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Bernard Fendt

1934 - 2006


Bernard "Bernie" G. Fendt, 71, of Watertown, died April 14, 2006, at his home.


A memorial Mass will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Henry Catholic Church in Watertown with the Rev. Bernard Rott officiating. Burial will be at St. Henry’s Catholic Cemetery in Watertown. Graveside military rites will be conducted by the Watertown Veterans Council.


If desired, memorials may be made to the St. Henry’s Catholic School Tuition Fund to help students in need or to Rainbow Hospice of Jefferson.


Hafemeister Funeral Home of Watertown is in charge of arrangements.


Bernie was born in Watertown on Aug. 20, 1934, the feast day of St. Bernard, son of Eugene "Gene" and Lillian (Tyson) Fendt.


Bernie received a degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He had served in the United States Army.


He was an accredited teacher and social worker. He worked in Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Waukesha and other cities.


In 1989 he received a heart transplant at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. Bernie had been employed at St. Henry's Parish at the time, but a few years thereafter, health forced his retirement. He then became a service volunteer.


He enjoyed caring for the terminally ill through Rainbow Hospice of Jefferson. He was also co-founder of the service organization, Quad-County Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, and was a member of Disabled American Veterans. He will be sadly missed by all.


Surviving are his sisters, Dorothy (Paul) Bohlmann of Palatine, Ill., and Gemma (Don) Templeton of Green Bay; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; one-day-old brother, Anthony; a brother, Eugene J. Fendt; sisters, Marian Behling, Margaret Bohlman and Jane Schubert; and a brother-in-law, Gerald Schubert.




In February of 1990 the Watertown Daily Times had a feature article on parishioner Bernard Fendt and the heart transplant procedure he had undergone at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, emphasizing the lasting near-death impressions Bernard experienced and how they helped to transform his life.  After a month of assuming he was dead, and days of feeling dead, Fendt remembered the moment he woke from surgery as “one of the most precious memories I’ll ever have in my new life.“  Fendt was the maintenance man for the church and also for St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged.