Kenneth E. Bernhardt, 81, of Eau Claire, WI, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2022, at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens memory care facility after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Born on October 31, 1940, in Winona, MN, Ken was the only child of Warren and Della Bernhardt. Upon graduating from Winona Senior High School, he served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. After being discharged, he returned home to Winona and married Bonita Speltz on September 2, 1961. They lived in Winona until 1975, when they moved to Eau Claire, WI.
Ken worked for Northern States Power Company and Xcel Energy for over 30 years before retiring. Never one to sit still, Ken enjoyed time spent working several part-time jobs in his retirement, his favorite being at Mill Run and Wild Ridge golf course. He loved to socialize with all the golfers.
In his free time, Ken was an avid golfer who judged his round not by his score, but by the number of golf balls he found. He also enjoyed running, playing cards, spending time at the YMCA, and especially loved coaching his sons’ sports teams and watching his grandchildren in all their academic and athletic endeavors. Ken took so much pride in his family and never missed an opportunity to offer his support. He and Bonnie enjoyed traveling, spending many winters in Panama City Beach, FL, and taking an Alaskan cruise with friends.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents and his son Steven who passed away in 1985. He is survived by his wife Bonnie; sons Jeff (Amy) Bernhardt and Tom (Paula) Bernhardt; grandchildren Paige and Zachary Bernhardt; Kaley (Michael) Gyorfi and Alexis (Mike) Kowalski; and step-grandchildren Allyson and Kyle Bourget.
Ken’s family extends a special thanks to the staff at The Classic Garden Community who took excellent care of him during his time there. The family also thanks the Mayo Clinic doctors and staff in neurology who cared for Ken throughout his journey with Parkinson’s, as well as the Mayo Clinic hospice staff.
A celebration of life will be Saturday, April 2 from 1-4 pm at Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth "Ken" E. Bernhardt, please visit our floral store.