Wayne August Bortz, also known as Santa Claus, age 88, of Claremore, Oklahoma departed his earthly home for the Heavenly Gates on December 31st, 2022.
Wayne was born, raised, and educated at Plains, Kansas. He was the youngest of three children born to August and Clara Bortz. Wayne and Almeta married in 1965 at Liberal, Kansas.
Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, August and Clara Bortz; son, Steve Bergen; grandson, Jarod Bergen; great granddaughter Summer Shell; son-in-law, Gary Ross; sister and brother-in-law Betty and Curt Butler; and brother-in-law Lester Surgi.
He is survived by his wife, Almeta Bortz; daughters, La Moyne Ross and Deb Coppedge and husband Brad; sons, Bill Bortz and wife Penny, and Brad Bortz; daughter-in-law, Brenda Bergen; eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren, and numerous family members and friends. And last but not least, his oldest sister, Nila Surgi.
He was a proud Navy veteran and retired after 30 years of service with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. He and Almeta RV'd in retirement, with Colorado, Arizona, and Texas being some of their favorite locations. Wayne was also a woodworker and loved to fish.
We can just imagine the reunion he is having with family and friends and being able to sing in the Angelic choir.
A memorial service will be held at a future date at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Claremore, Oklahoma.