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Bernadine T. Klimek, August 1, 1932 - January 5, 2017

Bernadine T. Klimek
Bernadine T. Klimek
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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 at

Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Marjorie Knapmiller January 13, 2017

    Dear Roxie and family. I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Sincerely Marge Knapmiller

  2. Linda and Joe Jackson January 12, 2017

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. With deepest sympathy, Linda & Joe Jackson

  3. Joan Hardie (formerly Simpson) January 11, 2017

    To the wonderful family of Bernie, I send my prayers and condolences to you at this difficult time. I've had you all on my mind and heart since I heard of Bernie's death, and have been praying for strength, peace, and comfort ever since. I know how physically draining it is, going through this, so am praying for that, as well. I will always remember Bernie as a wonderful soul, with the biggest heart. She showed us all "Jesus" in her manner and the way she lived. She was beautiful, inside and out. Her faith was evident and although my faith really grew after age 19, I remember vividly her faith being so strong, when I was a young child. May her sweet memory remain strong in your hearts. We don't know why God allows suffering on this earth, but He surely does, but may the suffering she went through somehow give you strength, hope, and love for each other and for all others. Loving you alll....

  4. Denns and Arlene Forster January 11, 2017

    We want to extend our sympathy to the family. We loved chatting with her at church. We have missed seeing her smiling face. We fully intended to come to the funeral, but we haven't been plowed out and don't know when it will happen. Again, our deepest sympathy.

  5. Dennis & Nancy Bonk January 10, 2017

    Hello Dick,
    Just want you to know how sorry we are to hear of the passing of Bernie. We both have a soft spot in our heart for her (and you) as we remember how gracious and warm you were to our family when we spent that time in Eau Claire. As I remember I was over to see you about some mining parcels and valuation and we spent quite a bit if time with you both. Wonderful memory. I also think of the fun times we had at many many Sups meetings in Madison. Good years. Take care and again, our deepest sympathies. Dennis & Nancy

  6. Diane Tolle January 9, 2017

    Bits , Mark and Family , So sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother. Know that deepest sympathies are expressed, thoughts and hugs too. Thinking of you !

  7. Gene and Vicki Johnson January 8, 2017

    Mark, Roxanne and family: Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with your family with the loss of your mother. She is truly blessed in her faith and a wonderful family.

  8. Chuck and Mary Killian January 8, 2017

    Rich and family,
    We are very sorry to learn of Bernadine's death. Please know that you will all be in our thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks ahead. She was a lovely lady.
    Chuck and Mary

  9. Dick & Diane Cozza January 8, 2017

    What a beautiful lady & what beautiful memories we have of our times with the two of you. God calls us all home & he needed Bernie right now. God's blessing to you and all your family. Dick & Diane

  10. Bob and Jan Darling January 7, 2017

    Please accept our sincerest condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one. She was a dear, dear,
    friend of many years and will be sadly missed but we
    keep happy memories of the friendship. We share our
    love and prayers. Bless you all. Jan and Bob

  11. Sarah Betthauser Schmid January 7, 2017

    My prayers and sympathy to Bernadine's family and siblings.Remembering so many cousin good times..Love, Sarah.

  12. Helen Therese O'Brien January 7, 2017

    Charlotte, Bob, Don, Richard, and Family, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow.We shared the St. Francis education and Tunnel City family gatherings.