Robert Arthur Wertsch, a third generation San Franciscan, respected attorney, devoted family man, and world traveler died in San Francisco on December 11, 2017, at the age of 99.
Born in San Francisco in 1918, Mr. Wertsch was a graduate of Polytechnic High School (Class of 1935) and U.C. Berkeley (Class of 1940) where he was Junior Crew Manager, member of Phi Phi, and Alpha Sigma Phi. He completed law school at Boalt Hall (LLB, 1945). A Partner in the firm of Fouke, Wertsch and Hayes, he was a practicing attorney, specializing in general business and Estate & Gift law, for 72 years. A life-long resident of The City, he enjoyed membership in a number of civic and cultural organizations, including the American Decorative Arts Forum, The San Francisco Wine and Food Society, the Mechanics Library, the Asiya Shriners Temple, and past member of The Olympic Club. As a member of California #1 Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons, he became a Master Mason in 1948 and Master of his Lodge in 1956. As a testimony of his warm personality, conviviality, and good nature, he was voted Boss of the Year by the Legal Secretaries Association of San Francisco.
Since childhood, he shared a passion for travel with his family and was proud to have visited all seven continents (including three visits to Antarctica). An avid hiker, he backpacked through Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada in the 1930’s and spent every summer for over the past fifty years exploring the volcanic terrain of Mt. Lassen. His German and Swiss/Italian heritage fostered a great love of opera. He was a long-time subscriber and supporter of San Francisco Opera and member of Il Cenacolo. Above all, he loved good food, good wine, good friends, and spending time and sharing adventures with his beloved family.
Mr. Wertsch was pre-deceased in 1996 by his wife of 47 years, Harriet Mason Wertsch. He is survived by his children: Janet Thor (Eric) of Gilbert, Arizona and R. Wallace Wertsch (Eve) of San Francisco, his grandchildren: Eric Peter Thor III (Lisa), Charles Clay Thor (Carrie) and Emily Millar Thor and his great-grandchildren: Lindsay, William, and Evelyn.
Donations to the San Francisco Opera (301 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102-4509) or to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Post Office Box 1776 Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-9910).
Services at 1 PM on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at St. Mary the Virgin, 2325 Union Street, San Francisco, with a reception to follow.