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OBITUARIES

The Wisconsin Hunter Education Instructors Association has established an endowment fund to recognize and remember the contributions of visionaries, pathfinders, leaders, and individual benefactors in promoting Hunter Education in Wisconsin.
 

Hunter with Shotgun

John S. Plenke

September 25, 1935 - April 17, 2024

John S. Plenke, 88, of Janesville, WI, passed away at home with his family by his side on April 17, 2024. John was born on September 25, 1935, in Wisconsin Rapids WI., the son of Leslie and Eleanor Plenke.

John graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in biology and natural resources law enforcement and a minor in forestry. John married his long-time sweetheart, Gloria Peterson, during his senior year in college. John’s first job, after college, was as a forester at Loretta, Wisconsin, employed by Consolidated Papers. John’s son, John Jay, was born in Wisconsin Rapids.

Five years later the Plenke family left Loretta when he was hired as a Wisconsin State Patrol officer. He attended the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy for six months at Fort McCoy. Upon graduation he was assigned to the Portage station. While there, John and Gloria were blessed with the birth of their daughter Terri. Three years later, John was hired as a State Conservation Warden and was stationed in Elkhorn. John later was promoted as the Administrator of the Wisconsin Hunter Safety/Education program in the Bureau of Law Enforcement in Madison.

After five years, John was promoted to the Northwest District Game Warden Captain position in Spooner. During this period, John’s wife Gloria passed away after a long battle with cancer.

On September 25,1987, John married his present wife, Connie, at the “Little Brown Church” in Nashua, Iowa. John retired in January of 1991, and moved to Belgrade, Montana in August of 1991.

They were active members of the Breakfast Optimist Club in Bozeman and Dry Creek Bible church in Belgrade. John and Connie were certified Hunter Safety/Education instructors and conducted many student classes. John served as Gallatin County Coordinator for the Fish, Wildlife and Parks for four years. He also assisted Connie, who was the Director of the NRA “Women on Target” training program in Gallatin County for a number of years. Both were avid fishermen and hunters.

Survivors include his wife, Connie; sister, Judy Weigand; son, John (Janet); daughter, Terri (Mark) Reid; grandchildren: Jake (Gwen) Plenke, Erin (Aaron) Reid Holmstedt, Shanna (Kevin) Williams; great granddaughters, Emma Maly and Ava Williams; stepsons, Brad and Greg Bendorf; step- grandsons, Travis, Riley, and Tanner; and numerous nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Janice Fahrner (James); and brother in law, John Weigand.

A gathering of family and friends will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, 2024 in the LIFE CELEBRATION CENTER at SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: My Care of WI, LLC, 1938 S. Osborne Ave., Janesville, WI, 53546.

Darin Jay Edington

Darin J. Edington, age 59, died on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at home. He was born January 1, 1962 in Madison, the son of Paul and Ruth (Berggren) Edington. Darin was united in marriage to
Susanne M. Schneider on May 27, 1983. 


Darin served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard for 9 years. He worked a variety jobs over the years, such as accounting and as a Menards front end manager. Darin started his own business in 2005 to spend more time with his children as they grew up and with his mother as she got older. He spent his last year working at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, helping people find solutions that would work for them. He enjoyed being outside in the forest, hunting with his friends and family, and teaching others to hunt safely through his work with the Hunter Safety program.


Darin was a fighter; he was fighting cancer for the last 2.5 years and he constantly fought for what he  believed in - freedom, patriotism, family, and compassion. He had such devotion and perseverance to help others and enjoy life. He had a strength of character that many noticed, and he rarely met anyone he didn’t leave an impression on. Darin’s optimism encouraged everyone around him to find the silver linings. His love for his country was exceeded only by his love for his family.


He is survived by his wife, Sue; children, Kristi (Mitchell) Milligan and Cilyr (Robert Kazmirzack) Edington; granddaughter Kayleigh; siblings, Ron (Micki) Lubcke, Terry (Jan) Lubcke, Bill (Juanita) Edington, and Kim (Bill Grunewald) Diehl; siblings-in-law, Eugene (Julie) Schneider, Jeff (Eva) Schneider, Andy Schneider, Jerry Schneider, Sheila Schneider, Denise Mayo, Jason (Nancy) Schneider, Melissa Schmidt; mother-in-law Marjorie Schneider, as well as many nieces, nephews, friends, and other relatives. He was preceded
in death by his parents, father-in-law Roger Schneider, and brother-in-law Doug Schneider. Visitation will be held at the at Gunderson East Funeral Home, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, WI on June 3, 2021 from 4pm until 7pm, and June 4 from 10am until 11am, with funeral service at Gunderson at 11am on June 4. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Badger Honor Flight, Access Ability Wisconsin, or Hunter Education. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Hunter with Shotgun
Hunter with Shotgun

Tollef C. Jensen

Tollef C. Jensen died Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, at his home in Texas. He was 86 years old.

Tollef was born in September 1923 in La Crosse to Tollef Jensen and Borghild Jensen (Christiansen). He was raised in Galesville where his parents owned and operated a restaurant. He graduated from Galesville High in 1941, entered the U.S. Navy, and was honorably discharged in December 1945. He married Ethel M. Gillies in 1947. They lived in the Trempealeau/Galesville area and later moved to Alma, Wis.

They remained in Alma until 1968. He first worked as an artificial inseminator for Tri-States Breeders, and also was a commercial fisherman and trapper on the Mississippi River to help supplement the family income. Later, he worked as a maintenance repair man at Alma Creamery. In 1959, he started working as a plant operator at Dairyland Power’s Alma coal-fired electrical generating plant. He also operated a TV repair business, and built and operated a cable TV system that served the city of Alma.

In 1968, Tollef transferred to Dairyland’s new G-3 coal-fired plant in Genoa, and the family took residence in Stoddard. He retired as plant operations supervisor in 1985.

While in Stoddard and Alma he was active in community service. He was an American Legion member from the time of his discharge until his death. He played taps at Legion funerals for over 35 years. He was a volunteer fireman in both communities and a Wisconsin DNR hunter safety instructor for many years.

After his retirement, Tollef and his friend and companion, Gertrud Thelen, moved to the Aransas Pass, Texas, area. While there they operated the Fin and Feather Resort for a time and were active in the Moose Club. During his lifetime he had many pursuits and hobbies, including hunting, commercial fishing and sport fishing on the Great Lakes and on the gulf at Port Aransas, Texas; and trapping and golf.

Tollef is survived by five children, Richard Jensen of Stoddard, Sandra Jensen of Fountain Hills, Ariz., Jeffery Jensen of Onalaska, Jenifer Jensen of Rochester, Minn., and David Jensen (Karen Jensen) of Onalaska. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Tiffany, Annie, Jason, Eric and Autumn; two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Bernard Jensen of Darmstadt, Germany, and Philip Jensen of Galesville; and a sister, Constance Gates of Brookings, S.D. He also leaves behind his friend and companion of 26 years, Gertrud Thelen, and his dog, Bear.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Harald Jensen; an infant daughter, Susan; and his wife of 30 years, Ethel “Annie” Jensen.

Memorials may be sent to Wisconsin Hunters Education Instructor Association, WHEIA Treasurer, P.O. Box 24, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

Michael L. Noonan

February 25, 1934 - March 28, 2022


Jefferson/Hazelhurst, WI - Michael L. Noonan, 88 of Jefferson/Hazelhurst, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Monday, March 28, 2022, at Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital in Fort Atkinson, WI.

 

Mike was born February 25, 1934, in Milwaukee, the son of James Earl and Louise (Patzold) Noonan. On June 23, 1984, he married Bonnie (Goetsch) Puerner at the Holy Apostles Church in New Berlin and the two spent 37 wonderful years together. They enjoyed traveling with their RV and going on cruises, especially the Windjammer cruise and the trip to Ireland. From 1954 to 1955, Mike served his country in the United States Army, starting in Korea and later stationed in Hawaii at the Schofield Barracks. After returning home, he began working as a truck driver and later became a manager where he spent over 34 years of his career. He worked for Consolidated Forwarding Company for 5 years, Gateway  Transportation for 18 years, Con-way Central express for 11 years and helped open the Milwaukee Terminal. Mike was a devout Catholic and a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. He was a wise man who always valued his relationship with his Savior, and generously supported numerous Catholic organizations during his life as well as being a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a master of all trades who spent more than 25 years working to build his cabin in Hazelhurst, WI, and his attention to detail and craftsmanship extended to helping his family with numerous projects. Mike loved to hunt whether it was deer or bigger game like bear or elk, was always up for a mortar match or
firing off the cannon and was an expert shooter and marksman. He was a member of the NRA, American Legion, and the VFW. For more than 50 years, he taught hunter safety classes in Milwaukee and in  Northern Wisconsin, something that was dear to his heart. He stood for the flag, and knelt for the cross. Mike was a man who wore many hats like Husband, Dad, Pops, Grandpa, Grampy, Brother, and friend, all of them with great pride. His family will miss him dearly. 


Mike is survived by: his wife Bonnie Noonan of Jefferson; children Cheryl Noonan of Portland, OR, Karen Fuqua of SC, and Thomas (Claudia) Noonan of Milwaukee, WI; step-children Gwen (Jerry) Puerner-King of Jefferson and Lisa (John) Puerner-Hartung of Aurora, CO; grandchildren Robert (Jennifer) Seelen, Stephanie Fuqua, Sunflower Noonan, Rachel Noonan, Trinity Hartung, and Hope Hartung; two great-grandchildren; sister Ardee Noonan; and nephew Gene Rusk. Mike is also survived by a number of other nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends. Mike is preceded in death by: his parents; children Timothy Noonan, Kathleen Noonan, and Cynthia Montgomery; siblings Norman Patzold, Harvey Noonan, James Noonan, Patrick Noonan, Daniel Noonan, Richard Noonan, Eugene Noonan, and Dee Paszkiewicz; and the mother of his children Marlene (Compton) Noonan. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mike's name to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church would be appreciated by the family.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on April 16, 2022, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of Jefferson with Fr. Tom Coyle presiding. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of service at the church. Mike will be laid to rest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery of Jefferson following the service. The Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home is caring for the family. To place an online condolence, please visit

Hunter with Shotgun
Hunter with Shotgun

Henry De Boer

Henry J. DeBoer
February 26, 1937 - January 14, 2024

 

        

Henry DeBoer

Menomonee Falls

Found peace on January 14, 2024 at the age of 86.

Beloved husband of Jean (Torgerson). Loving father of Eric (Sandy) and Joseph (Biljana). Cherished grandfather to Isabela. Proceeded in death by his siblings, David, Gregory, and Annette. Also, his grandsons Daniel and Robert.

Family Man

Whenever Henry would get together with family his toast was always "To the family wherever they may be". Family was important and he was a devoted husband and father. He married Jean in November of 1962, shortly before he was stationed on Midway Island. it was from this remote isle in the South Pacific that a cornerstone of their love and life together would be built. After he was discharged, they settled in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where they lived for 31 years (from 1969-2000). They adopted two boys; Eric and Joe and their family lived in an area where eastern Wauwatosa bordered the west side of Milwaukee. Within this neighborhood they had many wonderful neighbors and friends. In 2000 they moved to Menomonee Falls, where they have enjoyed the past 23 years, once again cultivating a wonderful group of close friends. Henry and Jean celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2022-a true testament of their strong love and commitment to one another. Shortly thereafter their commitment was further evident in the united fight against Hank's cancer, his treatment, and finally his passing.

God's Creatures

One of Henry's great loves was his dogs, Labradors specifically. He had three: Beaker, a black lab and the family's first, Moose, a chocolate lab, and Miz Daisy also a chocolate. The time he spent with his dogs went beyond the part they played in hunting which he enjoyed immensely. Both Moose and Daisy were certified therapy dogs and Hank was fond of taking them on visits with veterans, the elderly, church goers, and young people who faced challenges in learning to read. He knew that at times people could struggle and found that a pet could become a bridge that made it easier to approach others and become part of a healing process.

Outdoorsman

Henry loved hunting, fishing, and trapshooting. For him it was not solely about the hunt, but more about quality time spent in nature. For him God's country, the elements, and the surrounding beauty of the landscape created a peace and tranquility that he wanted to share with others. He did so by becoming a Wisconsin DNR Hunter Education instructor and later serving as the president of the Wisconsin Hunter Education Association. Within these roles he worked to give back by providing the means to hunt safely, and created a need to preserve our natural resources so all could enjoy them. He wanted all to share in the joy and love of nature.

Several specific areas where he hunted and fished were logged in his journal, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Within the state of Wisconsin, he noted some of his favorite spots including Mayville, St. Germain, Eagle, Seneca, Wautoma, Eau Claire, and Fremont. The typical Wisconsin farm was where he was in his element. It was this setting where he found a shared love of the land and developed long-lasting friendships with the farmers whose land he hunted.

Veteran

Hank's support of those that served our country was as important to him as his devotion to God. From the daily display of the flag flown at his home to his service in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy he served as a corpsman from 1959-1964. This service paved the way to his career as a Medical Technologist where he worked at Columbia-St. Mary's, now part of Ascension Health, for 30 years. Part of his Navy school and training took place at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, commonly referred to as Bethesda Naval Hospital. It gave him such joy to be part of one of the largest and most prominent military medical centers in the nation and steeped in tradition. This pride was felt so deeply that he requested that his graduation ring be sent back to the medical center. It was Hank's graduating class of 1961 that saw their graduation rings as a first issue, and he wanted this symbolic event to be remembered by donating his ring for display in the center's museum.

God

As with all his loves Henry saw them overlap and he incorporated them all into his greatest love-the love of God. He was fond of seeing God's work in everyday life and he enjoyed sharing those discoveries with others. He attended church regularly at St. James and prayed the Psalms daily from his prayer book. He was involved in the church in many different capacities from usher and treasury assistant to church council president. He also spent time as a greeter where one of his dogs would accompany him in welcoming the attendees for weekly mass. Within the last few years, while living at The Highlands at Wildwood Lake, he donated his time to help make sleeping mats for the homeless. He also attended a bible study where he grew close to Pastor Steve, the resident pastor. Both Pastor Steve and Father John from St. James visited Henry while he was in hospice. His faith continued to shine in how he liked to close his conversations-he liked to say "God Bless".

"God bless Henry" we love you and you will be greatly missed.

Visitation at St. James Church, W220 N6588 Town Line Rd. Menomonee Falls, on Saturday, January 27, 2024, from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Mass of Christian Burial to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to either:

American Legion Post 382

P.O. Box 323 Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

or

St. Vincent de Paul (SvDP St. James Conference)

W220 N6588 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls, WI 5305

Henry was a Past President and a long time member of WHEIA

 

Hunter with Shotgun
Hunter with Shotgun
Hunter with Shotgun
Hunter with Shotgun

Henry DeBoer

Hunter with Shotgun
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