Bernard Donald Schlafke Sr., 92, of De Pere, passed away on September 1, 2023 at McCormick Home. He was born above the family bakery in Wabeno, WI "with a doughnut in his mouth" on November 16, 1930 to Theodore and Beata (Haasch) Schlafke. After graduating from Wabeno High School in 1948, he attended St. Norbert College as a seminarian for 4.5 years, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Languages. He was a gifted musician, playing the piano, concertina, and singing. Bernie then attended the Army Language School in Monterey, CA to learn Korean in preparation for three years of military service in South Korea. After his honorable discharge he began his long teaching career at Pennings High School. He then met Nancy while they were chaperoning a ski trip to Michigan, and on August 19, 1961, they were united in marriage at St. Francis Church, De Pere. He then began his career as a beloved public language educator with the Green Bay School District, and retired in 1990.
Throughout his life, Bernie enjoyed baking, bicycling, playing the piano, singing in church choirs, and performing community service through the Lion's Club. He was an active member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, and with Nancy enjoyed regular ski outings, summer trips to the cottage on Trump Lake, played Bridge, and gathered with the neighbors for beer and pizza. Bernie was proud to be a grandfather to Emma and Sam, and later a great-grandfather, spending time together with Charlie and Scarlett.
Bernie will be sadly missed by his loving son and daughter: Bernie Jr. and Susan, grandchildren: Emma (Jake) Schinke and Sam Collins, great-grandchildren: Charlie and Scarlett Schinke, brother Walter (MaryLou) Schlafke, sister-in-law Jeanne Schlafke, and further survived by many nieces, nephews, and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Nancy, three infant children: Margaret, George, and Andrew, and siblings, Doris Melchior and Ted Schlafke Jr.
Visitation will be held Saturday, September 9, 2023, 9:00 am at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Parish, 413 St. John Street, Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11:00 am. Interment will take place on at the Allouez Catholic Cemetery. A memorial is being established for a bench along the Fox River Trail, as Bernie loved biking there.
The family would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the excellent loving care he received at McCormick Assisted Living. The family would also like to thank Unity Hospice for the comfort care he received.
"As you ramble on through life, brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole!"