Corry Brouwer Bertelsen

Honored by:Roger Bertelsen
Brick location:SECTION O, ROW 18 BRICK 12  map

Corry Brouwer Bertelsen is a teacher, mother, grandmother, wife, gardener, cook, world traveler, event planner extraordinaire, and so much more. Her father was a Dutchman who survived a Nazi work camp during WWII, and her mother was a textbook editor from New Jersey. They met in the Dominican Republic, started their family there, moved to Iowa when Corry was two years old, and then added Corry's brother, William, to the family.

Corry grew up in eastern Iowa, living first in Atkins and then on an acreage west of Cedar Rapids. She showed talent as a writer when she was in high school, winning two essay contests and earning a trip to Washington, D.C. She attended ISU, majored in English, and was graduated in 1975. That same year she moved to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with her husband, Roger, and their four-month-old son, Nicolaas. While in Santo Domingo for a year, Corry taught English as a second language to children.

After stops in Iowa City, Iowa Falls, and Carbondale, IL, the family returned to Ames in 1982. Corry began her career as a high school English and Spanish teacher, and the family welcomed a daughter, Amanda. Corry loved working with high school students, and her students at Nevada High School showed their love for her as a teacher by calling her "Ms. B." Many students have told her that she was their favorite teacher. Because she believed that students studying Spanish needed to learn about and experience the cultures associated with the language, she took student groups to Spain twice and the Dominican Republic once.

When Amanda was born, Corry took time away from teaching to be with her daughter. Before returning to teaching, Corry worked as a catering supervisor at the Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, where she planned events for groups of up to 1,000 people. A group that she always enjoyed was Travel and Adventure. Each Travel and Adventure event featured a different country, and Corry got to plan the menu. In the days before the internet that meant spending time at Parks Library researching and selecting recipes, then providing those recipes to the kitchen staff.

Corry has traveled extensively. In the U.S. she especially enjoys spending time in our national parks. She has also made multiple trips to New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, and Europe to explore and experience other places in the world and to visit family and friends in The Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, and New Zealand. As a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic children's novel Anne of Green Gables , Corry has special memories of spending a week on Prince Edward Island.

After she retired from teaching, Corry started a book club that meets monthly for a lively discussion of a book they've read. She is an active member of Story County Master Gardeners and the Friendship Force of Central Iowa. She loves spending time with her three grandchildren. In June 2022 she and Roger will celebrate 48 years of marriage and lives well lived.