John A. Archer

July 18, 1914 – Dec. 4, 2009

John A. Archer died peacefully Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, at the age of 95. He was born July 18, 1914, in Milwaukee, to John and Theresa Urschitz.

He attended Washington High School and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1940. John was the recipient of the Hurfurth Award, given to the outstanding senior, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Tau Omega. He joined the Navy in 1940 as a gunnery officer and retired as a commander. He continued his connection with the Navy for many years through the active reserves. He was employed by Schlitz from 1940 to 1977, ultimately as an executive vice president of distribution. John served on numerous boards, including Finlandia College in Michigan and Partners Mutual Insurance in Milwaukee. His real joy, in addition to his family, was sports. He had a try-out with the Chicago Cubs, but was a lifelong New York Yankees fan. Running marathons was his passion and earned him the nickname of "Black Bart." He completed 65 marathons, including 21 in Boston.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Delma in 1998.

John is survived by his son, John Jr. (Lynn) from Carmel Valley, Calif.; a daughter, Patti (David) Watkins from Stamford, Conn.; grandchildren, Christopher, Marc and Sharon Watkins and a new great-grandson, David R. Watkins. He is also survived by his devoted and loving companion, Margarita Robson.

Visitation will be held from 10:30 a.m. until the 11:30 a.m. funeral service Friday, Dec. 11, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 424 Hyde Park Ave., Waukesha. Refreshments to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or the charity of one’s choice are appreciated.

Harder Funeral Home of Brookfield is serving the family. For more information, call 781-8350 or visit