Cover photo for Guillermo Bar De Venecia's Obituary
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1932 Guillermo 2023

Guillermo Bar De Venecia

January 14, 1932 — May 11, 2023


Dr. Guillermo B. de Venecia

Jan. 14, 1932 - May 11, 2023

MIDDLETON - Dr. Guillermo B. de Venecia of Middleton, WI, died on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the age of 91. He died peacefully while in hospice care at Agrace with his family by his side.

Guil was born in Lingayen, Pangasinan Philippines to Erna (Bar) and Policronio de Venecia. Guil immigrated to the United States in 1956, beginning his residency training at the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife, Marta (Knuth) de Venecia, were married on June 12, 1960, enjoying 62 years of marriage. They have three boys, Kurt, Hans, and Eric.

Guil retired Professor Emeritus after 42 with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin. His academic accomplishments during his time contributed greatly to the field. In 1971, he was the first to identify and describe ophthalmological conditions that were later observed during the AIDS epidemic. His research and clinical practice focused mainly in the areas of diabetic and hypertensive retinopathies.

In addition to numerous academic accomplishments, he and Marta are well known for their missionary work establishing the Free Rural Eye Clinic (FREC) with the objective of restoring sight to those of lesser means in the Philippines. Since the beginning of the mission in 1979, Marta, Guil and the many volunteers associated with FREC are credited with screening over 250,000 patients and performing nearly 30,000 cataract operations.

Guil loved running - competing in several marathons while inspiring his boys to take up the sport competing in high school and college. He and his family enjoyed camping with Spam and eggs breakfasts on the Wisconsin River, Alaska, and numerous National Parks. Although he faced much adversity during his life, he never failed to greet each day with a smile and creative jokes that generated contagious laughter.

Guil is survived by his wife, Marta de Venecia; children: Kurt (Kathryn), Hans (Barb), and Eric (Teresa); grandchildren: Ashley, Bryn, Bryce, Konnor, Ciara, Nathan, and Gretchen; siblings: Gretchen, Erika, Irene, Hedi, and Poli.

A memorial for Guil and his many contributions to humanity will take place at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, memorials in Guillermo's name may be directed to: Ophthalmology Continuing Education Fund - 112659800

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