William (Bill) Arthur Bernhardt Jr. of Baudette, MN passed away April 1, 2013 at the LakeWood Health Center at the age of 77.
Bill was born August 16, 1935 in Tomah, WI to William Bernhardt Sr. and Elsie (Zuehlke) Bernhardt. He grew up in Tomah, WI and attended Tomah public school. As a young teen Bill worked for several different farmers in the Tomah area, before moving to Spencer, WI and meeting the “love of his life,” Helen (Krueger). They were united in marriage on May 19, 1956 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Spencer, WI.
Bill and Helen made their home in West Allis, WI, where he drove truck for Aqua Chem and Cleaver Brooks Mfg Corp. In 1962 the couple moved to New Berlin, WI and purchased their first home. Bill worked at O’Rourke Heating Co. as a fuel delivery driver and also held various jobs on weekends, such as roofing, installing siding on homes, and selling and repairing R.V.’s at Sherm’s Campers. In January 1976, Bill and Helen relocated in northern Minnesota and purchased Angle Inn Lodge on Oak Island. They owned and operated the lodge until 1984. After selling the business, they lived year-round in Baudette, MN, where Bill created Tops-R-Us, a custom boat covering business, and worked part-time at various resorts in the area.
Bill enjoyed many things in life, such as fishing, hunting, playing cards, music, telling stories and jokes. He also played several different instruments, including a homemade instrument called a “Stump Fiddle”. Bill had a competitive nature and a great sense of humor. He was loved and will be missed by many.
Bill is survived by his children, Sheri (Dan) Gibbins of Baudette, MN; Kurt (partner, Cynthia Allds) Bernhardt of Tomah, WI; grandchildren, Clay (Megan) Gibbins, Crystal Gibbins, Kellen Bernhardt, Kaleb Bernhardt, Brooke Bernhardt; great-grandchildren, Madelynn and Gabriella; brothers, Duane Bernhardt, Bruce (Mary) Bernhardt; sisters, Lorraine Tuvnes and Carol (A.J) Nenno. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years, Helen; his parents; and his father and mother-in-law.
“God blessed us with a wonderful Dad, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather. We know that Bill and Helen are now together”.