Bernard “Bernie” John Witczak, 81, of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and also of Sun Lakes, AZ, fell asleep in the loving arms of his family and awoke in the arms of the Lord, early Thursday morning, June 12, 2014, in the comfort of his home in the town of Nasewaupee (Sturgeon Bay).
John and Pauline (Gospodarek) Witczak welcomed their son, Bernie, into the world, March 20, 1933, at their family home in Manitowoc, WI. Bernie was a member of the Manitowoc Lincoln High School class of 1950. Upon graduation, Bernie initially worked as a draftsman for Hamilton Institution. Bernie went on to study mechanical engineering at Indiana Technical College where he earned his degree. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1953 and served from 1954 until 1955. Bernie was united in marriage to Phyllis Ann Mawhorr on June 8, 1957, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Fort Wayne, IN. They were blessed with 57 years of marriage, five children; thirteen grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
From 1958 to 1966, Bernie worked for Imperial Eastman of Manitowoc and eventually became in charge of the company’s Far East Division. During the later part of his career there, he began working for his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago, graduating in 1966. Bernie went to work in the mobile home industry for Skyline in 1966, where he was the Vice President until 1981. That same year, Bernie went to work for Utilimaster, a truck body manufacturing company and served as the company President until his retirement in 1991.
In his retirement, Bernie enjoyed running and playing tennis. He earned his certification as a tennis pro and enjoyed teaching tennis at St. Peter Indian Mission School in Bapchule, AZ. Bernie also enjoyed playing golf. He had a passion for singing and was a member of the Basilica Choir in Phoenix, AZ. While in Door County, Bernie donated his time with the reception desk at the Ministry Door County Medical Center (free) Dental Clinic. While living in Manitowoc, Bernie was a member of the local Knights of Columbus council. He was currently a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay, where he sang in the church choir.
Bernie’s love will live on in the hearts of his wife, Phyllis of Sturgeon Bay; children, Greg (Patti) Witczak, Peter (Kathryn) Witczak, both of Indianapolis, IN, Deborah (Donald) Patton of Vincennes, IN, Kathryn (Christopher) Poling of Indianapolis, IN, Patricia (William) Breed of Falls Church, VA; grandchildren, Madison and Larissa, Thomas, Michael and John, Colleen (Mark), Nicole (John), and Mitchell, Colin, Spencer, and Katrina, Alina and Grace; great-grandchild, Virginia; siblings, Anthony (Cathy) Witczak of Wayne, PA, Mary (Gerry) Kreie of Mukwonago, WI; sister-in-law, Rose Witczak of Athelstane, WI; and many other dear friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will celebrated at 1:00 p.m., Monday, June 16, 2014, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Fr. Bob Stegmann as celebrant. Luncheon to follow to at the church. Inurnment will be at a later date in the columbarium at St. Joseph Cemetery Mausoleum.
Friends may call at the church, Monday, from 12:00 p.m. (noon) until the time of Mass.
Memorials may be given in Bernie’s memory to DOOR CANcer INC. (P.O. Box 423, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235).
The family would like to thank Unity Hospice for the compassionate care shown to Bernie.
Huehns Funeral Home of Sturgeon Bay is caring for the Witczak family. Online condolences and guestbook signing may be offered on Bernie’s tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.