Richard ‘Aber’ Berthiaume


Richard A. Berthiaume’s legacy can be seen in the bandshell in Port Washington’s Veterans Memorial Park.

Inspired by the bandstand in his home town of Ashland, Mr. Berthiaume shepherded the painting of the American flag on the wall of Port’s bandshell.

“He was vice commander or commander of the American Legion at the time, and he thought this was something Port Washington should have for the veterans,” Mr. Berthiaume’s wife Roberta said.

“The Legion was very supportive of it.”

Mr. Berthiaume oversaw the painting project, and he was proud a few years later when the bandshell and its flag provided a patriotic backdrop for a speech delivered by President Ronald Reagan when he visited Port Washington, his wife said.

Mr. Berthiaume, who was best known as Aber, died Sunday, Jan. 13, at Lawlis Family Hospice in Mequon. He was 83.

A native of Ashland, Mr. Berthiaume was born on July 14, 1932, to Joseph and Evelyn Armstrong Berthiaume.

He graduated from Ashland High School, where he was received the athletic and academic award given to the school’s top outgoing senior representative.

He served as a sonarman 2nd class in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955.

Mr. Berthiaume attended Northland College in Ashland, then moved to Milwaukee and earned his electrical degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

“His parents wanted him to get an electrical engineering degree, but he wanted to work more with his hands,” his wife said.

Mr. Berthiaume married Roberta Riley at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Ashland on Oct. 11, 1958.

In 1952, the couple moved to Port Washington, where they lived on Scott Road.

Mr. Berthiaume worked as a diagnostic technician for High Voltage Maintenance Corp. of Milwaukee until his retirement in 1997.

Mr. Berthiaume enjoyed fly fishing and bow hunting with family and friends.

He was also a music lover who played the cornet in high school and in the Navy Band, his wife said.

“He loved all kinds of music, everything form classical to jazz,” she said.

A patriotic man, Mr. Berthiaume was a life member and two-time commander of the Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Post 82 in Port Washington.

Mr. Berthiaume was described by his wife as an outgoing and opinionated man who was fun and caring, especially with his youngest granddaughter, who has spina bifida.

Mr. Berthiaume is survived by his wife Roberta; children Lynn (Kenneth) Audette Of Duluth, Minn., Rich of New York City, Lori Berthiaume of Port Washington, John (Kim) of Bolingbrook, Ill., and Robert (Gretchen) of Racine; grandchildren Brian, Jennifer, Christina and Gabriella; and six great-grandchildren.

He is further survived by his sisters Gloria (Jerry) Giese of Ashland and Phyllis Berthiaume of Milwaukee and sisters-in-law Patricia Koval, Mary Hill and Elinor Riley.

Mr. Berthiaume was preceded in death by his parents and sister Virginia Talaska.

Family services were held, with interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington.

Memorials to Dare2Tri or Spina Bifida of Southeast Wisconsin are suggested.

Funeral arrangements were handled through Poole Funeral Home/Cremetory, Port Washington.



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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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