Robert F. Pernitzke

Nov. 14, 1920 - Dec. 5, 2008

Robert F. Pernitzke, 88, of Merrill, formerly of Milwaukee and Waukesha, died Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, at Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill.

Robert was born Nov. 14, 1920, in Fond du Lac, son of the late Julius and Leona (nee Dugelman) Pernitzke. He married Mary Secard on July 12, 1947, in Merrill. She survives.

He served as a member of the United States Navy during World War II. He entered active duty Sept. 8, 1939, and was honorably discharged Nov. 5, 1945. Robert was one of the crew members aboard the ill-fated carrier Yorktown during the Battle of Midway. The aircraft carrier sunk when a Japanese submarine fired two torpedoes into the wounded ship.

Robert had been a police officer in the Milwaukee area for 17 years. He and his family then moved to Waukesha, where he became a dispatcher for the Waukesha Police Department. He also worked in maintenance at St. John Vianney Catholic Church and School. Later on, he helped take care of those in a private, assisted-living facility and he also worked as a crossing guard. Robert was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill. He enjoyed volunteering his time to help anyone in need. He was a blood donor, having donated well over 100 pints of blood.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Pernitzke of Merrill, three daughters, Marge Meyer of Minneapolis, Teresa (Doug) Larsen of North St. Paul, Minn., and Annee Gerard of New Berlin; one son, Michael (Ina) Pernitzke of Los Gatos, Calif.; nine grandchildren, Marie Brown, Candice Braun, William Kawatski, Brie Meyer, Philip Meyer, Andrew Pernitzke, Benjamin Pernitzke, Samantha Czarnecki and Ryan Czarnecki; and nine great-grandchildren and one sister, Dolores Drewsen of Minocqua.

Robert was preceded in death by his son, Patrick, and two brothers, Melvin Butch and Arthur.

Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at St. Joseph Cemetery Chapel, Waukesha. The committal service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the chapel. The Rev. Leonard Barbian will officiate. Entombment will take place in St. Joseph Cemetery, Waukesha, with graveside military rites coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Military Honors Program.

The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home in Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. More information can be found, and online condolences made, at