HONORING THE LIFE OF REV. IMRE A. BERTALAN; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 154
(Extensions of Remarks - September 26, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1267-E1268]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. MARCY KAPTUR

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                      Tuesday, September 26, 2017

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the life of Rev. 
Imre A. Bertalan, devoted husband, father and grandfather, who served 
as a compassionate pastor of Calvin United Church of Christ and was 
known for his dedication to his church, his dedication to his Hungarian 
heritage, and advocating for his beloved East Toledo neighborhood, 
Birmingham. Imre passed away after a valiant struggle against cancer on 
August 29, 2017 in Latrobe Hospital in Latrobe, PA.
  Imre was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on October 4, 1949 to 
Margaret and the Rev. Imre G. Bertalan. He graduated from New Brunswick 
High School, held a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a 
master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
  Initially not intending to be a minister after graduating from 
seminary, Imre started as a community organizer and helped form the 
East Toledo Community Organization. He became a member of East Toledo's 
Calvin United Church of Christ, which was founded as the Hungarian 
Evangelical Reformed Church. He was elected pastor in 1979.
  During his tenure as pastor, Imre reached out to the congregations of 
all of the religions in the neighborhood so that Calvin was not just 
known as a Hungarian church, but as a neighborhood church open to the 
entire neighborhood.
  True to his Hungarian-American roots, Imre was integrally involved in 
efforts on behalf of America's ethnic communities. A strong 
representative particularly of the Hungarian-Americans with whom he 
shared a common heritage, Imre served on the boards of national 
Hungarian-American organizations for many years. He extended his 
national efforts to his family, instilling a love of their Hungarian 
tradition in all. He was encouraging, comforting, filled with abiding 
kindness and a gentle soul, always advising people that ``everything 
will be all right.''
  After decades in ministry as pastor, Imre became the executive 
director of Bethlen Communities in Ligonier, PA, a retirement and 
nursing community founded by the Hungarian Reformed Federation of 
America. Even after his move to Pennsylvania, Imre and his wife 
maintained a home in the Birmingham neighborhood of Toledo and were 
active in the planning for the annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival.
  Reverend Imre Bertalan will long be remembered for his dedication to 
his family, church, the Toledo community at large, and Bethlen 
Communities. A beautiful memorial service was held for Imre at Calvin 
United Church of Christ in East Toledo on September 23, 2017. We 
gathered together and gave thanks for the

[[Page E1268]]

ministry of Reverend Imre Bertalan. Just as importantly, we remembered 
a loving family man and friend.
  We offer Imre's beautiful and artistic wife of almost 37 years, 
Magdalene ``Baba'' J. Ujvagi, Imre's children, Sara Davis, Magda 
Bertalan, Juli Bertalan, Margit Bertalan, and Imre Bertalan, his five 
grandchildren, his sisters Lillian Bertalan and M. Sarah Bertalan, his 
family and friends our prayers and hope. May they find comfort in the 
wonderful gift of Imre's life, their memories of their husband, father, 
brother, uncle, grandfather, friend, his imprimatur on his church and 
neighborhood. All that he did contributed to humanity's greater good 
and the glory of God.
  Hungarian in his soul, a patriotic American, faithful Vicar of 
Christ, Imre Bertalan's life was writ large. His life will long echo in 
his family and friends, his congregations and those he served so well. 
I know he was welcomed home with ``well done, my good and faithful