David G. Bertrand, 60, of Central Square, NY, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on December 12th, 2021, from a very short, courageous battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. This disease is a rare degenerative brain disorder that affects one person per million worldwide per year. David was born in Syracuse, New York and grew up in Brewerton, New York. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Mary (Riley) Bertrand. He resided in the immediate Central Square area for his entire adult life. David attended Paul V. Moore High School (Go Redmen!!) and obtained his Associates Degree from Bryant and Stratton College in Computer Science. David was employed by Upstate Medical University as a Senior Programmer Analyst for the past 11 years. He worked with many amazing people who took time out of their own schedules to come and visit David at home, which meant the world to him.
David loved basketball his whole life! He was an avid SU fan and cheered loudly for the Cardiac Cuse during every game. He loved going to the Dome to experience games in person and cheered alongside everyone else in the Loud House! He was a proud member of Central Square Redmen Boys Basketball team, which went on to become the Onondaga Central Conference Champions for the 1978-1979 season. David was given the nickname “Birdman” for the height he reached while dunking the ball!
After high school, David continued his love for basketball by coaching with the Junior Redmen Basketball program in Central Square. He started coaching boys’ teams, but when his daughters became old enough to participate in the program, he began coaching the girl’s team instead. As the Junior Redmen program transitioned to the SIMA program, David became a referee mentor for the program, teaching many high school students how to referee the younger students’ games. David spent over 15 years with these programs teaching skills, leadership, patience, and sportsmanship to many student athletes. These athletes used these skills to become successful student athletes for the Central Square School District.
David continued his love of basketball by becoming an IAABO Board 38 basketball official and got to “officially” referee modified, JV, Varsity, CYO, and men’s recreation basketball games. He was a member of this organization for 20 basketball seasons. During his time with Board 38, David met and was mentored by some amazing people, who have become some of his closest friends.
David was also a member of the Central Square Board of Education from 2009-2012. During his term, David served his alma mater and his community with pride.
David was also a member of the Sons of the American Legion in Central Square. David competed in numerous cornhole competitions the Legion hosted and was crowned cornhole champion a couple of times! He was sought after on many teams for his ringer shot! This organization allowed us to host a wonderful get-together for David on October 17, 2021,allowing his friends and family an opportunity to come and say hello and swap stories with David.
David was an avid outdoor enthusiast. His love of hunting came from his father, who taught him how to be a respectful and responsible hunter. As David grew to love hunting over the years, he also developed a deep respect for the natural world around him. Another pastime David enjoyed was fishing, and he was just beginning to teach his grandchildren how to fish, which included baiting their own hooks!
David loved gardening and anyone that drove by his home knew that. He planted a huge vegetable garden every year and usually reaped an abundant crop which he shared with many. David also enjoyed maintaining the landscape around his home, which meant separating and transplanting the many flowers he grew. He then took those transplants and gave people a chance to create their own flower gardens to enjoy.
David met his wife Yolanda in high school, and they have been high school sweethearts for 43 wonderful years. Their 40th wedding anniversary would have been May 22, 2022. Together they raised two beautiful daughters who took wonderful care of their father during his illness. God bless both of them.
David is survived by his wife, Yolanda, daughters Ashley (Michael) Stump, Jessica (Michael) Downey; grandchildren, Hadelyn Ann Stump and Harrison David Downey; sisters, Theresa (Clayton) LaDuke, Leta O’Donnell and Carol Carrigan; and many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.
Calling Hours will be Sunday, December 19, 2021, from 1 pm to 5 pm, at Traub Funeral Home. Inc., 684 North Main Street, Central Square. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, December 20, 2021, at 10 am, at Divine Mercy Parish in Central Square.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you make a donation in memory of David to one of the following organizations:
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Foundation https://cjdfoundation.org/donate
Hospice of CNY https://www.hospicecny.org/support-hospice/
Sons of The Central Square American Legion