Bertil A. Munson
October 7, 1914 :: Warwich, Rhode Island
January 4, 2014 :: Arvada, Colorado
Bertil A. Munson was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, the 5th of 6 children, to Swedish immigrants, Nels Munson and Valborg Bohlin. His brothers Walter and Nils and sisters Olga, Elna and Jennie preceded him in death. As a young man Bert became Caddy Master at the Warwick Country Club, where his skills repairing wooden club shafts were highly regarded by the members. Golf remained a life-long interest.
In 1942 Bert enlisted in the Army Air Corps and trained as a mechanic. He joined the 493rd Fighter Squadron and achieved the title of Crew Chief for the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes. He was awarded the Bronze Star in recognition of 100 consecutive combat missions completed without a mechanical abort. He maintained close ties with his comrades from the 493rd for the rest of his life, attending many reunions held around the country and visiting France at the 50th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy (D-Day).
In 1943 Bert married the love of his life, Elsie Mildred (Elsa) Olson, the start of a happy and companionable union that thrived for nearly 57 years until Elsa’s death in 2000. Bert cared for his wife tenderly during her last years and deeply mourned her loss. The couple had two children, daughter Meredith and son Mark Eric, to whom they were loving and supportive parents. They were lifelong members of the Lutheran Church. In addition Bert enjoyed a long affiliation with the Masonic Order, and was presented with a 75-year Lifetime Achievement Award in early 2013. Elsa and Bert also enjoyed their membership in the Order of Eastern Star.
Bert served his country, his family, his church and his community with honor, faith, optimism, joy and humility. He maintained into his last days that he had “no complaints”. His presence in the lives of his loved ones will be acutely missed. Bert is survived by his children and their spouses, Meredith and Mario Anderson (Colorado) and Ellen and Mark Munson (Maine), four granddaughters and spouses Amy (Brian), Allison, Jennifer (Ellis), and Laurel, and three great-grandchildren Reily, Megan and Ethan, as well as many nieces and nephews to whom he was a beloved uncle.
A celebration of Bert’s life will take place at the Exempla Colorado Lutheran Home in Arvada, Colorado in the near future.