Bernhard John Schumacher, M.D.
Sept. 15, 1926 — Jan. 28, 2015
Bernhard John Schumacher, M.D., a loving husband, father, grandfather, physician and veteran, died at his home in Oconomowoc on Jan. 28, 2015, at the age of 88. Bernhard was born Sept. 15, 1926, in Watertown. He was the cherished only child of Bernhard and Viola Schumacher and spent a wonderful childhood as a student at St. John’s Lutheran School and at the home that his grandfather built, good-naturedly tormenting his little terrier Kimmy by spinning him on a Motorola record player.
He spent summers at the family cottage on Lower Nehmahbin Lake where the blue gills nipped at his toes.
Bernhard graduated from Watertown High School in 1944 and at only 17 years of age, his parents reluctantly signed for him to enlist in the US Navy at his request.
He proudly served in the Pacific Theater as a radioman on the USS Scribner, a destroyer escort involved in the battle of Okinawa. At the end of the war, while still on his ship, he applied to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and became a proud Badger. It was there in German class freshman year that he met his partner-in-life, Elizabeth Braunschweig. They married June 16, 1951, at Dr. Martin Luther Church in Oconomowoc.
In 1954, he graduated from Marquette Medical School.
After an internship and residency at Milwaukee County General Hospital, he joined Wilkinson Clinic as the first internal medicine specialist to practice there. In addition to his practice, he taught and mentored young doctors as an assistant clinical professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Driven by a desire to bring medical care to the less fortunate, he also served on two medical missions to Haiti in 1980 and 1981. He practiced for 33 years before retiring in 1991. In 2001, he and his wife Betty were instrumental in founding Oconomowoc’s Lake Area Free Clinic, which serves the uninsured. He served as co-executive director for the first year and continued to serve on the Board of Directors through 2011. Bernhard also had the distinction of serving on the Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital Foundation Board at its inception.
Bernhard loved taking drives in his convertible, spending time on Lac LaBelle, and listening to Mozart and the three B’s: Beethoven, Bach and Brahms, although he was known to tear up whenever a bagpipe played. He will be remembered for his playful spirit, his lifelong love of Mullen’s Dairy ice cream, and his mean potato leek soup recipe.
Bernhard was also immensely proud of his Navy service and in 2012 was able to go to Washington, D.C., on the Badger Honor Flight, an experience he treasured.
He was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be sadly missed by his wife of 63 years, Betty; his three daughters, Lori Anderson (Jon) of Madison, Liz Schumacher Griffiths of Belgium and Mary Hollister (Mark) of Delafield; and eight grandchildren, Andrew Anderson (Robin), Beth Supple (Ryan), Meg Anderson, Nick Pie, Laura Griffiths, and Jake, Ben and Joey Hollister.
The visitation was Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm-Kreutzmann Funeral Home, 121 S. Cross St., Oconomowoc. The funeral will be held today, Feb. 5, at 11 a.m. at Dr. Martin Luther Church, 325 S. Main St., Oconomowoc. There will be a visitation at the church before the service from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Interment will be at a later date.
Memorials to the Lake Area Free Clinic, ProHealth Care Foundation-Nursing Education, and Dr. Martin Luther Church Endowment Fund are welcomed.
Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm- Kreutzmann Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family. For more information, call 262-567-4459 or visit online at www.schmidtandbartelt.com.