Cover photo for Robert Earl Bernhardt's Obituary
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1941 Robert E. Bernhardt 2024

Robert Earl Bernhardt

June 3, 1941 — April 20, 2024

Arbor Vitae

Robert Earl Bernhardt

June 3, 1941 - April 20, 2024


Saved by grace, our Jesus took him while he slept to peace forevermore. He is now free from illness and pain.


Born in Kenosha 6-3-1941 to Rudy Sr and Luella (Pera) Bernhardt. Bob graduated from Bradford High School in 1959. He loved and excelled in sports but worked all through high school on the grounds crew for Kenosha Unified Schools under Ray Thompson who became his mentor and friend.  When he graduated from Bradford, he looked forward to a summer off but his dad encouraged him to put his application in at AMC for the “future.” He was hired the same day and was told to report for work 2nd shift. He worked non stop until retirement, first at AMC until illness forced him to change jobs. He began as a custodian at Somers school, and he retired as grounds foreman at Kenosha Unified working along side his crew. His daughter knew she would never get a “snow day” in high school, because her dad’s crew always got the schools plowed open. Throughout his working years he was plagued by chronic and acute illnesses, a testimony to his work ethic.


He met his “someday” wife Judy when he was 16, when the neighborhood boys were playing keep away with girls’ shoes in a vacant lot. Two days later they were “going steady”.  When she graduated high school four years later, they were married on June 23rd 1962. Three months after they were married, he was diagnosed with an auto immune disease that made life difficult but forged a bond between them. Love and commitment kept them together for nearly 62 years. They first had their son Wes in 1963 followed by their daughter Wendy in 1969.


Bob encouraged his son to play sports and watched with pride when he was MVP on McKinley’s football team, city wrestling champion, and defensive end on Tremper’s state champion football team as well Bob’s fishing & hunting companion. His daughter went goose and turkey hunting with her dad and was a champion marksman along with her dad and brother.  Bob himself, qualified as expert in both rifle and pistol. Both kids have their dad’s work ethic, working along side him as they grew up, at part time jobs


When in Kenosha, Bob belonged to the Danish Brotherhood Lodge #14, Local 72, Local 168 where he served on the negotiating board, and St Mary’s Lutheran Church. In the north woods, he was a member of Shepherd of the Lakes in Sayner, Wi. Anyone he worked with or for became a friend, esp. Mike Burditt who was his musky fishing cohort and Ron Anderson who was his deer and turkey hunting buddy. His son and daughter looked up to him as a dad, as did their friends. The Bernhardt home was warm with love, and inviting to all.


Bob loved the outdoors, so he and Judy moved to their renovated cabin on Mann Lake in Boulder Junction when they retired. He traded his Harley for a John Deere. When his health took another turn, they moved closer to town in Arbor Vitae. There he enjoyed keeping his yard “perfect”, cutting wood for the fireplace, looking for ways to improvise something he needed or just “putts” he was known by his family to be a little “ocd” about everything, especially his yard that looked more like a park. He bought an older Corvette and enjoyed going to car shows with his son. In his younger years he loved to bowl, play games with family and friends, joke and laugh. He was a Packer, Bucks and Brewers fan. He enjoyed winter trips to South Carolina until the pandemic chased him home, trips to Vegas with his wife and daughter, and feasting on all you could eat crab legs at the local casino.  He never said no to ice cream or apple pie - and that includes for breakfast. 


He loved nature and could sit for hours, drinking coffee, and looking out at the million dollar view of his little lake and yard full of wildlife.  Deer, raccoon, fox, stray cats were a source of pleasure. He called and hand fed the “chippys.”


He was loved by his family. His oldest granddaughter Courtney even had a picture of him when he was 17 tattooed on her forearm.


He is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years Judy, son Wesley (Lori Wirch) Bernhardt of Pleasant Prairie, WI daughter Wendy Bernhardt of Oak Creek, WI; granddaughters Courtney (Cameron) Kenyon of Jupiter Farms, FL, Lindsey (William) Doherty of Kenosha, WI and Holly (Daniel) Regalado of Madison, WI and great grandsons William (Lil Bill) Doherty, Samuel Doherty and Miller Jude Kenyon, brother Tom and sister-in-law Lois, brother-in-law Charles Myers, special friends Bettie & Otto, Sue & Donnie, and nieces and nephews. He will be missed by his protector and lap cat, Hunter, also known as “Bawana Macuba.”


Those to greet him in heaven are his parents, his in-laws George and Marjorie Myers, his brother Rudy Jr (Butch) and sister-in-law Glori Bernhardt, his many friends and his beloved fur babies Fuji, Weaver, Katie, Brook and Kitkat. Plus, a little stray cat he named “Wolfie” that adored him. We were so blessed to share his life.


Friends and family are invited to a celebrate Bob’s life at the Danish Brotherhood in Kenosha on June 23rd from 11 to 2PM. A luncheon will be served.
Be good to others, each person carries their own burdens.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Earl Bernhardt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 23, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm

Danish Brotherhood Lodge No. 14 of Kenosha, Inc.

North Sharon Road, Kenosha, WI 53142

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