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Thomas Carlton Bernhardt

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

Obituary

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 www.parkinson.org or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan at www.hospiceswmi.org. To view Tom's personalized webpage please visit https://www.langelands.com

 

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