Bernard Otto Gruenke
Gruenke, Bernard Otto Of Brookfield, called by the Lord to Eternal Life on March 31, 2012, at the age of 99. Beloved husband of the late Mary Anne (nee Sprangers) Gruenke. Cherished father of Bernard Eugene (Diane) Gruenke, Anne (Harry) Konczal and Jeanette "Janie" Gruenke. Loving grandfather of Chris Kosmicki, the late Daniel Kosmicki, Heidi (Curt) Emery, David (Chris) Huebner, Kim (Steve) Silber, Aaron (An) Huebner, Gunar (Leslie) Gruenke, Marianne Huebner and Paul (Amy) Kosmicki; and great-grandfather of 14 great-grandchildren. Also remembered by other family and friends. He was preceded in death by 2 sisters and 4 brothers. Bernard, born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was an American stained glass artist who produced one of the first faceted (Dalle de Verre) glass windows in the United States in 1949. Bernard began his art studios at the Layton School of Art, then at age sixteen, was encouraged in his pursuit by Miss Marie Kohler who provided him a scholarship in 1929 to the Corcoran Art School in Washington D.C. He also studied under Caesar Riccardi in Philadelphia. Gruenke joined Conrad Schmitt Studios in 1936, working closely with the founder, Conrad Schmitt. In the late 1940s, Gruenke became Rupert Schmitt's partner and following Rupert's death in 1951, he purchased the renowned national art studio from the Schmitt estate and went on to provide murals, stained glass, interior design and decorative paintings for thousands of churches, synagogues, theatres and public buildings throughout the United States. Gruenke's, efforts to create and advance art glass were recognized by the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) over the years. A member since 1936, he served as Vice President of the SGAA and was named a Fellow in 1972. In 1996, Gruenke was honored with the SGAA's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1980, an honorary degree was conferred upon Gruenke by Mount Mary College in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin: Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa. Bernard, also affectionately known as "Senior" was an excellent swimmer and scuba diver. He enjoyed his summers in Crystal Lake in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He was an avid sheepshead player and enjoyed his weekly card game with "the boys." Visitation Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at the Funeral Home from 4PM until the 7PM Vigil Service. Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, April 4, at 11AM, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1755 N. Calhoun Rd., Brookfield. Private entombment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Sheboygan. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. John Vianney Church, Brookfield; or The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, appreciated.

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Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Apr. 1 to Apr. 4, 2012.
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22 Entries
Dear Gunar and family,
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather. I pray that God will comfort and give peace and healing in the difficult days ahead to your family and close friends. Sincerely, Joan C.Di Stefano,
Di Stefano Ruiz Studio Oakland, CA
April 20, 2012
My condolences to the entire Gruenke family. I fondly remember Bernie from my childhood days at Crystal lake, WI. I remember his interests in all the things regarding the lake, especially his water skiing abilities when most people his age were content to sit in a lawn chair. Again my sympathys to Bernie, Diane & Janie it's been to many years since we have seen each other.
Gordie Meyer
April 17, 2012
To Bernie, Diane, Ann, and Janie. I'm sorry for your loss. Your dad (and mom, too) always made me feel like one of your family; he was a truly wonderful second father to me on so many weekends growing up at Crystal Lake. Cherish those memories forever.
Dennis Katte
April 16, 2012
To the Gruenke family, I, and my family, remember with fondness - Bernie, at Crystal Lake. He would come down the road to my Dad's (Ted Grasse) cottage, & share many laughs. In later years he'd often stop in at my husband (John) and son's (Peter) Pharmacy in Brookfield. John passed away 11 yrs ago on April 3rd. You all are in my prayers.
Jean (Grasse) Dickman
Jean Dickman
April 6, 2012
What a great guy! My folks always spoke so highly of Bernie and fondly told of all the really wonderful times they shared with the Gruenke's.
Paul Pickel
April 5, 2012
I miss his smiling face and always seeing him so dapper. Prayers to your entire family.
Leah Larson
April 4, 2012
Dear Family,
We are very sorry to hear of Bernie's passing. He was a very dear friend to our beloved uncle Fr. Richard Fale. Their love for the arts bonded their friendship. Bernie's talents were a gift from God and he will never be forgotten.
You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
The family of Margaret Fale Crnecki, Sheboygan
Mary Heronymus
April 4, 2012
To the Gruenke family my deepest condolences to all of you we have lost a magnificent man he will be greatly missed, sorry for your lost.
Mark Jaeger
April 3, 2012
We send our sincerest condolences to the entire family. I was very saddened to hear about your fathers and granfathers passing. He was oviously a pioneer in the restoration industry and created a legacy in which set the standard for all others. He was a man who never forgot were he came from.
He developed and dedicated a foundation that serves to nurture artists, just as Chairperson, Bernard O. Gruenke started his long outstanding career. He led an amazing life in which he touched the hearts of so many through his artistic expression and monumental work in the world of architectural design. He is a man that we all should aspire to his hard work and appreciate what he accomplished in life.I know that words are only a small gesture of support. I know there isn't much we can say or do to ease the pain you feel right now. He was such a talented person, and I know that lives on in your family and your organization. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers

Peter and Lisa Langlotz, Pleasant Prairie, WI
April 3, 2012
Thinking of you with love and prayers -many wonderful times at Crystal. Kay Jarr
Kay Jarr
April 2, 2012
Our family will miss Senior so much- sorry for your loss and our prayers are with you at this time. His story telling will be missed every holiday we were together.
Sue Albert
April 2, 2012
My sympathies to all of you. Having your Dad for so many years will give you wonderful memories of happy times. May God bless each and everyone.
Lois Smith Goetz, Venice, Florida
April 2, 2012
My deepest sympathy to all of Bernard's family and to church body he belonged to. I truly wish I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet him before his passing, but I feel I know him so well from all the stories his grandson Christopher has shared. He led an amazing life which undoubtedly touched the hearts of so many through his artistic expression and monumental work in the world of architectural design. His legacy will live on in our minds and hearts forever. My love and prayers to you all." - Sarah Baumann
Sarah Baumann
April 2, 2012
Our prayers are with you all. We know he will be greatly missed. Mike and Patt Kelley
April 2, 2012
To all of the Gruenke family, my deepest symapthies on the loss of your Dad, my Uncle Bernie. He was always gracious and fun and I cherish the memories at the cottage.
Bruce Sprangers (Elgin, IL)
April 2, 2012
April 2, 2012
Our Memorial Prayers and sympathy are expressed for the Falling Asleep of Bernie. Indeed a most gifted man whose works will be forever treasured;especially for our Historical Church. Fr. James Dokos and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Wauwatosa,WI
April 2, 2012
Am so saddened to hear of Bernie's passing.It was an honor to take care of him and will always remember him fondly. My sympathy to the entire family. Love,Debbie[his favorite nurse] Sarasota,FL.
April 1, 2012
your dad. Sorry we can't be there with you. He will be missed.

Greg and Pat Blum
April 1, 2012
Bernie and family -- Very sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Our condolences to all of you.Chuck and Judy ( Aero Park)
April 1, 2012
We send our sincerest condolences to Bernie, Diane & the entire family.
Dad was an extremely talented artist, who guided the Conrad-Schmitt Studio to its incredible success.
May we hope we live as long!
James E. Renner
James Renner
April 1, 2012
Dear Bernie,Janie,Ann & family,

My Sympathy, Prayers & Thoughts are with you in the passing of your Father & Grandfather to the "Peace of Our Lord's Kingdom".I treasure my visits with your Dad & Mother.May memories of happy times help sustain you in the days ahead.

Kathy Knudten
April 1, 2012