Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jacob W. Bernhardt

Jacob W. Bernhardt, 81, passed away at Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center on Thursday, October 8, 2009.

Jacob was born in Herington, KS, on November 19, 1927, to Fred and Marie (nee: Eisel) Bernhardt. He spent a few years of his childhood in Scottsbluff, NE, before moving to Racine. Jacob went to work at 14 to help support his brothers and sisters. Then he joined the Navy at 17 for the duration of WWII, serving in Japan. Shortly after returning from the Navy Jacob began working at Racine Tool Company. The company changed hands several times, but he remained employed with all of the owners for 44 years retiring from Dana Corporation in 1989.

He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Opitz at St. Joseph Church in Waukegan, IL, on May 21, 1955. She preceded him in death on February 26, 2009. He enjoyed driving new cars, taking trips to Tomahawk, dancing, playing cards, listening to Polka music, visiting outside with the neighbors and woodworking. Jacob was a member of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers for over 50 years.

Jacob is survived by his children, Joyce Mattner and Lloyd Bernhardt; beloved granddaughter, Melody Rose Mattner; sisters, Elsie (Clifford) Brander, Dorothy Kupper; brother, Harvey (Joanne) Bernhardt; brother-in-law, Joseph (Joyce) Opitz and sister-in-law, Lorraine Opitz. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Jacob was preceded in death by his brother, Edward Bernhardt; brothers-in-law, Peter Kupper, Michael (Virginia) Opitz, John (Helen) Opitz, Albert Opitz and George Opitz; and sister-in-law, Katherine (Otto) Marcussen

Funeral services for Jacob will be held at the funeral home on Monday, October 11, 2009, at 11:30 a.m. Inurment will take place in Ascension Cemetery by his wife. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home on Sunday evening from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and on Monday morning from 11 a.m. until the time of service. Memorials to the family have been suggested.

The family would like to express their deep gratitude to the staff at the VA Medical Center for the wonderful care given to Jacob and also to the family and friends who visited, called, sent cards and prayed for us all during Jacob’s illness.

Purath-Strand Funeral Home & Crematory
3915 Douglas Ave., Racine (262) 639-8000

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