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Darrell Bretl PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 18:28

Darrell P. Bretl of Port Washington passed on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, surrounded by his family.   Darrell was 88 years old.
He was born Nov. 5, 1929, in Sturgeon Bay, son of Andrew and Elda (Laubenstein) Bretl.
Darrell grew up in Sturgeon Bay and graduated from high school in 1947. He worked a few jobs before he joined the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War from 1948 to 1952 as a sergeant first class.
In the Army, Darrell met Mildred (Milly) Smith and they married on Nov. 10, 1951, in Erie, Pa.
He worked for a short time at International Harvester in Erie, Pa. The couple moved to Port Washington a year later, and he delivered milk for Werking’s Dairy and drove bus for Port Washington’s bus company, in which his father was a partner. Darrell had the honor of driving the last route before the bus company closed their doors.
He then was a TV repairman for Forstner/Hoffman until he bought the TV business and opened Darrell’s TV & Repair. This business also had a record store.
In 1965, Darrell joined Simplicity Manufacturing in the service department and eventually became the company's service manager.
In 1970, he joined American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and worked with Honda until he retired in 1986 as a senior executive in the motorcycle division in Gardena, Calif.
Darrell retired from Honda at age 57 but continued working in real estate, as a police dispatcher and as First Congregational Church’s bookkeeper.
Milly passed away in 1991, and Darrell stayed busy with his large family.  He also earned his pilot’s license, was an avid ham radio operator and loved to take road trips. He and his grandson Paul Bretl traveled in Darrell’s convertible sports car tens of thousands of miles around the country. This was a true passion of his.
This year, at age 87, he flew in a World War II open-cockpit war plane with Ageless Aviation Dreams. He also considered himself very fortunate to have taken a Stars & Stripes Honor Flight in October 2014, and wore his Honor Flight clothing with great pride.
Darrell is survived by his six children, Sherrie (Mike) Dimmer, Terry (Kathy) Bretl, Troy (Bridget) Bretl, Tracy (Phil Stepanski) Bretl, Scott (Stina) Bretl and Andy (Kris) Bretl, all of Port Washington.
He is further survived by his 16 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, one brother, Robert (Bernadine) Bretl, and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Milly, his parents, brother Alden, and in-laws Elmer and Freda Smith, Ellen and Harry Schultz, Peggy Martin, Remle Smith and Erma Rhodes.
Visitation for Darrell will be on Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 131 N. Webster St., Port Washington, with a funeral service and fellowship to follow.
A private burial will take place on Wednesday morning at Union Cemetery, Port Washington.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Community Education Foundation of PW-S Inc., P.O. Box 121, Port Washington, WI 53074, directed to the Darrell P. Bretl and Milly S. Bretl Memorial Scholarship.
The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to the entire staff of caring people at The Harbor Club and Cove in Port Washington and to VITAS Hospice Care.
Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington, is honored to serve the family.  
Online condolences may be left at

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