WARRENSBURG While the Alexander-Baker Funeral Home was preparing for calling hours for local teacher Brent Bertrand who died unexpectedly Tuesday, grieving students at Warrensburg High School continued to be consoled Thursday by school counselors, social workers and faculty members, school officials said.
“Those students who were in shock Tuesday and Wednesday now continue to grieve,” Superintendent of Schools Tim Lawson said. “This has been a tragic loss to the whole community.”
Bertrand, 54, was a Technology instructor as well as a softball coach at the school — well-loved and respected by both his peers and the students.
Bertrand died of apparent natural causes early Tuesday morning at his home.
Friends may call on the Bertrand family from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13 at the Alexander-Baker Funeral Home, 3809 Main St., Warrensburg. A funeral service will be conducted privately at the convenience of the family.
As of Thursday, hundreds of heartfelt tributes were scrawled on a 60-feet-long mural titled “Messages to Mr. Bertrand” that stretched the length of the school’s cafeteria wall.
Bertrand, or “Mister B,” was known particularly for his ability to inspire students through his ever-present enthusiasm, sunny attitude and helpful spirit — and the messages on the mural reflected these themes. Here is a sampling of some of the messages:
• “You were an amazing teacher — you made every student feel like they were important...”
•“You moved every heart and touched every soul — I’m heartbroken not just for the loss of your upbeat smile and friendly waves in the halls, but for the students yet to come who will never have the pleasure of knowing you...”
• “You looked past all of my flaws and actually saw me as a person...”
• “There hasn’t been one day I’ve seen you without a smile on your face...”