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Wolfertz Sr.

May 10, 1924 – November 25, 2018

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Russell Wolfertz
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home

Obituary for Russell Wolfertz Sr.

OWLS HEAD - Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1924, Russell Wolfertz Sr passed away on November 25, 2018 having lived in his own words, "a good average life". The son of Caroline Louise Steinfeld and Edward Wolfertz, Russ grew up looking after his beloved little sister "Conna" Caroline and searching for adventures with his neighborhood childhood friends Bill Wallace, Harold Hood, and Braden Sweeney and his Irish setter Lucky. He graduated from Mt Lebanon High School in 1942, going on to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard 1943-1946 during World War II, where he made three outstanding beach heads as he liked to reminisce "San Diego, Norfolk, and the Panama Canal", thus starting a lucky streak he continued throughout his life.

On the GI bill, he went to and proudly graduated from Dartmouth College in 1949. He married his first wife Annabell Ellen Morrison after being set up on a blind date while she was visiting her uncle Audie's farm which was next door to his parents' home in Biddeford Pool. They were married for 52 years before her death in 1998. Annabell and Russell are survived by six children: Russell Wolfertz Jr, Cynthia W Henkel, Gwendolyn Smith, Weston Wolfertz, Kimberly Simpson, and Melody Wolfertz as well as twelve grandchildren, and sixteen great grandchildren.

Wolfertz was employed by Sears and Roebuck Co, transferring to Rockland in 1954 as store manager, providing his family with one of the first televisions on Lake Avenue. He became a Realtor in the 1960s joining Jim Cousens at Cousens Realty. He took great pleasure in talking to people and helping find homes for first time buyers, so he bought the business in the 1970s and partnered with his eldest son, Russell Jr. He worked there until he retired in the late 1990s. His advice to any realtor starting out was "take ten business cards each day, and introduce yourself and talk to people, leaving them with a reminder of you".

Russ was an active member of Order of Eastern Star, Masonic Temple, and Kiwanis (where he sponsored the first female member to the club in the 1980s). He served on the RDHS school board. He was a deacon at Nativity Lutheran Church, later becoming a member at Littlefield Baptist Church. He was an Eagle Scout and active scout leader in his earlier years, encouraging his two sons to also become Eagle Scouts and good men. He enjoyed telling or playing a joke, golf, planting a garden, but not weeding; costume parties with his own rat pack group of friends (the Spears, the Hubers, Lambs, Bicknells, and the Watkinsons) and cocktail hours; cooking; reading biographies; he had a passion for his spandex, yellow bikini bought on one of his many Caribbean Island vacations with his longtime friends, Everett and Hazel Spear. He was an avid Civil War buff and collector. He toured many national battle sites with his children and attended the re-enactment of Gettysburg. His children fondly remember the many hunting, fishing, camping, water skiing and sledding trips he took them on to share his love of the outdoors: the many campfires, sa'mores, panfried perch breakfasts, as well as the many intrepid trips across country either by VW bus or his Cessna airplane.

He was a longtime member at the Samoset health club where for years he joined the early morning women in a step class. He retired from the step class in 2015, but continued going to the gym until earlier this year.

Russ was fortunate enough to be loved by three women in his lifetime. His wife Annabell of fifty-two years "and all good days". His next love was Rena McAllister who he met when she returned his personal ad "in search of a good woman". They shared many boating adventures, picnics, and family until she passed in 2001. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth G. Murgita-Wolfertz whom he married in 2007. They enjoyed trips to Scotland, Germany, and Mexico in their early years together before settling into the house they built together in Owls Head.

Russell's family would like to thank the volunteers and staff of the Sussman house for their wonderful support and care during his last days.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, December 14, 2018, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Midcoast Area Veterans Memorial, c/o James W. Brannan, Esq., P.O. Box 1021, Rockland, ME 04841, or Sussman House, c/o Pen BayWaldo Healthcare Foundation, 22 White St., Rockland, ME 04841.

Memorial Service Information

Friday December 14, 2018 11:00am
Pastor Mark Adolphsen
Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home
110 Limerock Street
Rockland, Maine 04841

Reception Information

Friday December 14, 2018
104 Limerock Reception Center
104 Limerock Street
Rockland, ME 04841
Reception Extra Info
Following the service


  • American Legion

  • Coast Guard