Thanks to Milwaukee THS Director Don Bohatka for this story. Bernard O. Gruenke and his son Bernard E. were named THS Honorary Members of the Year in 1986 for their significant work in theatre interior restorations with Conrad Schmitt Studios. A company brochure lists over 40 theatre projects. Granddaughter Heidi Gruenke Emery is a current member. She and brother Gunar Gruenke currently operate Conrad Schmitt Studios in New Berlin WI.
“Bernard O. Gruenke’s passion for the arts developed early and had as many facets as the religious mosaic-like stained-glass works for which he became famous. Gruenke, died March 31. He was 99. He began his art explorations at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, spent time at the Corcoran Art School in Washington, D.C., and drew portraits in South Carolina before he sought out Conrad Schmitt’s architectural arts studio in New Berlin. . .”
Here’s the link to an on-line obituary: