Bernie and Esther Story

A Legacy of Gratitude

Bernie’s Story

Bernie A. Greenheck was born in North Dakota in 1917 and spent much of his childhood in Lone Rock, Wisconsin. In the early 1940s, he moved to the Wausau area where he met and married his wife, Esther in 1943. Bernie served in the U.S. Army during WWII as an automotive and aviation technician stationed primarily in France.

Following the war, Bernie Greenheck and his brother, Bob, started a small sheet metal business in Schofield. Today that company is the world’s leading manufacturer of air movement, control and conditioning equipment for non-residential buildings.

Bernie travelled the U.S. establishing and nurturing sales representatives but he was always eager to get home to the family, the company and community he loved.

Throughout his highly successful 55-year career as president and chairman of Greenheck Fan Corporation, Bernie earned the respect, admiration and loyalty of his customers and his employees. In 1983, Bernie was recognized as Central Wisconsin’s Outstanding Small Business Person of the Year by the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. In 2009, he was posthumously recognized as a Champion of Business by Junior Achievement of Wisconsin’s Northcentral District.

Although Bernie passed away in 2003, Bernie’s memory and his generosity lives on through the  B.A & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

Esther’s Story

Esther M. (Blume) Greenheck was born September 8, 1919 in Belvidere, IL. She met and married Bernie Greenheck in Wausau in (year was she married) and then joined the war effort, as a civilian clerk typist with a Military Police detachment in Kansas City, MO.

Following the war, Esther and Bernie returned to Wausau where she devoted her life to caring for Bernie, their daughter, Sandy ( husband Brian Gumness), three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Esther loved to bake, prepare holiday dinners and play the piano for her family’s enjoyment.

Sadly, Esther passed away in 2011 at age 92. The memories of her many simple acts of kindness and caring, however, continue to be treasured by her loving family and help guide the legacy of giving that has become the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation.

Bernie & Esther's Story