Bertha Carola Panther

Bertha Carola Panther, 94, of West Point, Iowa, passed away at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, January 5, 2023, at the West Point Care Center in West Point.

She was born on January 24, 1928, in Traill County, North Dakota, the daughter of Jacob and Bertha (Mueller) Pulskamp. She was the eighth of ten children and worked on the family farm until after graduation from Notre Dame Academy in Willow City, North Dakota, where she was valedictorian. She worked at a Red Owl Grocery for a time after graduation. It was in North Dakota where she met Urban Panther at a church card party. The two were married the following year on June 21, 1949, in Hillsboro, North Dakota. They bought their first house in Mayville, North Dakota, where she started her career as a mother. Bertha and Urban had two children in Mayville prior to moving to rural Donnellson, Iowa, where she continued her, approximately forty year, career of raising ten children.

When the children were old enough to be on their own, Bertha embarked on a career in health care as an aide, later joining the dietary staff at the West Point Care Center, then the Donnellson Care Center. On “retirement” she continued to volunteer at her two care centers of previous employment. Bertha was a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in West Point,  Iowa, the Altar and Rosary Society of the church and the former St. Anne’s Circle Daughters of Isabella and numerous community volunteer organizations, as well as engaging in seasonal work at local seed companies.

Bertha enjoyed traveling, revisiting her home state of North Dakota annually as well as exploring the continental United States and Hawaii. The highlight of her travels included a trip to Europe, where she was able to visit the Vatican.

A stroke in early 2000 slowed Bertha down considerably, but even through an ever challenging health status, her determination and sense of humor did not diminish.

She is survived by five sons: Jim (Norma) Panther of Iowa City, Iowa, Bob (Joanne) Panther of Bemidji, Minnesota, Mark (Teresa) Panther of West Point, Iowa, Joe (Chris) Panther of Fort Madison, Iowa and Greg (Tammy) Panther of Keokuk, Iowa; four daughters: Becky Aldrich of Davenport, Iowa, Mary (Kevin) Overton of West Point, Iowa, Janet (Keith Adams) Panther of Cumming, Georgia and Mindy (Chris Roxberg) Robey of West Point, Iowa; twenty-one grandchildren; twenty-six great grandchildren and three siblings: Joe Pulskamp, Sr. Mary Jane Pulskamp and Leo (Roberta) Pulskamp all of North Dakota. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Urban; two sons: John and one in infancy; one brother and five sisters.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Schmitz Funeral Home in West Point where a parish rosary will be recited at 2:00 p.m. and a Christian wake service will be held at 4:00 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 9, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point with Father Joseph Phung as celebrant.

Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, West Point.

A memorial has been established in her memory.

Online condolences may be made to the family at Schmitz Funeral Home of West Point is assisting the family with arrangements.