Eberhard Werthmann

Obituary of Eberhard Hans Werthmann

A remarkable man, Eberhard Werthmann, 87, peacefully journeyed to Heaven on February 18th, surrounded by his adoring family.


He was born in Munningen, Germany, on September 6th, 1935. As a young man, he began his culinary career apprenticing throughout Europe in distinguished hotels and restaurants, eventually becoming an Executive Chef. In 1963, Sheraton International brought him to open hotels in New York, Jamaica, and the Sheraton Ritz Hotel in Minneapolis, where he met his wife Kathleen (“Tookie”), the beginning of their amazing lifelong love.


In 1966, Eberhard joined St. Paul College to lead its new Culinary Arts Program, where he taught thousands of students over 32 years. He was known to push his students to their fullest potential, with many dashes of humor and life lessons. He was a beloved teacher.


For 40 years, Eberhard also taught at Cooks of Crocus Hill, where eager Minnesota home cooks learned his classic techniques and brought that knowledge and enjoyment back to their families and friends. He encouraged them to adjust recipes to their tastes, saying, “A recipe is just a guide. Experiment, enjoy, share your hospitality.”


For decades, Eberhard donated elegant six-course dinners to raise money for dozens of charities, foundations, churches, and schools. Such a joy!


His proudest achievements were his 55-year loving marriage to Tookie and being a proud father to his daughters Colleen, Ingrid, and Allison. Together, they enjoyed the cabin he built for them in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, hosting family and friends with (of course) delicious meals.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Oskar and Elisabeth; brothers Lothar and Gernot; and brothers-in-law Bill Thompson and Jim Michels. Eberhard is survived by his beloved family: wife Kathleen (“Tookie”); precious daughters Colleen and her husband Gardiner Comfort, Ingrid, Allison and her husband Jeff Werthmann-Radnich; grandson Oskar Werthmann-Radnich; sister Helga and her husband Manfred Moldzio; sister-in-law Colleen Thompson Michels; brother- and sister-in-law J. Donald and Cathy Donahue; nephews, nieces, and cousins; godchild Bridget Shiely McGreevy; and a host of dear friends.


We extend our enormous gratitude to the University of Minnesota Hospital and Cancer Center for their exceptional and loving care of Eberhard, notably Dr. Naomi Fujioka, his PAs, Infusion RNs, Internal Medicine Team, and Unit 5C nurses.


We are so grateful to everyone and so blessed by your many kindnesses. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Eberhard Werthmann Culinary Scholarship Fund of Saint Paul College. Donations may be sent to: Friends of Saint Paul College, 235 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102.


A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Assumption Catholic Church.

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