With great sadness for the loss, but even greater gratitude for his life, we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father and grandfather LaVern "Bernie" Silverthorn. He was born the son of the late Harold and Harriett (Rank) Silverthorn on March 13, 1932, at the family home in the town of Rushford.
Bernie attended one room school houses in Omro where he was a wiz at math and smart enough to skip the 4th grade! He jokingly boasted to the grandchildren he was valedictorian of his 5th grade class that year (he was also the only 5th grader!) It was at this time he memorized the lengthy poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee" which he could still recite up to the time of his passing.
The best nickel he ever spent was in a bet he made with the young Phyllis Tritt. "I bet you a nickel I can't kiss you!" Thinking that was a pretty safe bet Phyllis agreed. Bernie promptly kissed her and handed her a nickel! So began their courtship.
Bernie and Phyllis were married on May 6, 1950, at Grace Lutheran Church in Omro. They bought their 60-acre farm outside of Omro in 1958 for $12,000, where they raised their family of six and this spring celebrated a milestone 70th Wedding Anniversary.
While farming Bernie almost always had a second job. He was a self-taught carpenter, skills he put to use for 26 years for UW-Oshkosh. To be employed by UWO he was required to take a state mandated carpenter test and scored the highest score they had seen (this time it wasn't a one-person class!). His passions for carpentry and farming are being embraced and carried on by his next generations.
Bernie loved to read, had an inventive mind, loved a good auction, and played a highly competitive game of cribbage. While wintering in Arizona he enjoyed dominos and shuffleboard with his snowbird friends. However, his greatest pleasure came from any projects the grandchildren were undertaking. Tape measure readily available in pocket, he was always willing to share his knowledge and skills.
He is lovingly survived by wife, Phyllis (Tritt) Silverthorn, son, Allen (Cathy) Silverthorn, daughters: Wendy (Mark) Krings, Debra Silverthorn, and Lorie (Wes) Potratz. fifteen grandchildren, 26 3/4 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren: Jessica and Todd Gilson (Ellie, Addie, Grace, and Brynlie), Shannon and Ryan Besaw (Kaden, Parker, Grant, and Blane), Sarah and Ben Lang (Makenna, Maeley and Benett), Josh and Jade Silverthorn (Braelyn and baby?), Tiffany and Rami Kaldas (Alex Albright ((Anthony, Amelia, Oakley, Ellie and Wyatt)), Connor and Taylor Albright), Ross Krings (Mason), Rod and Suzie Krings (Max and Maddie), Scott and Liz Krings (Leona and Jack), Eddie and Monica Shea, Christopher and Megan Shea (Harrison, Henry and Harper), Katie Silverthorn, Matthew and Laurie Potratz (Izzy and Genevieve), Jon, Derek, and Kelsey Potratz. He is further survived by sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Carolyn Tritt, Norie Tritt, Faye Hoffman (friend, Don Harness), Darrell Tritt (friend, Marianne Johnson), Peggy and Eugene Allen along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
Bernie was preceded in death by daughter and son-in-law, Dixie and Jeff Shea; son, Gregory Silverthorn; his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law, James and Hazel Tritt; siblings: Frank Silverthorn, Shirley (Joe) Dailey, Audrey (Lowell) Rolph; brothers-in-law: Harland Tritt, Clayton Jensen, Art Hoffman, James Tritt, Jr; and sister-in-law, Judy Tritt.
One of Bernie's last gestures of love was exhibited in the monogram keepsake benches he handmade for each of his children and grandchildren this past summer. The family would love to be able to celebrate Bernie's life with his many family, friends and neighbors but due to the current COVID pandemic the service on Saturday, October 3rd will be private. He will be buried at Oak Haven Cemetery in Omro overlooking his homestead.
If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.
Mueller Funeral Home, Winneconne