Bert Cameron touched thousands of lives as educator
It is with great sorrow that our family and friends have lost an epic man. Bert J. Cameron died Sunday, March 2, 2014, at Golden Living Center/Bella Vista in Rapid City, due to complications from the devastating Alzheimer’s disease. We will be forever grateful that he didn’t know what he was experiencing the past few years.
Mr. Cameron was born July 19, 1930, in Portland, Maine, to Herbert and Nellie (Stanton) Cameron. He graduated from Deering High School in 1948 and then enlisted in the Air Force. His first assignment was to Ellsworth Air Force Base, where he was an air traffic controller. At a dance in Lead, he met the love of his life, Edith M. Swanson, and they were married August 24, 1951. Bert was honorably discharged in 1952 and he and Edith moved to Lead.
He attended Black Hills State College and obtained his degree in education and coaching, while working at Homestake Gold Mine and as a sportswriter for the Lead Daily Call. Being the humorous man he was, he and a friend formed a comedy act called The Vagabonds and performed live on TV and throughout the Black Hills.
Mr. Cameron taught English and coached both boys and girls basketball throughout his 40-year career in Bates-land, Glenham, McLaughlin and Mobridge, where he spent several years as elementary principal. He obtained his master’s degree in 1971 from Northern State College in Aberdeen. He touched the lives of thousands of students and family members. His lifetime passion was sports, especially basketball, and he travelled many miles to attend his children’s and grandchildren’s events, always giving advice for playing but mostly to “mind your ABC’s” (Always Be Courteous). His legacy will live forever!
Bert is survived by his wife of 62 1/2 years, Edith; his forever loving children, Connie (Dennis) Boomsma of Box Elder, Crystal (George) Vedros of Kansas City, Mo., Tom (Alice) Cameron of White River, and Kellie (Dave) Hoodiman of Sunrise, Fla. His 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren (one more on way) were very special to him and they all loved their “Geezer” Grandpa immensely. He was and will always be everyone’s HERO. His brothers, Tom and Arnie of Laguna Beach, Calif., also survive, along with numerous special nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, brother Chuck, and grandchildren Jeff and Christina. We now have another special Angel to watch over us. Hey Dad, keep everyone up there entertained with your stories! We are listening for the laughter!
A memorial will be established to benefit the educational community.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 7, 2014, at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City.
Services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 835 E. Fairmont Blvd, in Rapid City with Pastor Doug Free officiating.
Inurnment, with full military honors, will be at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 10, 2014, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Family and friends may sign Bert’s online guest book at www.kirkfuneralhome.com