Bertha Frieda Schneider Kelman, June 2, 1919-September 8, 2012
".at home with the Lord" (2Cor.5:19The Holy Bible)
"Jesus has come and (her) cup's overrun, O' say but (she's) glad!"
Hymn "O, Say But I'm Glad II" by Rev. James P. Sullivan c 1930
"Faultless to stand before the throne."
Hymn "The Solid Rock" by Edward Mote 19th c.
Her earthly tent is taken down. (2Cor.5:19)
She personally knew "Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said.
He was buried, and He was raised on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
"He was seen."(1Cor.15:3-8)
Bertha Kelman, 93, was taken home peacefully in her sleep by the Lord Jesus very early in the morning of Saturday September 8, 2012. She had had a lovely visit with most of her local family the evening before with lots of smiles on all sides. On August 12, 2011 Bertha had a stroke which left her unable to swallow. She was able to attend her grandson Eric's wedding, but various situations later left her bedridden.
Bertha was a faithful wife and mother and a thoughtful friend. She took care of Donald her husband, who had Parkinson's disease for 26 years, until his death in 1994. He died the day she felt she could do no more and was about to call VNA.
Having moved in 1992 into an in-law apartment, Bertha enjoyed the Parkinson's support group, swimming at Tawasentha and Voorheesville HS, as well as water aerobics at the latter, and her annual trip to Cape Cod.
Growing up in the Bronx, she took the rapids in junior high (thinking she was missing some important things) and later graduated from Hunter college captain of the women's swim team. She was a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Bertha's participation in PTA led to her children's enjoyment of her 'making' and serving soup in their elementary school (a PTA project) and playing in the PTA Kitchen Band.
Enjoyment of the water began during summers spent on her father's boat which moored off City Island. When her children knew how to swim (she had worked as a swimming instructor before marriage) Donald built a sailing dinghy and the family traveled around with it. Tiring of loading and hauling the trailer, Donald and she built a cottage on Deep Creek Lake in Maryland where they also enjoyed a motorboat, water-skiing, etc . Later she and Donald sailed out of Apponaug Harbor, RI on their sloop "Finally" to points including Woods Hole and the Elizabeth Islands as well as Block Island and more local destinations and haunts.
While they lived in Attleboro, Mass. Bertha and Donald were also avid square dancers and Bertha was renowned for swimming. An article in The Providence Sunday Journal on September 28, 1975 "Woman swims toward England at the 'Y'" reports she is "swimming to London with imagination.somewhere in the mid-Atlantic according to a wall chart at the Attleboro "Y" where she swims 54 laps at least twice weekly.Ever since moving to Attleboro 10 yrs. Ago, Mrs. Kelman has taken swimming as one would a magic pill to ease routine aches and pains and to shoo away the the doldrums. More important, she said, the refreshing water and hypnotic rhythm of a swim are recreation and pure enjoyment. "If something's bothering me I get over it by thinking, 'Oh, I'll swim on Tuesday'." Swimming 54 or 72 laps on Tuesday and Thursday cuts apparent big problems down to real small potatoes. She speaks of buoyancy and quiet isolation and how, after a few splashes in the pool, "everything is seen objectively."" Mrs. Kelman was also taking care of her mother-in-law during this time.
Bertha was a 37 year survivor of breast cancer. She was looking forward to the imminent birth of her first great-grandchild.
After Bertha's home call the hymn "Oh, Say, but I'm Glad" began to sing in her daughter Kristin's head; " Jesus has come and my cup's overrun" stood out. She realized the Lord was letting her know that this was now her mother's song with no reservations! Bertha had been disappointed to receive a verse from the hymn " The Solid Rock" upon her confirmation at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, but found that hymn to be a tremendous encouragement and support during tough times throughout her life
Her family especially thanks the staff of Our Lady of Mercy Life Center's Fatima and Lourdes units Saint Peter's Hospital, and Veronica Graves for their loving and compassionate care of Bertha.
Bertha's survivors include her daughter and son-in-law Kristin and John Smith of Altamont, her son and daughter-in-law Roy and Sandy Kelman of Pikesville, MD, and grandsons Craig (of Tahoe City, CA), Marc Ian and Eric Smith of Altamont, Joshua Kelman of Pikesville and Erin Kelman of Germantown, MD.
A brief memorial time at Bellevue Gospel Chapel and a family burial in Lakewood, NJ are to be arranged.
In place of flowers memorial contributions in Bertha's name may be made to Uplook.Ministries at Uplook.org; Christian Missions in Many Lands, PO Box 13, Spring Lake NJ; or Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, 2 Mercycare Lane, Guilderland, NY 12084.