Obituary for Bernadine Bircher

Bernadine “Bea” Bircher, 94, Jacksonport, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 surrounded by her family.

Born Oct. 6, 1920 in Robinson, Ill., she is the daughter of the late Harry and Bernice (Newlin) Beabout of Oblong, Ill.  She graduated in 1942 from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago and served as a nurse anesthetist in World War II in Europe.  She married Tad Woodrow Bircher on Sept. 7, 1948 in Jackson, Wyo.  He preceded her in death in 1994.

Bea did private duty nursing before joining General Motors as an occupational health nurse in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked for over 20 years while raising her family.  Bea retired in 1983, and the couple moved to Door County in 1989.  She volunteered extensively for Door County organizations, including Headstart, White Fish Dunes, and League of Women Voters.  Bea was an active member of Bay View Lutheran Church and Sturgeon Bay YMCA for many years.  She was a great storyteller and will be remembered for her quick wit and contagious laugh.  She loved writing, reading, enjoying nature and activities with her children, grandchildren, family and friends.  Bea especially enjoyed spending time with her Door County friends, and the family wants to express their heartfelt appreciation to all those who supported Bea, especially her neighbors on Clark Lake.

Bea is survived by her son, Tad (Chip) Bircher and his wife, Karen, of De Pere, and their children Jeremy, of Portland, Ore. and Anjali of Allouez; her daughter Becky Brant and her husband, Steve, of Lancaster, Pa.; her brother Norman Beabout of Fredericksburg, Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Wendell, Harry (Hal) and Lawrence (Larry).

Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 3 at Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, followed by memorial services at 11:00 a.m. with full military honors.  Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Jacksonport.

Condolences and guestbook signing are available at

The family extends special thanks to the staff at Ministry Door County Medical Center, as well as Bellin Health and Unity Hospice in Green Bay.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in her memory to the Door County YMCA 1900 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 or Sturgeon Bay Headstart Center c/o Family and Child Learning Centers of NEW, 827 N. 8th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.

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