Bertie Mark

bertie mark

Bertie Mark




The Domenic and Louise Teti family of Henderson, Colorado had a large brood of five sons, Frank, Joe, Jim, Tony, Nick and four daughters, Mary, Louise, Bertha, and Josephine.  She was named after her mother’s good friend and the midwife who helped deliver her. All the surviving children married and the girls took their last names to be Mary Malpiede, Louise Nelson, Bertha Mark, and Josephine Haas. Their daughter Bertha Pearl, was born January 31st, 1930 and was lovingly nicknamed “Bertie”. This big Italian family who cherished each other had to live through the loss of Joe and Tony as small children, this left a deep wound and changed the family’s dynamics. Bertie formed an incredible bond with her big brother’s, Frank & Jim that lasted a lifetime.

Growing up in such a large family there were many antics that the children played on each other but Bertie and Mary were a team, always on the same wave length; what one wouldn’t think of the other would and Louise learned early on to not partake, it was safer that way. But poor Josephine started as a victim of Bertie’s. When Josephine was an infant Bertie and Mary were responsible to baby sit and not wanting to stay in the house they had a moment of brilliance, why not hang Josephine on the clothes line, keeps her off the ground, out of the way and she would be safe, until she dropped like a sack of potatoes, what happened to poor Josephine was a secret they kept for years. Bertie’s dad made wine.  But guess who knew, that’s right Mary, Louise and Bertie.  All three girls sampled the wine, and when mama came home, they were all three sicker than dogs, and all got a good whipping.  Bertie and Mary just kept the excitement going in this house but sometimes it was well deserved like the time brother, Nick told the girls “if you feed my rabbits I’ll let you ride my bike.” The problem was Nick let the air out of the tires so the girls had no bike to ride; but they beat Nick at his own game by letting all his rabbits out of the pen, so they ran lose all over the farm.  As the girls grew up it did not stop, the trouble just got more adventurous. Mary laughing about the time her and Bertie took the three-ton dump truck that was full of the cabbage harvest to drive around but they had a problem in turning the truck around and in the process of turning the truck they accidently dumped the cabbage into the creek and all the cabbage floated away. Once home they had a lot of explaining to do but their imagination did not fail them because dad was told “of the bad men from Kansas who stole the truck and lost their harvest”---it sounded good!?!

Bertie had a difficult childhood, as her and her siblings were the work force for their parents produce farm. Once the children completed elementary school, it was full time on the farm. After Bertie’s continuation from Irondale School it was her turn to work on the farm full time, making it difficult to attend school. Bertie did not want to work in the fields she wanted to go to school. Eventually a county social worker read her Mama the “Riot Act”  and Bertie went to high school. Bertie graduated from Adams City High School, where she was a Majorette and her favorite pastime was roller-skating. While going to  high school Bertie was fortunate to find employment in the office of Dr. Joel Mosko, who became her family physician. A chance meeting on 17th street with her family friend Ernie Falbo, turned into and exciting job teaching Fashion and Manners and Denver Women’s College.  This was an exciting time in her life, and part of this excitement was being a model, living in the City, leaving the farm girl behind. Bertie had the stars in her eyes, embraced this immensely thrilling time in her life. The excitement was never ending because Bertie met and married the father of her children Bill Kanka, this union was blessed with three beautiful children, Cindy, Tony, and Leann.

Moving forward to conquer the world Bertie had created a sense of style that made her recognized as a unique beauty.  Her stylish flare and strong work ethics opened the door for her to become the manager of customer service for Witkin Homes. Opportunity to work for the Denver Broncos came her way and she jumped on and worked until retirement, giving her 17 wonderful years.  Being an avid sports fan especially for her beloved Broncos; getting to know the owners, coaches and team members was a dream job.

As a farmer’s daughter she had the natural “green thumb” and enjoyed gardening, her gardens would be bursting with color and sweet aromas of all the assorted flowers she grew, her absolute favorite’s were her yellow roses. Coming from

a large Italian family she became a talented cook and was famous for her spaghetti sauce!  She also loved to enjoy a smothered green Chile’ beef & bean burrito and of course we can’t forget king crab legs with aioli sauce at the Mt. Vernon Country Club.

Bertie’s life was not always charming, she had many difficulties and tragic events in her life; the loss of her daughter Cindy at 14 from leukemia, which was her heaviest cross to bear but her strong faith empowered her to survive and to live her life full of faith and laughter. Her faith, lead her to become a member of the Cursillo movement where she met a group of women who became strong friends that were her sisters in faith. Don’t let this paint a picture that they were “good little girls” they were a circle of jokesters, many times these jokes had to stay private if you know what I mean. (hahaha) Seriously, they were always there for each other in times of trouble, sorrow, and joy. Through the Cursillo they sang in Skelly Garcia’s mariachi group for mass. This group of Cursillo members, known as “Cursillisca” knew how to have fun at everything they undertook. Bertie and her Cursillo brothers and sisters loved music. She  enjoyed dancing and once taught Woody Paige how to dance when the Bronco staff went to Seattle for a Seahawks game. Parties at the “Targa’s”, getting bombed on Marcelo’s martini’s, laughing till it hurt with Jerry Daffren’s jokes and staying up to the wee hours of the morning. Overall Bertie favored her Canadian Club & “Coke a cola”, not as a mixed drink but stand alones. When it comes to music Bertie absolutely loved the song CuCucRRuCuCu Paloma, a sad song of a little dove mourning it’s lost mate..

Thirty-five years ago Bertie met and married her soul mate Anson Mark, they had a fulfilling life with their children, Tony (Roxeen), Leann (Steve), Andie (John), and James (Cindy) then came the grandchildren Tanya (Brad), Thristina, Ariana, Ty, and Clayton. Her grandchildren will cherish the many times they spent with her and remember her always as: “a fun, hip, and caring grandma! She always shared her joy with them whether it was Bronco events, dance recitals or through cooking and an endless supply of sweets.” Bertie and Anson had great times in everything they did, they were made for each other, a perfect team. They had such fun gambling and before gambling came to the state of Colorado you could find Bertie at the Bingo halls, of course playing bingo but also, let’s not forget those pickles.  Bertie’s favorite slots, video poker and wild cherries and when they could not make it up the hill she had her pocket poker game. Bertie and Anson toiled together cleaning the yard, Bertie was a perfectionists, and everything had to be “spanking clean”. Bertie loved dancing to country music at the Elk’s Club, where many of the Elk brothers asked her for a dance. Later on, the “Silver Sneakers” workout at the “Y” “M” “C” ‘A” became a major social event for them. Bertie was blessed and surrounded by devoted family and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at Light of the World Catholic Church Friday, October 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm. Entombment Crown Hill Tower of Memories. In lieu of flowers, donations to


Family and friends are encourged to share stories and photograph's of Bertie here on her website (click appropriate tab above).

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