Saturday, August 8, 2015

William Henry Bertrand, Former BHS Principal & Muir Coach (1930-2015)

Please keep the Bertrand family in your thougts and prayers.

"Bill Bertrand was the BHS Principal who followed Dr. Robert Leland, and was Principal probably from the late 1970's until the mid-1980's. Earlier he was a Boy's P.E. coach at John Muir, and he was my 8th grade coach in 1965/66." Alan Landros

William Henry Bertrand

William Henry Bertrand

William Henry Bertrand, esteemed coach, teacher, and administrator in Burbank Unified School District passed away on June 24, 2015 surrounded by family.

Born in Glendale, California on May 13, 1930, he was a proud graduate of UCLA and served in the armed forces, driving a tank into the fallout of the atomic tests in the 1950s.

He married his high school sweetheart Della and enjoyed 65 years of marriage. Bill dedicated over 40 years to the Optimist International Organization participating as a member of the Magnolia Park club and serving as President of the Optimist Youth Home as well on the Board and helping to establish the charter school. Additionally he was proud of being named a juror to the Los Angels County Grand Jury.

A beloved and caring husband, father, grandfather and uncle, he is survived by his wife Della, daughters Susan and Kristi, son William Michael, son-in-laws Jim Rondou, Rene Herrera and Robert Conner, five grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by all.

A memorial to honor his life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the Optimist Youth Home 6975 North Figueroa Street, P.O. Box 411076, Los Angeles, California 90041.

Published in The Burbank Leader on Aug. 8, 2015
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A few Facebook comments...

Mickey DePalo
A great man. Mr. Bertrand was my P.E. coach at John Muir Jr. High. I was also very fortunate to have him as both a friend and mentor for several years. At my BHS, class of 1964 50th reunion, we were indeed blessed to have Mr. Bertrand attend. Mr. William H. Bertrand proudly served his country and gave unselfishly to his community. My sincere sympathy to Mrs. Bertrand and family. Rest in peace, Mr. Bertrand. God bless you and your family.

Kathleen Schaedler
So sad to hear this. My sincerest condolences to Della and the family...

Gayla Webb Chisholm
RIP Mr. Bertrand. What a great man he was and never to be forgotten

Vincent Stephens
RIP Mr Bertrand...he was my principle in 80's

Richard Aspey
One of my coaches at John Muir Junior High from 1963 to 1966. Sad to hear of his passing.

Edward Levitt
R. I. P. Mr. B. I enjoyed being coached by you at Muir and you taught us many life lessons. Thank you

Scott Cox
I spent way to much time in his office but he was always fair and a good man. RIP

Pete Ritchie
Great coach at Muir, and a great man. RIP

Laura Daniel Lipinski
Condolences to Kristi and family.

Michael Meltzer
I have fond memories of him...he will always be remembered

Catherine Hiller Sullivan
I am sorry to hear this. I knew him at Muir and met him again when he was workng for STRS helping manyof us planning retirement.

Val Tonione
What an inspiration he was. Loved PE with him, turned me into a runner. One year, 1965 I think, I got 2 World Series tickets from my dad's friend Peter O'Malley. We had field boxes and reserved parking near the gate but Mr Bertrand insisted we park outside the lot and run to the stadium!

Gary Bric
Looking back he and many former teachers and coaches molded us to who were are today. Back in '65 '66 & '67 he was our gym coach at John Muir along with Brian Hurst, Vern Hayes and Mr. Stevenson. I was honored 5 years ago for Mr. Bertrand (he always said call him Bill and I just couldn't bring myself to doing it) to have his 80th Birthday at my Restaurant. As Mickey DePalo said ........... "A Great Man". Safe home my friend.

Randy Cotter
He was my PE teacher in 7th grade at Muir.

Larry O'Brien
So sorry to hear this, he was our A div coach for after school sports 9th grade at Muir 1965-66. RIP coach

Kevin Baker
Our principal BHS 85-88
RIP Mr. Bertrand

Tammy Klinger
thank you Cathy Emmett Palmer, have shared these two on our Class of '64 fb page.....

Linda Silvas
Oh dear he was a great teacher

Jim Stonehouse
Had him in P.E. at Muir

Joanne Ramsay Fothergill-Birnbaum
Ohhh so sorry. .one of my favorites. .

Joseph Miconi

Andrea Scott
RIP Mr. Bertrand.

Nadine Aguirre Lujan
RIP Mr. Bertrand.

Brad Carr
He caught my high school sweetheart and I stealing kisses on the front steps of BHS during lunch one day. He stopped us, and told us, "It's ok to be in love." I'll never forget that day.

Robert Carlborg
Great Principal. A very proud Bulldog

Daniel Groff
RIP Mr. Bertrand!

Terri Arredondo Jones
Prayers for his family.

Donna Cress
A great man from a great family.

Cheri Standish Meijer
Prayers for his family and friends.

Selen Carranza Pereira

Kory Lahue

Karen Vereuck
RIP Mr. Bertrand

Pat Bushman
RIP Mr. Bertrand. I never had him for a teacher at Muir but I did know his wife and son. Very nice family. My prayers and condolences to Della and the family.

George Pouzbouris
So sorry to her of this. My condolences to His family. Mr Bertrand you were a great principle during my years at BHS and a even a better person. RIP

Diane Taraldsen
RIP Mr.Bertrand our principal BHS

Klyn Hall
Coach Bertrand definitely left his mark with me. He will be missed by all who knew him. He pulled out of me which I didn't know was there. I never knew him as an administrator or a classroom teacher, but as a PE teacher, he was the best.

Dan K. Davis
Good man.... He was my principle in 82.. We had a lot of talks.. He even knew my dad well

Dave E Fox
He was a great man! RIP Principle Bertrand!

Debra N Freeman
RIP Mr Bertrand! You were a very nice man, I am honored that you were a part of my academic career! God Speed! #BHSBulldogFOREVER

Mike Signorelli
I remember coach Bertrand well, he was a good man. I can still hear his voice " take a lap Signorelli!" And that was way back in 8th grade!!! RIP Coach....
P.S. I'm sure I deserved it.

Marilyn Williams Peterson
Such a nice man, he was my driver's ed teacher so he definitely had an impact on my life! Also turned out to be our neighbor in the early 70's--so surprised when we showed up at a neighborhood watch meeting at his house! He will be missed.

Susan Pena MacCaskey
Prayers for the family. . . RIP MR. Bertand

Vicki Herrin Fields
Rest in peace, Mr. Bertrand.

Jillian McDonald Kelly
RIP. He was a great principal

Lori Speed Bentley
RIP Mr Bertrand I had him for a principal as well. Prayers to the family

Kathie Brown
RIP Mr Bertrand, you were loved.

Lisa Villasenor-Foerstel
I am so sorry for your loss. My Dad used to golf with him at DeBell he was a fine man.

Jim Schmitt
Raise your hand if you ever got a swat from Mr. Bertrand. Tough but fair. Rest in peace, Sir.

Donna Luce Neitman
He and Della were my Mom's next door neighbors for many years. That's how I remember him. When my Mom moved in 2008 to Idaho we had a goodbye dinner with he and Della. That was the last time I saw him. My deepest condolences to the Bertrand family!

Here are photos of Mr Bertrand in John Muir Jr High School Highlander yearbooks 1962,1963 & 1964



1963 Coaches

1963 Advisors

1964 Advisors


  1. I remember him as a Coach at John Muir.....

  2. What can you say, a great man died.

    I will always remember him for Nov. 22, 1963, when JFK was assassinated. He was my teacher, coach, and assembled us together at the girls field at John Muir to announce that JFK had been shot. I can recall him vividly, and softly telling us the news, and at that time it was unknown if he was dead—even though in reality he was dead at the scene.

    It was probably in retrospect one of the most moving experiences I ever had. He was eloquent and very aware of the momentous events of history that had just occurred. I will always respect this man for his uncommon valor during that crisis, and his calm and caring demeanor.

  3. I was a student at John Muir Junior High School from 1962-1964. Coach Bertrand was my gym teacher a number of times at the school.

    I was in his gym class when I learned of the shooting of President Kennedy. We were running on the upper field at Muir when the Coach blew his whistle and assembled us together well before the shower bell sounded. He informed us of the events that were occurring in Dallas. It was one of those moments that will always be with me.

    I remember the Coach for his calmness and poise in that he displayed at that very momentous and difficult time. RIP Coach. It was truly my pleasure to be one of your students while at Muir.

    Ron Wysocky - September 1, 2015