James O. Bernklau, 82, of Sturgeon Bay, fell asleep in the loving arms of his family and awoke in the arms of the Lord, Tuesday morning, January 29, 2019 at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay.
He was born November 22, 1936 in Milwaukee, the son of Orren Joseph Bernklau and Monette (Heinzen) Bernklau. Jim attended St. Sebastian School and graduated from Pius XI High School in 1955, both in Milwaukee. He was united in marriage to Anne Margaret Burt, whom he had know since high school, on October 18, 1957 at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Wauwatosa. They were blessed with over 61 years of marriage.
Jim worked on a farm as a kid, but spent his entire adult life working in real estate management, as he owned and operated Metropolitan Management Company in Milwaukee for over 40 years. He provided building rehab for Savings and Loans, amongst other places over the years. Jim and Anne moved to Fort Meyers, FL in 2002 and enjoyed spending their summer months in Sturgeon Bay where they had property since 1965.
He was a former parishioner of St. Jude the Apostle and Christ King, both in Wauwatosa, then St. Lukes in New Berlin. While in Door County, Jim occasionally attended St. Joseph Parish in Sturgeon Bay. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus in West Allis. Jim had professional memberships in the Real Estate Examining Board in the Milwaukee area and the Wisconsin Realtors and National Realtors Associations. He was a former board member of the Door Property Owners Association, a former President of Cabot's Cove, and also served on the board for the Town of Nasewaupee. Jim was a proud stockholder of the Green Bay Packers.
He was a "putterer" who liked woodworking and fixing things. Jim loved the outdoors and fishing. He liked playing cards, especially Swedish Rummy. Jim loved ice cream and Karleen's cookies and also liked spaghetti and fish. He would dress up as Santa and deliver toys to kids at other families' homes. With his strong political views, Jim should have been a political commentator. He will be remembered for his sayings: "...And stick to the basics.", "glubs" (gloves), "battries" (batteries), and wanted to build his dream "4x4 home on an 8x8" lot, for being a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, but above all, Jim will be remembered as being a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
He will be missed by his dear wife, Anne; six children, Jane (Glen) Herlitz of Sturgeon Bay, Jim (Lily) Bernklau of Oconomowoc, Kate (Bill) Sherrill of Irvington, VA, Tom (Karleen) Bernklau of Sussex, Julie (Guy) Andrysick of Naples, FL, and Tim (Danette) Bernklau of Suamico; 15 grandchildren, Valerie (Jeff) Kretz, Matthew (Amber) Binney, Lane (Eric) Hagen, and Breanne (JP) Hayes, Jaisa (Andrew) Riemenschneider, Ashley and Cullen Bernklau, Gregory and Logan Ballering, Justin (Lindsay), Dylan, Dakota, and Alyssa Bernklau, Brady Hughes and Ben, Emily (Paul), and Hilary Andrysick, and Bradley and Adam Bernklau; eight great-grandchildren, Micah Vaness, Cooper and Layla Hagen, Huck, Moxie, and Zia Hayes, and Gwen and Issac Binney; two siblings-in-law, Mary Steinweber and Bob (Sue) Burt, both of Fort Meyers, FL; nieces and nephews; other relatives; and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Lauren Binney; parents-in-law, Robert and Armella (Weiss) Burt; brother-in-law, Tony Steinweber; and other relatives.
His life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 12 noon on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant. Jim will be laid to rest in the Bayside Cemetery columbarium.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of Mass.
Jim's family would like to thank the staff at Davita Dialysis Center for their weekly care, the drivers of Door to Door for their safe delivery and kind service, the medical staff at Door County Medical Center ER for their attention and continued care and Anna's Healthcare for their assistance.
Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay are assisting the Bernklau family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of James may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.