Bernard Martin Spinelli, age 86 of Mukwonago, WI passed away at his residence surrounded by his family on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Bernie was born on February 15, 1935 in Brooklyn, NY to Benedict and Madelyn (Gleason) Spinelli. He married the love of his life Diane T. Montalbano on June 23, 1963 in Santa Maria, CA.
Bernie proudly served his country in the United States Air Force from 1954-1958 and received a BS and MS degrees in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, NY. Bernie loved photography, art, pasta, jazz music and a mean cup of tea. He was known to be found in bookstores, planting tomatoes and falling asleep with the New York Times in his lap. He loved many, annoyed some and will be greatly missed.
Memories from Diane:
Miller Brewing, Milwaukee, WI
EMPLOYMENT Carling National, Baltimore, MD
Continental Can, New Jersey and New York
American Bosch, Arma, New York
Bachelors and Masters Degree, Pratt Institute, New York
EDUCATION Cooper Union, New York, New York
ABOUT BERNIE Avid reader, curious, extraordinary intellect, passion for good food, jazz, planes, trains, automobiles, loved his time in the US Air Force.
He had a quick, wicked, razor sharp sense of humor with everything he did; including culinary skills and his lack of clean up.
Our “Mr. Wonderful” you will live in our hearts forever.
Captain my Captain, its been such a ride,
Your Loving Co-Pilot
Memories from Nicole:
A long, long time ago, a dad was standing in a kitchen transfixed by the tv. His daughter walked in, yawned and asked why he was up especially early, her dad replied while pointing (at the small black and white 18 inch with tinfoil rabbit ears) “A prince and princess are getting married.” It was Charles and Diana. He took a sip of his tea and asked his daughter if she’d like something to eat. She replied no and asked if this was true, that there are real princes and princesses in this world (she had thought that princes and princesses were something you read about in fairy tails). He replied, “Oh yes, in England there are, other places too. I was stationed in England you know when I was in the service” there was a pause, “but,” he replied, “that’s a different story.” There in a kitchen, as the sun was rising in the wee hours, a dad and daughter stood in pajamas watching a prince and princess getting married on a little black and white tv. This fairytale in the making, this rare and quiet (favorite) moment shared that asks and reminds of a father and daughter once upon a time.
Disclaimer: Now, don’t get me wrong people, Bernie had a sweet, soft side to him as this little moment shares, but he too had a royal (not Charles and Diana) pain in the ass side as well-hence the 18 inch black and white tv with tinfoil bunny ears that you had to bang with your hand to remove static or his ability to turn ANY conversation into his service of the Air Force. Oh, and how he’d especially love knowing the amount of cash (Bernie was cheap, I mean Wal-Mart coupon I’m going to complain about the produce cheap) this little shindig of a memorial is costing to gather comrades and family to remember him fondly, and as Bernie would say to said daughter, “Sinatra, guns and antipasto....nice touch kid....I’ll wait for you in the big casino in the sky.”
Memories from Torrey:
Father, I miss you, you gave me everything in life, made me who I am.
From walking me to the bus stop, showing me how to ice skate, ski, shoot, fish, hunt and ride a bike.
Going to Colorado opened my soul to how peaceful the world can be and also how non-forgiving mother nature can be.
Fishing/hunting with Lee and growing up with a pond/forest in the back yard was the best gift in my life.
It was hard holding your hand as you took your last breath, but I know you are not in pain anymore and you are with God now.
As per your wishes I will try to take care of Mom and the house. I know you want me to be strong so now I must become an even better/stronger man to take on this.
The storm is almost over and as per your wishes I will take you to Alpine Tunnel Colorado.
You are always in my heart/soul and when God calls me, we can share heaven in all of its glory.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Diane; his children, Steven Spinelli, Nicole (fiancée, Pat Hawley) Bamrah and Torrey Spinelli; his 4 grandchildren, Camille, Michael, Marco and Gia; other relatives and friends, and his cats.
Preceding him in death are his parents.
The family would like to thank ProHealth Home Hospice for their love, care and support of Bernie.
A Celebration of Life Service for Bernie will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 11:00AM at Thelen Funeral Services (W309S4840 Commercial Drive, North Prairie, WI—NW corner of Hwy’s 83 and 59) with Military Honors to follow. Memorial visitation and sharing will be from 10:00AM until the time of services.
Memorial contributions in Bernie’s name may be directed to: VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI. 53295
For those unable to attend, those wishing to share a memory or those wanting to just sign the on-line guest registry, please go to: www.thelenfh.com. Thelen Funeral Services of North Prairie/Genesee is honored to be assisting the Spinelli family. 262-392-4251
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bernard Martin SPINELLI, please visit our floral store.
VA Medical Center
5000 West National Avenue, Milwaukee WI 53295