Honoring the Life by Telling the Story

The Rev. M. Fred Himmerich

October 16, 1930 - January 29, 2021
Milwaukee, WI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

All Saints' Cathedral
818 E. Juneau Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 271-7719

St. John's on the Lake
1840 N. Prospect Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 272-2022

Bread and Roses
209 N. 9th Street
Watertown, WI 53094
(920) 261-1663

Life Story / Obituary


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The Rev. Canon M. Fred Himmerich, age 90, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Milwaukee, died peacefully on Friday, January 29, 2021, in his home at Saint John’s on the Lake in Milwaukee. He was born on October 16, 1930, in Grand Forks, ND, to Fred and Florence Himmerich, and grew up on various farms in South Dakota and Washington. He met his wife, Carol, when they were both in the choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on-the-Hill in Saint Paul, MN, and they were married in Oshkosh, WI, on December 30, 1958.

Father Himmerich held a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Macalester College, a master’s degree in classics from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Divinity degree from Nashotah House Theological Seminary, and a doctoral degree in theology from Marquette University. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Donald Hallock on September 15, 1962, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Beloit, WI, where he served as assistant rector to Fr. Joseph Mazza. In 1965, he became the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Watertown, WI, where he served until his retirement in 1995.

Fr. Himmerich held multiple additional positions during his time with the Diocese of Milwaukee. He served as director of Camp Webb in 1969 and 1970, and adjunct professor at Nashotah House from 1976 to 1986. He took a leadership role in various commissions in the diocese and provided training for deacons. He was a natural theologian and even after his retirement he would fill in when a church was in need of clergy. This included serving as the interim dean of All Saints’ Cathedral from 1997 to 1998 and again in 2007.

Fr. Himmerich was a leader in numerous outreach projects while in Watertown. In 1986, he started the Bread and Roses free weekly community meal program, which is still serving people today. He helped found a community daycare center, strongly supported social justice causes, and was active in numerous civic organizations. He was the Watertown Main Street Bridge Honoree for 1993, the bridge being given his name that year to honor him for his community leadership through service activities.

For many years, he made the bread and wine (from grapes he had grown in his back yard) for Holy Communion. He had a lifelong love of music and played the piano well into his eighties in addition to being an accomplished organist. He enjoyed baking bread and pies, reading, playing chess, spending time with his grandchildren, having coffee with friends at Saint John’s on the Lake, and attending Evensong daily. He continued to lead a weekly Bible study until his death and was lovingly known to some in the group as their resident scholar.

Fr. Himmerich is survived by his five children, Rebecca (the late Patrick) Kelly, Daniel (Alma), Elizabeth, Sarah, and Catherine Himmerich; nine grandchildren Amanda, Megan, Shawn, Bethany, Madeline, Wesley, Rasmus, Elena, and Antonio; brother Robert (Eva) Himmerich; two sisters, Sue (Richard) Beem and Dianne Johnson; sister-in-law Marna Jenson; and numerous other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Florence; wife, Carol; twin brother, Frank (the late Jeanne); and infant granddaughter, Rachel.

A Requiem Holy Eucharist and committal will take place at All Saints’ Cathedral in Milwaukee on October 16, 2021.

If desired, memorials are suggested to All Saints’ Cathedral, 818 E. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, St. John’s on the Lake, 1840 N. Prospect Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202 or Bread and Roses, 209 N. 9th St., Watertown, WI 53094.