Barbara Ann (Schmit) Bichler, age 89, of Port Washington, Wisconsin, left her earthly body to be with her Creator on Friday, February 25, 2022.
She peacefully passed on in the same home in which she was born, after a strong battle against the cancer that weakened her body but never her spirit.
Barb was born on October 11, 1932 to Cecilia & John L. “Jack” Schmit, who operated the GM dealership & built the family home on North Wisconsin Street in Port Washington. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Port High in 1950. Barbara was married 21 years to Jim Bichler. She was dedicated to her family as they lived in Green Bay and Eagle River, Wisconsin.
Barb returned to Port in 1974 and worked at Columbia Garage alongside her brothers, Donald and Elmer Schmit for many years. She then worked at Aqua Chem and as a realtor for Gerald Gruen Realty, while providing childcare to her beloved Pfrang and Goettl boys.
Barb was a woman of strong faith. She was an active volunteer at her parish and in the community, including Port Women’s Club, St. John XXIII Parish eucharistic minister, Lincoln Elementary Breakfast Club and Ellen’s Home bingo caller. Barb loved playing bridge while enjoying the competition and camaraderie of marathon bridge tournaments. She filled her days with reading, visits with family and friends and travelling. Barb traveled to China, Russia, Greece and Europe on tours with friends and spent many vacations with family. As late as 2021, she camped and toured the parks of Utah, still excited to see and experience new places.
Barb is survived by her children Doug (Virginia) Bichler of Eagle River, Patrick Bichler of Eagle River, Mary (Mike) Van Pietersom of Port Washington, Kay Millonzi of Port Washington, Julie (Steve) Plier of Fredonia, Lisa Hansen of Crivitz and a son-in-law Jeff Enderle of Wheat Ridge,CO. Her In-laws include Audrey Schmit, Charles “Skip” & Peggy Bichler, June Williams and Mildred Prom. She is further survived by 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, as well as, many special nieces and nephews and wonderful friends who visited often, sharing stories and bringing treats for her “sweet tooth”.
Her parents and six siblings, Robert (Harriet) Schmit, Elmer (Lucille) Schmit, Marion (Frank) Pujanauski, Don Schmit, Ruth (Jim) Lorge, and Cecilia (Harold) Priesler, brother-In-laws Wilbert Prom & Robert Williams preceded her in death, as well as, her beloved eldest daughter, Susan Ruth Merline. The Schmit Gang is back together and we can only imagine the joy.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Noon on Saturday March 12, 2022 at St John XXIII Parish- St. Peter of Alcantara Church, 1800 N. Wisconsin St. Port Washington, WI. Visitation at the church 11:00AM –Noon Saturday AT CHURCH prior to the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to Friends of the W. J. Niederkorn Library or Port Food Pantry.
Special thanks to the wonderful staff of Sharon Richardson Hospice who provided the supportive services to meet Barbs wish to remain at home with loved ones.