Dr. Paul Joseph Kustermann, DDSMarch 16, 1940 ~ August 15, 2017 (age 77)
After a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s, our loving father, husband, and grandfather Dr. Paul Joseph Kustermann passed away peacefully Tuesday August 15, 2017 at the age of 77. He is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, C. Marie (Oeding). Beloved dad of Kate (Jose) Rivera and Lori (Jeff) Murphy. Cherished grandfather of Jack, Michael, and David Murphy; Claire and Lucas Rivera. Dear brother of Dr. John (Mary) Kustermann, Mary (Tom) Esser, Susan Kampine, Margaret (Aires Cardeal) Kustermann, and Tom (Gerri) Kustermann. Dear brother-in-law of Carol (Conrad) Ouellette, Doris (Gary) Unruh, Sharon Lynch, Clara (Ron) Seay, Leon (Diana) Oeding, Norman Oeding, Marilyn (Randy) Wells, Nancy (Fred) Fure, and Becky (Chuck) Luntsford. Also lovingly remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Alois and Helen Kustermann, his parents-in-law Hugo and Cecelia Oeding, his sister Helen (Bill) Geismann, and brothers-in-law John Oeding (fiancé Twila Seiwert), Leroy Pitman, Jim Lynch, and Dr. John Kampine.
Paul was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Auer Avenue where his father was a medical doctor and his mother a registered nurse. He graduated from Marquette University High School and received his B.S. in Biology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. While at Loras, Paul met Marie in January of 1963 as her blind-date for the Edelweiss prom at Clarke College, taking her in his prized 1937 Plymouth. Paul claimed it was love at first sight. Paul and Marie were married during a snowstorm in Kansas in Christmas of 1966. Paul graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in June of 1968. Daughter Kate was born one day later. Within a month, they moved to the Cass Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota where Paul started his career as a dentist serving Native Americans for three years, as part of the US Public Health Service under the Coast Guard. Paul enjoyed learning to hunt and fish with his Native American friends and was honored to receive a hand-made peace pipe from the Chief of the Ojibwa tribe. While there, daughter Lori was born in Bemidji in 1970.
After returning to Wisconsin, Paul opened his dental practice in Brookfield in January of 1973, helping countless patients until August 2005. Upon retirement, he worked for the St Elizabeth Ann Seton (formerly Madre Angela) dental clinic in Milwaukee to help people unable to otherwise access dental care for 6.5 years. He was an active member of the Waukesha County Dental Society, volunteering in elementary classrooms regularly for children’s dental health month.
Paul had many passions in addition to dentistry. He spent 25 years teaching young people, including his daughters, how to build and launch model rockets in 4-H. He loved to venture weekly in the winters to Racine WI where he did glass-blowing in the SC Johnson Prairie School. As a young child, he tinkered with transistor radios, built go-karts and model airplanes, and eventually rebuilt and repaired his own vehicles. Favorite activities included attending the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Milwaukee Ballet, and various other live performances. Paul and Marie loved to dance and took many lessons including ballroom, swing, and disco – and were always the last to close the dance floor.
Paul’s family was his greatest joy and he was often found supporting his children and grandchildren in their many musical and athletic endeavors. He was the original ‘video man’ and he was known to videotape every performance and be the first, along with Marie, to give a standing ovation. He was an optimist who counted his blessings daily and was often known to say ‘be gentle with yourself’.
Visitation will be held at the Funeral Home on Friday, August 25th from 4 to 7pm. Preludes and eulogies to begin at 9:30am on Saturday, August 26th at St. John Vianney Catholic Church (1755 N Calhoun Rd, Brookfield, WI 53045) to be followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10am. Graveside services to follow at Wisconsin Memorial Park (13235 W Capitol Dr, Brookfield WI 53005).
In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to Marquette University High School, Loras College, and Marquette University School of Dentistry.
Marquette University High School
Marquette University-School of Dentistry