Donald Berchem, 81|
“Don” Berchem, age 81, of West Bend, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March
15, 2015, at Cedar Community. He was born on April 1, 1933, in Fond du Lac to
Mathias and Cecelia (nee Wirtz) Berchem. Don graduated from St. Mary’s Springs
Catholic High School. He went on to attend St. Norbert College in DePere and
then to UW-Madison where he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. He met
Rose (nee Valley) and they married on Sept. 3, 1960.
Don served in the U.S. Army aviation unit specializing in research and
development. Don was on team Board Six, which developed aspects of rotary wing
aircraft including the “Huey” helicopter. After his time in the service, Don
was employed at West Bend Outboard Engines Division in Hartford. Next, he went
to the FWD Corp. in Clintonville, Chrysler Corp. (formerly West Bend Company
Outboard Marine Division), Harley-Davidson, Chrysler Co. Automotive in Beaver
Dam and Ariens Co. in Brillion. Don was on the city and town boards of West
Bend. He also participated in Meals on Wheels. In his free time Don enjoyed
golfing, restoring cars and tractors and watching/attending races. He was a
member of the Milwaukee Porsche
Club and the 356 Porsche Club. Don enjoyed traveling for both work and leisure.
Reading, music and woodworking were also interests Don had. Don is survived by
his wife of 53 years, Rose; children Tom (Donna) and Anne; and sister Rosemary
Berchem. Further survived by other relatives and friends. Don is preceded in
death by his parents.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Frances Cabrini Church (1025 S. Seventh
Ave., West Bend, WI 53095) on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 2 p.m. with the Rev.
Nathan Reesman presiding. No visitation will take place prior to Mass. A private
visitation will be held at the Phillip Funeral Home (1420 W. Paradise Drive,
West Bend, WI 53095). In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to St.
Frances Cabrini Catholic Church or another foundation of your choice.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Don and Rose’s friends,
the staff at Cedar Community Rehab, Aurora Clinic in West Bend, Hartford
Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital for all their care and compassion they
provided Don throughout his journey.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family: 262-338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.