Longtime Boulder resident Wilmar (Wil) Bernthal, age 98, died peacefully at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community on September 9, 2018.
Wil Bernthal was born on June 16, 1920 in Frankenmuth, Michigan, to Richard and Agnes Bernthal. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, participating in the European campaign from Normandy to Germany, achieving the rank of master sergeant. He married Lorna Schreiner in Frankenmuth on August 30, 1946.
Wil completed a BA degree at Valparaiso (Indiana) University in 1949, an MBA at the University of Michigan in 1950, and a doctorate in Business Management at Indiana University in 1957. He was a member of the Business and Economics faculty at Valparaiso University from 1950 to 1955 and professor of management and organization at the University of Colorado School of Business from 1957 to 1986. His career also included appointments with the University of Utah, teaching in graduate programs in Germany and Spain, and with Pittsburgh University, teaching on the Semester at Sea program.
Wil relished the intellectual stimulation and challenge of university life. In 1981 he was recognized with the Stearns Award for exceptional service at the University of Colorado.
Wil was a member of the Academy of Management and served on its Board of Governors from 1966 to 1973. From 1966 to 1967 he was president of the Western Academy of Management, and from 1966 to 1971 was national president of Sigma Iota Epsilon, the student division of the Academy. He served on the National Executive Board of SIE from 1971 to 1986. In 1972 Wil was elected a Fellow in the Academy of Management, its highest honor.
Wil was preceded in death by his spouse, Lorna. He is survived by daughters Paula Palmer of Louisville, Colorado, and Shirley (Charlie) Paterson of Colorado Springs, and by sons Robert (Leona Furnari) of Boulder, and William of Brooklyn, New York. Also surviving are granddaughters Maia (Brett) Hendel-Paterson of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and Twila (Chris) Moon of Big Sky, Montana, grandson Kevin (Paola Alonso Trejo) McEvoy of Boulder, and great grandsons Quinn and Wesley Hendel.
Surviving brothers are Edward of Waupun, Wisconsin, Fred (Shirley) of Morristown, New Jersey, and Herbert (Frances) of Frankenmuth. A brother, Arnold, and a sister, Lorine, preceded him in death.
Wil delighted in extended family relationships. He created and maintained treasured family traditions. He recorded and shared his memories of the family's past, from Michigan farm days through recent years.
Wil and Lorna's lives were enriched by co-sponsoring a Vietnamese refugee family who became dear friends in Boulder for many years, and by co-sponsoring Hmong families from Cambodia.
Wil and Lorna celebrated over 70 years of marriage, filled with family activities including sports and travel. They explored the U.S. on many car trips, always on the lookout for educational and historical points of interest. Wil loved hiking in Colorado and taking photos to share in family slide shows. After retirement, he and Lorna participated in over thirty Elderhostel programs in the U.S. and abroad. The year 2000 saw them make the move from the family home on Forest Avenue to Frasier Meadows Retirement Community, where they found rewarding friendships and activities.
Wil was a lifelong baseball fan, as well as an avid pool and board game player at Frasier.
Wil and Lorna were members of Grace Lutheran Church for over fifty years. The church, at 13th and Euclid, will hold Wil's memorial service on Saturday, September 22 at 11 a.m., with inurnment in the Grace Church Columbarium.
The family thanks TRU Community Care, Frasier Meadows Assisted Living and Healthcare, and many friends and relatives for their loving attention.