August 25, 1937 - April 12, 2024


attachment-Herman Bartz

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud for Herman “Gooner” Bartz, 86 of Waite Park. Gooner took his last at bat Friday, April 12, 2024, surrounded by his number one fans. Rev. Vince Lieser will officiate, and the jersey retirement will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Waite Park. Visitation will be on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 from 4-8 PM at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home in St. Cloud and an hour prior to the Mass Wednesday at the church.

Gooner entered the line up to Herman and Rozella on August 25, 1937, eventually batting 6 out of 13 players in the metropolis of Waite Park, MN. He proudly served in the US Army and was honored to be stationed in Germany. He then became a first-round draft pick by the City of Waite Park, staying with that team for 36 years before joining the player managers as a Waite Park City Council member for 3 seasons. Upon retirement, he joined the team at Coborn’s fixing carts with the major leaguers.

In his baseball years, he was a catcher, and his greatest catch was his wife Diane who he married in 1967. And so, the Bartz Family franchise began with two daughters, Kari and Kelly, who later added 3 more girls to the lineup: Bailey Bop, Katy Jane, and Big Al. Because Gooner started his career with 11 sisters (and 1 brother), added two girls, who then added 3 more girls, it is no wonder he nicknamed himself the PMS King of Stearns County! Fortunately, the franchise continues to grow, and the newest little slugger was added: Archer Herman.

In the off season, Gooner enjoyed spear fishing with his buddies, attending events for the kids and grandkids, and wood working in the back garage. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Moose Lodge, the Legion Post 428, the VFW Post 428 and the Eagles Club.

Gooner’s legacy includes his number one fans: his wife Diane; daughters Kari (Andy) Hollencamp of St. Cloud and Kelly Walz (Jason Hinnenkamp) of Sauk Rapids; granddaughters Bailey Hollencamp, Katlyn (Alex) Pitra, Allyson Walz; great grandson Archer Herman Pitra; siblings Edith Hanson, Heartha Smith, Gladys Stich, Riti Sanderson, Barbara Kenney, Rosie (Erv) Nodo, Linda (Larry) Johnson and David (Shirley) Bartz; in-laws Jill (Kenny) Bauer and John Gruber; many nieces and nephews.

He joined the angels in the outfield including his parents, siblings Melvina Bartz, Mary Bartz, Helen Reed, Ethel Bremer. Mother and Father in-law, Leonard and Kathryn Gruber and several in-laws.

Special heartfelt thanks to all the people who advanced our runner in the field of dreams: Bethany, the Moments Hospice team, the Serenity Village team, and the Monday Night Band Members.

More From AM 1240 WJON