Dr. Philip Wendall Bernstorf, the son of Dr. Philip Herman and Mona Eva Rucker, was a native of Cheney, Kansas. He was graduated from Friends University with honors, and was a member of the Order of the Tower Honor Society. He attended Washington University School of Medicine and was an Honor graduate and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and 1st Lieutenant of Medical ROTC in 1941. Phil saw service in WW II in England, North Africa and Italy, having active duty with the Army Medical Corps from 1942 thru 1945. He returned to Wichita, Kansas and became a Resident in Medicine at Wichita VA Hospital.

Dr. Bernstorf met Betty Jane James at the VA Hospital where she served as his Medical Secretary. They were married in 1949 while he was an instructor at the Arkansas School of Medicine. They returned to Wichita the next Christmas, when Dr. Bernstorf became the Assistant Chief of Medicine at the VA Hospital and became active with the 89th Reserve Training Division, later the 89th ARCOM. He retired in 1975 with 33 years’ service, as a Colonel.

Dr. Bernstorf is survived by his wife Betty; son, David Bernstorf; and grandchildren Laura E. Bernstorf and Philip D. Bernstorf.


  • National Gavel Society
  • General Society of Colonial Wars
  • National Huguenot Society (Honorary President General)
  • National Society Sons of American Colonists (Honorary President General)
  • National Society Sons of the American Revolution (former Surgeon General; Vice President General, South Central District; Vice President General, Western Europe)
  • National Society Descendants of Early Quakers (Director)
  • Colonial Order of the Acorn
  • Order of Indian War in the United States (former Surgeon General)
  • General Society Sons of the Revolution
  • Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry
  • Welcome Society of Pennsylvania
  • First Families of Ohio
  • Flagon & Trencher
  • General Society War of 1812
  • Guild of Colonial Artisans & Tradesmen, 1607-1783
  • Huguenot Society, Founders of Manakin Colony of Virginia
  • National Order of Blue & Gray
  • National Society Children of American Colonists - Senior Advisor
  • National Society Children of the American Revolution (Senior National Vice President General, and the 1st CAR/SAR Gold Appreciation Medal Recipient)
  • Descendants of the Founders of New Jersey
  • National Society Sons & Daughters of Antebellum Planters
  • Sons & Daughters of the Colonial & Antebellum Bench & Bar 1585-1861
  • National Society Sons and Daughters of Pilgrims
  • Plantagenet Society
  • Society of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge
  • Somerset Chapter of Magna Charta Barons
  • Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

At the 2007 Stated Meeting of the Kansas SAR, Dr. Bernstorf was presented the first of the NSCAR-SAR Gold Medal of Appreciation for his "outstanding dediction" to the workings and operation between the senior and junior organizations.

Other Notes

Dr. Cramer Reed, a classmate from Washington U. and 1st Dean of the KU School of Medicine, Wichita, recruited Phil to help with the establishment of the School and he taught there, following his retirement from VA. In 1978 Phil became active with Sons of the American Revolution where he worked with Dr. William Reals (a later Dean of KU School of Medicine, Wichita) and followed Bill as President of Washington Chapter of KSSSAR.

In 1980 he was invested as a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. In 1983 he attended the Treaties of Paris and Versailles Celebration as an SAR Delegate and then went to Grenoble as a representative of KU’s beginning Geriatric Program to attend a “care of the dependent elderly” symposium. He then became President of the KS Society, later Vice President General of South Central District, served as Trustee from Kansas, Switzerland and Germany, as VPG of Western Europe and served as Surgeon General of the National Society; was appointed SAR National Chairman of CAR for nearly 25 years, received the DAR Medal of Honor and was awarded NSSSAR’s most prestigious award as a Minute Man. He was elected as a Senior Vice President of National Society Children of the American Revolution.

He held membership in a total of 28 lineage societies and had served as President General of the National Huguenot Society and as Governor General of Sons of the American Colonists. He held many committee assignments in many of the societies in which he was active. He attended the “Hereditary Fortnightly” in April in Washington for 25 consecutive years.