BOZEMAN – More than 50 people gathered in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse July 11 to say goodbye to Julie Bertelsen, who was a beloved member of the custodial staff, “the biggest Bobcat fan there ever was,” and an important part of the Bertelsen family legacy at MSU.
Bertelsen – who will move with her mother to California in August -- started working at the Fieldhouse on Aug. 30, 1999. Her last day was July 3.
During the 14 years in between, Bertelsen took care of the final details that made the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse ready for visitors, said Melanie Stocks, director of Sports Facilities. She cleaned chairs before commencement and tables before basketball games. She dusted window sills. Her final job on her last day was vacuuming rugs in the entry ways.
“She was a great employee,” Stocks said. “She is very dedicated. She’s always smiling.”
She was also a strong advocate for the campus, Stocks said. She had plenty of suggestions for handicapped access, the coaches and Stocks.
“This might not be my concern, but …,” she would say as she introduced her ideas.
Bertelsen wore a blue dress to her party and jewelry that carried the Bobcat name and logo. Her guests came from across campus, including athletics, sports facilities, auxiliary services, admissions, residence life, the Student Health Service and the Strand Union Building. Some, like Stocks, have known Bertelsen for more than 30 years. Nadeen Baldridge of Extended University said she started working in the Strand Union Building 35 years ago. She became good friends of Bertelsen’s father, Al, and he introduced her to Julie, who also became a good friend.
“I will miss you,” Baldridge said as she hugged Bertelsen goodbye.
Al Bertelsen worked at MSU for 43 years and was director of the SUB for 34 years. He retired in 2008 and died in 2009. Julie’s mother, Jan, was an X-ray technician for 23 years at the Student Health Service. She retired in 2000.
“Bozeman won’t be the same without you guys. We’re going to miss you,” said Jim Mitchell, director of the Student Health Service.
Being a Bobcat is in her blood, Bertelsen said. It was evident by the Bobcat clothing she received as farewell gifts, the blue and gold balloons that hovered, and the cake she ate.
“I don’t know how to thank all of you for being here for me and my family,” Bertelsen said. “Thank you everybody for touching my life and my mom’s.”
Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or firstname.lastname@example.org