Dr. William Erwin Burmeister, of Pulaski, Wisconsin went home to be with his Lord on July 30, 2021.
He was born August 29, 1925 in Bonduel, Wisconsin to William Henry and Emma Louise Hinz. Bill grew up on a farm in Bonduel. He attended St. Paul Lutheran School and graduated from Bonduel High School in 1943. His interest in farming led him to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio to study veterinary medicine. World War II changed his plans when he was called for service in the U.S. Army. He served as a medic and signal operator in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska during the war. After Bill’s military service ended, he continued his veterinary education at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
On June 9, 1951 he married his college sweetheart, Wilmine “Willie” Louise Baehre. Bill and Willie had four children: William Frederick (Sherry) Burmeister, Jane Kay (Jeffrey) Raday, Nancy Lynn (Randall) Lewis and James Paul (Kimberley) Burmeister. He had 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
That same June he graduated from veterinary school and set up his veterinary practice in Pulaski, Wisconsin. He practiced veterinary medicine for 39 years, retiring from practice in 1990. During his time as a veterinarian Bill, along side Dr. Fred Born (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) and then Gov. Tommy Thompson were instrumental in helping to develop the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1978 to 1980 he served as president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association. In 2001 Bill received recognition for 50 years of membership in the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Association for his commitment to organized veterinary medicine. He remained a member until his death.
Bill served over 40 years on the Pulaski Board of Education and in 1988 was presented an Honorary Diploma for his outstanding contributions and dedication to education. In 2004 Bill was awarded a Certificate of Commendation in recognition of his service to the children in Wisconsin Public School District 27-B2. He also received the Frank X. Joswick Family Tri-County Community Corporation Award in recognition of his service to the Pulaski community. He also served on the board of Pulaski State Bank, and was a member of the Pulaski Chamber Commerce.
Bill was also very active in the Pulaski Lions Club. He served two stints as president, 1993-1996 and 1998-1999. For his dedication to the Lions, he was named a Melvin Jones Fellow for his dedicated humanitarian service through Lions Club International Foundation. Bill was a Member in Good Standing for 70 continuous years of Pulaski American Legion Post 337. A special memory for Bill was his participation, in 2015, in a World War II Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., out of Appleton, accompanied by eldest son Bill.
Bill and wife Willie are charter members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pulaski. Bill was active in worship, Bible study, the Board of Elders and as a Sunday School teacher. He also served as Church Council President.
Besides his love of work, Bill loved his Packers, Brewers and Cubs. He was a Packer season ticket holder dating back to City Stadium, and fondly recalled attending the “Ice Bowl” championship game with Willie in 1967, at Lambeau Field. He could often be seen out in the yard punting, passing and kicking with his young sons Bill and Jim. He also coached many little league baseball teams over the years..
Friends are invited to gather with the family from 9:00 am to 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 4, at St. John Lutheran Church, 910 S. St. Augustine St., Pulaski. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Larry Yaw presiding. Military honors will be rendered by the Pulaski Area Veterans following the service in the church parking lot. Bill will be laid to rest at Nicolet Memorial Mausoleum, Green Bay in a private ceremony with immediate family. The service will be livestreamed and can be found at stjohnpulaskiwi.org
Memorials can be directed to the UW Foundation Dairyland Initiative. Checks can be mailed to: UW School of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706.
The family extends its heartfelt thank you to the dedicated staffs at Good Shepherd Meadow Wood and Birch Way in Seymour, Unity Hospice and Marnocha Funeral Home in Pulaski.