Fishing 01

Thomas Carlton Bernhardt

May 2, 1933 ~ September 10, 2020 (age 87)


Thomas Carlton Bernhardt of Kalamazoo passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, September 10, 2020 in the comfort of his home. Tom was born May 2, 1933 in Northville, MI the son of the late Frederick W. and Clara M. (Lietzau) Bernhardt. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Frederick P. Bernhardt. Tom left the farm to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his Masters of Social Work from Wayne State University. Tom retired after 24 years as a School Social Worker for Portage Public Schools. From a one-room country school house, to the university, to his well-read collection of books, Tom lived in passionate pursuit of knowledge. Whether captaining his sailboat, fishing from his canoe, or setting up camp, Tom put on his adventure hat and eagerly shared his wisdom of nature and life. A deeply spiritual man, Tom's faith guided him as a lifelong Lutheran. His love shone brightly as a loving husband and devoted family man. Tom's warmth continues to radiate from the legacy of his joyful, compassionate spirit that has touched many.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of over 45 years, Mary Collamer Bernhardt; children: Justin Bernhardt & Rachel Higgins-Bernhardt, Sarah Bernhardt Petersen & Christian Petersen; grandchildren: Sylvia & Jonas Petersen, and Elliot Bernhardt; and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Tom's honor can be made to the Parkinson's Foundation at or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan at To view Tom's personalized webpage please visit


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Carlton Bernhardt, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Thomas Carlton Bernhardt
© 2020 Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use