Due to the coronavirus, only family members will attend an interment service Saturday morning March 28, 2020, for Wayne Bortz, at the IOOF Cemetery in Gregory, SD. The service will be recorded and made available online at www.kotrba-smithfuneralhome.com.
Wayne was born August 13, 1937 in Gregory, SD, to Kermit and Avis (Taylor) Bortz. He had one sister, Norma, and one brother, Robert (who died shortly after birth). Wayne grew up in the Winner and Gregory area. Wayne joined the 730th Medical Clearing Co. National Guard Unit in Winner, SD in 1955 where he earned his GED.
Wayne married Mable Summers in August 1955 and to this union five children were born: Lorraine, August, Jack, Teresa and Nila. He purchased his farm seven miles south and one mile east of Gregory in 1958 where he lived the remainder of his life.
Wayne was initiated into the Gregory IOOF Lodge in 1966, holding all of the local appointed positions. In the late 1990’s he became involved in the Grand Lodge of SD and waselected Grand Master in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, he was elected and attended as Representative to Sovereign Grand Lodge held in London, Ontario in Canada.
Wayne devoted his life to farming and ranching, expanding his farm and livestock operations over the years. His relaxation was found through polka dancing and playing cards. He began traveling to polka dances throughout the state and in other states which eventually led to him spending the past several winter months in Arizona.
Wayne Leroy Bortz, age 82, from Gregory, SD, died on March 17, 2020, in Mesa, AZ, from lung disease.
Wayne is survived by his children, fourteen grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, his sister Norma, and nephews.
A memorial polka dance will be scheduled at a later date to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made payable to the Wayne Bortz Family and sent to Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.