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In Memory of President Emeritus Bern Friedrich Ernst Deichmann

In Memory of President Emeritus
Bern Friedrich Ernst Deichmann

July 25, 1935* – June 22, 2017†

Dear Board Members and Friends,

It is with great sadness that the German-American Heritage Foundation must inform you of the passing of Foundation Board Member and President Emeritus Bern Friedrich Ernst Deichmann. Surrounded by loved ones, Bern passed away on June 22, 2017 at his home in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania. He was 81. Bern is survived by his wife Joan Deichmann, son Walter Deichmann, and daughters Holly Chacon, Evelynn Diabo, and Robin Estey.

Bern was born in Willoughby, Ohio and spent his childhood in both Germany and the United States. He graduated from Princeton University with a BSME degree and went on to earn his MBA from Drexel University after serving a tour of duty as an officer in the US Army Artillery. Bern was immensely talented in the fields of business and management. A natural leader, he served in senior level positions at Transamerica-Delaval, Inc. and spent time in the Netherlands as Managing Director of Delaval-Stork, where he was in charge of a $40 million operation with over 300 employees. He later served as President and CEO of Schulmerich Carillons, Inc. until his retirement. Outside of his professional commitments, Bern was a Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the American Council on Germany in New York, the German-American Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia, AMVETS, the Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein, and the German Society of Pennsylvania, along with many other German-American organizations.

Bern was President of the GAHF from 2002 to 2012 and later, as President Emeritus, served on the Board of Directors. Enthusiastically dedicated to the preservation and celebration of German-American heritage, Bern worked to ensure that the Foundation would have a permanent home and museum in the nation’s capital where friends of the Foundation and members of the public could visit and learn about the over 400 years of German-American history in the United States. He will forever be remembered for his tireless efforts to secure and restore the 19th-century rowhouse Hockemeyer Hall, which was built in 1888 by German immigrant John Hockemeyer and now serves as the Foundation headquarters.

In 2013, Bern was honored as the Distinguished German-American of the Year™ by the GAHF for his accomplishments in business and on behalf of the Foundation, most notably the acquisition of Hockemeyer Hall. Established in 1987, the award recognizes Americans of German-speaking ancestry for leadership and achievement in business, the arts, education, science, politics, and society. Bern received his award at a stunning reception at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. in the presence of German Ambassador Peter Ammon, Austrian Ambassador Hans Peter Manz, and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany William Robert “Tim” Timken, Jr. In 2015, German Ambassador Peter Wittig presented Bern with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz), an honor which was bestowed upon him by German President Joachim Gauck for his work at the Foundation.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on June 30, 2017 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 2445 Lake Minsi Drive, Bangor, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the “GAHF von Auenmüller/Deichmann Endowment Fund.”

The GAHF is honored to have worked alongside Bern and extends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends.


J. Marc Wheat, Esq.