine traveled to various locations around the world throughout their 50+ years of marriage. He also shared a special bond with his son over cars. They would spend hours together at car shows, discussing finer auto details, and reveling over their Corvettes. Many may not know this, but he loved all things cowboys. He would often watch old westerns and read western style books. Al was really a cowboy at heart!
Al is survived by his son, Scott (Penny) Bartels, his grandson, Jordan (Shelby) Bartels, and his great-grandchildren, Blakely and Graham Bartels. He is preceded in death by his wife, Elaine, his parents, and three older siblings. Family was always at the forefront of his mind. He always wanted to be around them no matter the circumstances. Al loved fiercely. This could be seen in the unconditional love he showed Elaine, especially in the later years of her life. He set the example of what it means to “love your wives as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25). Nothing could deter him from loving her, supporting her, showing her patience, and giving her the utmost care and respect.
The most important part of his life was his love for Christ! Al was never shy about sharing his faith with others, whether it was his best friend or a complete stranger. He always carried crosses in his pocket that read, “God Loves You”, and would hand those out any chance he got. He wanted everyone to know about the love God had for them. Al always wanted to build people up through Christ. He was never short in giving praise, worship, and glory to his Heavenly Father!
Celebration of Life Service 11 AM Saturday (10/22/2022) with Visitation 1 hour prior, at Calvary Lighthouse Church 2941 N. 80th St. Omaha, Nebraska.
Memorials to the family for later designation.
Roeder Mortuary, Inc. - 108th Street Chapel
2727 N 108th St - Omaha, NE - 402-496-9000
Saturday, October 22, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
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