John J. Bichler

Mr. John Bichler, age 86, of Port Washington, formerly of Belgium, passed away at sunset on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.

John was born in Sheboygan on June 14, 1936, the son of Emil and Lorena (nee Wetor) Bichler.

He grew up on the family farm in the Town of Belgium and attended St. Nicholas Catholic School (Dacada U) as a young man, and later graduated from Port Washington High School with the Class of 1954.

After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving honorably until his discharge in 1957. During his time in the Army, he was stationed in Alaska as a heavy equipment operator and built runways at an Air Force Base near the Bering Straits.

On July 11, 1959, he married Evelyn Klein at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Fredonia.

The couple purchased the family farm in 1965 to raise their family. In 1968, they purchased an adjacent farm which made the total acreage 365, which John said “was an acre for every day of the year.”

John and Evelyn operated the dairy farm until selling it to their son Gary in 1989. John continued to work on the farm for many years after selling it to Gary.

John was a lifetime member of Divine Savior Parish, and Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, St. Nicholas Chapel.  He served as a parish trustee at St. Nicholas for 25 years as well as treasurer of the Cemetery Board.

John also served on the Northern Ozaukee School Board and was president for two years.

Due to his military service, he was a member of the Melvin Wester American Legion Post 412 in Belgium.

He was named “Outstanding Young Farmer of Ozaukee County” in 1971.

He enjoyed bowling, playing and coaching baseball and fast-pitch softball and was an avid Green Bay Packers fan. He also enjoyed a good game of sheepshead and putting together puzzles.

John is survived by his wife Evelyn of Port Washington; his four children,  Gary (Claire) Bichler of Belgium, Debra (Tim) Miller of Belgium, Patti Bichler of Waukesha and Paul Bichler of Chandler, Ariz.

He was a special grandfather to his four grandchildren, Heather (Luke) Meinen, Emily (Kenny) Dornburg, Shawn Miller and Ali (Tony Maher) Bichler, and great-grandfather to his six great-grandchildren, Myla, Orion, Penny, Skye, Jules and Brooks.   

John is also survived by his brother David Bichler of Raleigh, N.C., and two sisters-in-law, Beverly (the late Harold) Bichler of Wheaton, Ill., and Marge (the late Richard) Bichler of Port Washington.

He is also survived by his brothers-in-law Joseph (the late Marilyn) Klein and Norbert (the late Beverly) Klein and his sister-in-law Elvira (the late Edward) Paulus, as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Joseph, his sister Alice (the late Walter) Kolbach and his brothers Harold and Richard, as well as his sister-in-law Shelby Bichler.

A Mass of Christian Burial and visitation is being planned for Saturday, July 22, 2023.

He will be laid to rest with military honors at St. Nicholas Cemetery, Dacada.

A celebration of life will take place at the home of his daughter Debra. More details will be shared in early July.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Divine Savior Catholic School or the Melvin Wester American Legion Post, Belgium.

Eernisse Funeral Home is honored to serve the Bichler family.

In lieu of online condolences, please leave your favorite story about John at



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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