Bernadine T. Klimek “Bernie”, age 84, of Eau Claire, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at Heritage Court Memory Care, after a lengthy battle with the effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. She was born in Independence, WI on August 1, 1932 to Oscar and Theresa (Killian) Betthauser.
Bernadine graduated from Independence High School with the Class of 1950. She then went on to attend the St. Francis School of Nursing, graduating in 1953 with her RN degree. After graduation, she went on to work in the surgery department of Sacred Heart Hospital. She married her “high school sweetheart”, Richard Klimek, on August 7, 1954 at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Independence, WI.
Bernadine was a truly wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. Her love of the Lord, her faith and devotion to family and friends were all a priority in her life. She loved watching her children and grandchildren grow and develop and attending any and all activities they were involved in.
Bernie also enjoyed numerous camping trips to the mountains of the western US and Canada, with family and friends. The majesty and beauty of the mountains had a permanent impact on her. She was able to make a couple of return trips to the mountains later in life via snowmobile and motorcycle.
She dearly loved and enjoyed all of nature’s creations and beauty. She possessed the innate ability to recognize the things such as a rock, an acorn or even a fallen leaf.
Bernadine was an active member of St. Olaf Catholic Church for over 40 years. She had been involved in various church activities including the PCCW, serving community table and funeral meals, prayer chain and regular attendance at daily mass.
Survivors include her husband Richard, her four children, Ellen (Paul) Mills of Waukesha, Roxanne (Mark) Campbell of Elk Mound, Michelle Christianson of Fairburn, GA and Patrick (Joan) Klimek of rural Eau Claire; two brothers and a sister, Robert (Sue) Betthauser, Charlotte “Tarry” Gamroth, and Donald (Jan) Betthauser, brothers in law, Robert (Patti) Klimek, Edward Marsolek, Sr. and a sister in law, Lonnie Luebke.
She is further survived by six grandchildren, Ryan and Matthew Mills, Breanna (Gus) Wiedenhoeft, Katie Campbell and Lance and Julia Klimek and two great-grandchildren Theodore and Charlotte Wiedenhoeft. She is also survived by fifteen nieces and nephews.
Bernadine is preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Theresa (Killian) Betthauser, in-laws August and Margaret (Senty) Klimek, and brothers in law, Roger Klimek and Edward”Cono” Gamroth and sister in law Margaret Jean Marsolek. Also infant sister, Ann and special friend Ronald “Papa Noel” Luebke.
The family would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff of Heritage Court Memory Care and St. Croix Hospice for the care and compassion offered to Bernie during her difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, please direct all gifts to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin, 404½ N. Bridge Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729 or St. Olaf Parish, 3220 Monroe St, Eau Claire, WI 54703.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 201 at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 3220 Monroe Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703. Father Paul Hoffman will officiate. Visitation will be held Wednesday at 9 a.m. until time of the service at the church. Committal services will be held at St. Peter and Paul cemetery in Independence at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, following the funeral.
Friends and family may offer condolences online athttp://www.fullerspeckienhulke.com.
Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.