Hafemeister Funeral Home And Cremation Service
Phillip M. Bongard
March 10, 1933 - April 24, 2019 (Age 86)
Watertown, WI
Service: April 29, 2019
Phillip M. Bongard
Phillip M. Bongard, age 86, of Watertown, passed away on Wednesday, April 24 after a long illness, surrounded by family. Phil was born on March 10, 1933 in Sauk City, Wisconsin to Kate (nee Ganser) Bongard and William Bongard. Phil is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara (nee Block) Bongard, two sons, Scott Bongard of Schaumburg, Illinois and David (Carey) Bongard of Mequon, Wisconsin, three grandchildren, Ryan (Stefanie) Bongard, Kate (Collin) Filipp, and Kendall Bongard, four great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
Phil moved from Sauk City to Watertown at age seven and was a lifelong resident. He went to St. Bernard’s Catholic School and graduated from Watertown High School in 1951. On February 23, 1957, Phil married the former Barbara Block at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown. After serving in the National Guard, Phil became a letter carrier with the US Postal Service. He retired in 1988.
Phil could talk to anyone – and he did. Families on his route became his friends. Back in the day when holiday gifts could be accepted, Phil’s kitchen counter was filled with homemade goodies and beverages from those on his route. Phil always had a lunch stop on his route, usually at Grandma Elsie’s and she welcomed his company.
Within minutes of entering a restaurant, a ballpark, a church or the Elk’s Club where he was a member, Phil was quickly engaged in conversation with a big smile on his face. You could often hear his signature laugh. Even as his illness progressed, he would see someone and say to Barb or one of his sons, “He looks familiar” or “I know her from somewhere.” And he just may have.
Phil was loyal and others could count on him to help with a little fixer upper or a major project. His handiwork was evident in the landscape at St. Bernard’s church and cemetery, the care he provided to his mother and mother-in-law, and the helping hand he was always willing to offer.
An avid sports fan, Phil loved everything from the Watertown Cardinals to the Wisconsin Badgers. Phil and Barb went to many football games at Camp Randall, proudly wearing their Badger gear. They even made the trip to Pasadena for the 2000 Rose Bowl. Phil loved to fish, bowl, camp and play golf. He enjoyed being outdoors and being active.
Phil was spiritually devoted. His faith and the Church were important parts of his life. The roles of greeter and usher were perfectly suited to his personality. And, we know the Lord and loved ones who have passed before him welcomed him Home with open arms. Phil was preceded in death by his parents, his five siblings Marvin, Adeline, Jan, Mark and William (Bill) and his nephew, Jeff Bongard.
A heartfelt thank you to the family, friends and caregivers who have supported Phil and Barb, particularly during the last three years. Gifts, in memory of Phil, would be appreciated to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Watertown with Fr. Miroslaw Szynal officiating. Family and friends may gather at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will take place at St. Bernard’s Cemetery. Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Watertown is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com
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