Family and colleagues remember Brian Bartsch
Brian Bartsch shined brightest as a teacher and coach when he was helping struggling students. A counselor recalled that no teacher came into her office to see how a student could be helped as often as Bartsch did.
Bartsch, a beloved teacher and football coach in the Lake Oswego School District, died unexpectedly July 17 from natural causes at the age of 46.
Bartsch, who taught physical education and health, started his teaching career in the district in 2008. During his time with the LOSD, he taught at Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego Middle School and Lakeridge Middle School. He had also coached in the LOHS football program since 2004.
His parents, Fritz and Lynn Bartsch, said Bartsch loved interacting with his students and used football as a tool to teach positive life lessons. They added that Bartsch had the ability to easily talk to, not at, kids of all ages.
They shared that on a recent family trip to Cannon Beach, Bartsch enjoyed building sand castles, playing Uno and wearing silly mustaches with his nieces.
A colleague, Christopher Hubley, said Bartsch was a dedicated teacher and coach.
"In these roles Brian was defined by the depth to which he loved those he worked with. His very genuine compassion for his students, his athletes and his friends was unmatched," Hubley said.
Hubley had a message for Bartsch's students.
"Coach Bartsch loved you. There is no doubt about it. He worked so hard to get to know you. He pushed you. He counseled you. He celebrated your successes with you. He did that all because he genuinely cared for you," he said.
Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Jennifer Schiele announced his death in a message to the community July 17.
"Our condolences to his family and loved ones and all in our community who have been touched by this loss of life. My heart goes out to you," she said.
Bartsch is survived by his partner, Susan Sullivan, and his parents.
A service celebrating Bartsch's life will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 12 at the Lake Oswego High School football field, 2501 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego. Afterward, there will be a reception in the school cafeteria with light refreshments. In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Bartsch can be made to the Lake Oswego High School Football Booster Club, PO Box 2074, Lake Oswego, OR 97035.
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