Bernard Jerome Schweizer was born in his home at 2007 Ann Avenue on Leap Day, 29 February 1916, to Frank Erasmus Schweizer and Magdalena Kessler. Martin and Pauline Kessler served as sponsors for Bernard’s baptism at Sts. Peter & Paul’s Church. Bernard attended grade school at Sts. Peter & Paul School, and then he went on to Hadley Vocational School.

Bernard, known as Ben, won many awards selling Saturday Evening Post magazines door to door. From Hadley Technical, he went to work at Benwood Linze Company in the paint department becoming the foreman in April 1943. Ben continued to work for the company after its buyout by Vickers Electric Division and then Sperry Rand, Inc. Ben retired when he was in his late forties after more than twenty-five years with the combined companies.

Ben and Bernice May Hrebec planned to be married in October 1941; however, Ben’s mother, Magdalena, died on 25 October, so the marriage was postponed until 29 November 1941 at St. Agnes Church, located at Sidney and Salena Streets. The ceremony was followed by breakfast at Little Bevo Mill. This couple had three children: Judy, Richard, and Donna.

The family lived first at 2148 Victor for three years. They bought their next home at 3884 Connecticut where they lived for thirty years. Their last home was at 7012 Plainview, but they lived there for only three months before Ben died.

The Schweizer family had many iconic items and traditions. They had a 1941 Chevy, bought their first black and white television in 1948, went for Sunday afternoon drives, had mashed potatoes every night for dinner, and had bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast.

On 9 December 1975, Ben went to Mass at St. Joan of Arc church; he came home for breakfast and died suddenly shortly thereafter. Ben was survived by his wife, Bernice (Hrebec) Schweizer, daughter Judy (Schweizer) Broleman, Richard Schweizer, and Donna Schweizer. He was the brother of Joseph and Henry Schweizer, Rose (Schweizer) Bierling, Regina (Schweizer) Becker, Marie Schweizer, the late Hilda (Schweizer) Welling, and Sister Lioba SSND. Following a funeral at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, he was buried at Resurrection Cemetery.

Written by Judy Broleman
June 2020

© 2020, St. Louis Genealogical Society

Bernard Schweizer
Bernard Schweizer
Photo in the collection of Judy Broleman
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 04-Sep-2020 10:31