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Margaret Kertz

Margaret Kertz, 91, English teacher and librarian in Langdon, ND, died May 18, 2017, at Maple Manor Care Center in Langdon.
Anna Margaret Donovan was born on November 5, 1925, in Jamestown, ND, the only child of Charles and Anna (Tschetter) Donovan, teachers who instilled in Margaret a love of books, respect for language, and progressive political leanings. In 1933 the family moved to Alfred, ND, where her mother was postmaster and her father ran a grocery store. Margaret took three years of high school courses by correspondence, supervised by her father, and graduated from Jamestown High school in 1941. She attended Valley City Teachers College for two years before transferring to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks to major in journalism. At UND she was yearbook editor and associate editor of the Dakota Student newspaper, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1945.
Two weeks after graduation, as World War II was ending, Margaret took a job at the Cavalier County Republican in Langdon, intending to stay for one year. That plan changed when she met and in 1948 married Victor Kertz, a veteran and Langdon businessman. Vic and Margaret lived in Langdon for the rest of their lives, raising two daughters, Katherine and Camille. For 20 years the family enjoyed summer weekends in Killarney, Manitoba, where they fished, played cards and enjoyed the company of friends. Vic died in 1996.
In 1949 Margaret began teaching English at Langdon High School. For four years during the 1950s she taught at Osnabrock High School, then returned to LHS. In the 1960s she earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She spent the rest of her career as LHS librarian while continuing to teach. She retired in 1984. Margaret was among the charter inductees to the LHS Educators’ Hall of Fame. When former students would say, “Mrs. Kertz, you were the toughest teacher I had—and the best,” she would tell her family, “That made my day!” It was never clear which part of the accolade she enjoyed more.
In retirement Margaret traveled to Europe three times and integrated her research, writing and editing skills on genealogy projects. She belonged to bridge clubs, loved board games and collected books obsessively. She was a loyal friend and loving mother whose attitudes, astute observations and Irish wit live on in vivid memories of her.
Margaret is survived by her daughters: Camille Kertz of Langdon and Katherine Kertz (Christopher) Stanton of Arden Hills, MN; granddaughter Dr. Victoria (Adam Stubblefield) Stanton of Mountain View, CA; brother-in-law James D. Kertz of Fargo, ND; sister-in-law Marlyn Hall Kertz of Alvarado, MN; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband; parents-in-law John L. and Rose Kertz; brothers-in-law: John Kertz, Francis Kertz, Harold Kertz and Robert Kertz; and three sisters-in-law: Donna Platz Kertz, Elizabeth Dempster Kertz and Jane Gardner Kertz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 31, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon with visitation at the church one hour before the time of service. Inurnment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Langdon.

The family prefers memorials to the Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo, the Salvation Army or Calvary Cemetery Improvement Fund.

Visitation will begin one hour prior to service time at the church on May 31, 2017.

Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
11:00 AM

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
209 10th Ave.
Langdon, ND 58249

Visitation will begin one hour prior to service time at the church on May 31, 2017.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Kertz, please visit our flower store.


Sympathies in your loss...saying goodbye to our parents is tough. I remember your mom well from LHS..a sweet lady. Loved your dad, too..my first boss, and a great one.

LaVonne (Fischer) Malone Jun 3 2017 12:00 AM

Kathy and Camie, Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I enjoyed our visits with Margaret, going over genealogy. She had a true passion for sharing family history. She was the family historian, prepared and professional. She was a wonderful hostess, having delicious snacks and even toys to entertain my boys. We'll also miss her Christmas Cards. They were always the first to arrive. Sincere Condolences from our family.

Steve Riphahn May 28 2017 12:00 AM

Much like Mr, Haugen, every time that I am writing an email at work and I am about to use the words "a lot", I think of Mrs. Kertz's favorite motto: "a lot is two words!" 30-plus years later she still has an impact on me! She was definitely on of my favorites from LHS, and she and Mrs. Shuley made going to the library fun. My sympathies to her family and may she rest in peace.

Monte Schlittenhard May 22 2017 12:00 AM

Kathy and Cami, I want you to know that I am thinking about you. It is never easy to say goodbye to a mother. We are so fortunate to have had loving parents who gave us a solid foundation to deal with life's challenges and showed us the meaning of love. Your mom touched the lives of so many people through education. Cherish the memories. Carol (Kleinschmidt) Larson

Carol Larson May 22 2017 12:00 AM

I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom! She was a great lady! Cami you were such a devoted daughter I will always admire all the kindness you continued to your Mom over the years!

Nancy Kram May 21 2017 12:00 AM

I was saddened to hear about your mom, Kathe and Camie. I'm obviously not the only one who thought she was a wonderful teacher as I've been reading the many tributes. How fortunate we were at LHS! I will never forget her. Love and comfort to both of you. You were blessings to her.

Jan (Sandum) Jechort May 21 2017 12:00 AM

Bless the memory of your Mother. Our sincere sympathy to your family at this time of loss. Mrs Kertz was a very brilliant and dynamic educator. I have many fond memories of her. Sincerely, Randi Holo Swanberg

Randi Holo Swanberg May 21 2017 12:00 AM

So sorry Kathy and Cami,, Mrs. Kertz (Margaret) was such an inspiration to me and mentor. I have always been and always will be grateful to the knowledge she bestowed upon me as a writer , grammarian, and leader. I shall always remember that a lot is two words. May God bless her everlasting soul and all our fond memories of her.

Don and Elaine Haugen May 21 2017 12:00 AM

As children, we spend almost as much time with our teachers as we do with our parents. It's no wonder, then, that so many of us have vivid memories of our teachers that stick with us years later. This is certainly true with Mrs. Kertz . Difficult for me to say, Margaret, since that is what I have always called her in High School. I said it with the must respect while in high school and certainly now! Henry Brooks Adams once said, "A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where that influence stops." That goes without saying with my English teacher Mrs. Kertz .

John Bergman May 20 2017 12:00 AM

Cami and family I am so sorry to hear that your mom passed away. Please be assured of my thoughts and prayers. Peggy Dohert

Peggy Doherty May 20 2017 12:00 AM

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