DURHAM, NC -- Charles Edward Bertsch, who founded the Bertsch Vending Co. in Warsaw, IN, died on March 9 at the Hillcrest Convalescent Center here. He was 89.
Bertsch was born in South Bend, IN, to Gilbert and Nettie Bertsch and was an Army veteran who fought in the Pacific during World War II. He married June, his wife of 67 years, in 1943. The couple founded Bertsch Vending in 1948.
Bertsch was active in the National Automatic Merchandising Association and was elected NAMA's chairman of the board in 1976. He was also a chairman and charter member of the board of governors of the Indiana Vending Council.
During his long career as a vending operator, Bertsch received many accolades. He was named Man of the Year by the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce in 1981, Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2001 and the Man of the Century by the Indiana Vending Council in 2000.
In addition to building his eponymous vending operation, Bertsch ran a fertilizer company, built a Holiday Inn, managed the Wagon Wheel Playhouse and was part owner of a paper cup factory in South Carolina. He sold Bertsch Vending Co. in 2009 and retired in North Carolina.
He is survived by his daughter Dianne Leslie Bertsch, grandson Jordan Christopher Shamp and granddaughter-in-law Mindy Leigh Shamp.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 175, Warsaw, IN 46581.