Obits – William Louis Ische, Jr.
William Louis Ische, Jr., age 90 of Cologne, passed away Jan. 27, 2013 at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 at Zion Lutheran Church, Benton Township, rural Cologne with Rev. Eric Zacharias officiating; interment in the Zion Cemetery; visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Johnson Funeral Home, Waconia, and one hour prior to the service; chapel service was held Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Casket bearers were six of his grandsons: Nicholas Mackenstadt, Gregory Mackenstadt, Karl Kruppstadt, Joel Hill-Ische, William Ische, August Pirkl.
Bill was born on Feb. 10, 1922 in Hancock Township, rural Norwood, the youngest of the four sons of William and Lydia (Bartels) Ische. He was baptized on March 5, 1922, and confirmed in his faith on April 5, 1936 at Zion Lutheran Church, both by Rev. Hermann AmEnd. He remained a life-long member of Zion. In his teens and early twenties, Bill left formal education to travel the U.S. via rails, hitchhiking and driving. He took a variety of jobs from being a dairy farmhand in Elmira, N.Y. to office work at the Hanford site in Washington state. He studied at Dunwoody Institute and St. Paul Vocational. In 1947 he went into business operating Williams Manufacturing Company with his father out of the old Larson Creamery building in Gotha, just south of Cologne. He was a skilled craftsman in metal, designing and fabricating custom work and performing repairs for farmers, homeowners and businesses. A good day at “the shop” was a parking lot full of pickups, cars, and maybe a tractor. Each job was a welcome challenge, and each customer a chance to connect. In warm weather, Bill installed rain gutters on the roofs of homes, barns, commercial buildings and churches, defying gravity on a daily basis. Bill was united in marriage to Rhoda Lenzen on June 18, 1947 at Zion Cologne in a newsworthy triple wedding with two of Rhoda’s sisters and their grooms. The couple made their home in Gotha, and they were blessed with a family of five. In 2005, they moved to Cologne where Bill enjoyed their “in town” garden. He still maintained a selection of tools and equipment that enabled him to fix or install almost anything around the house. A favorite pastime was taking a drive in the country with family, where he would often point out the places he had put on a metal roof or rain gutters – monuments to his life’s labor.
He was preceded in death by parents, William, Sr. and Lydia (Bartels) Ische; brothers Larry, Raymond and Melvin Ische; daughter-in-law, Maureen (O’Donnell) Ische, and grandson, David Ische. Bill is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rhoda; children: Kenneth Ische of Eagan, Gloria (Kerry) Kruppstadt of Minnetonka, Jane Ische of Spring Park, Kathleen Bartels of Savage, and Rhonda (Mark) Pirkl of Golden Valley; eleven grandchildren: Susan Ische, Erin (Michael) Benson, William P. Ische, Karl Kruppstadt and fiancée Lindsey LaTendresse, Diana Kruppstadt, Joel Hill-Ische, Joseph Zelko, Gregory Mackenstadt, Nicholas Mackenstadt, Emily Pirkl, and August Pirkl; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Delores Ische of Norwood, Muriel Ische of Norwood, Irene Hilk of Waconia, Florence Lindquist of Waconia, Wendell and Louise Herrmann of Norwood, Howard Lenzen of St. Peter, Allen and Evon Lenzen of Cologne, nieces, nephews and friends.
Arrangements with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia. www.johnsonfh.com