In Loving Memory of Irvin G. Kroenke

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Life Legacy

Irvin G. Kroenke, age 92 of the Town of Richmond, passed away peacefully at 12:05 a.m. on June 3, 2013 at Maple Lake Health Care Center in the Town of Belle Plaine. Irvin was a lifelong member of St. Jakobi Lutheran Church, Town of Richmond. He many times spoke of attending both German and English speaking services at St. Jakobi in his early years. Irvin was born on November 2, 1920 to the late Henry and Margaret (Marohl) Kroenke. He lived through the Great Depression which helped form his character and life values. He grew up on his grandpa, Robert and grandma, Mary Marohl’s home farm, living on the same land for his entire life. Irvin married Dorothy Beversdorf on February 13, 1943 and the couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Dorothy was Irvin’s high school sweetheart and the love of his life. To the end, Irvin and Dorothy looked out and cared for each other in the same room at Maple Lane. Staff many times commented on how Irvin looked out for Dorothy. The couple would be seen holding hands, singing favorite songs, listening to Dorothy’s poems and laughing at good memories. Irvin was a devoted husband and a caring father. He asked to be remembered as a loving husband and dedicated family man who raised a loving family. Irvin was always there for Dorothy and his children and grandchildren. He and Dorothy would many times drive 100 miles one way to watch their grandchildren play sports, perform in music or the winter Olympics. Then they would drive back to their farm in the late evening to be back to work early the next morning. The couple fully supported their family. Irvin was continually donating lumber and time to his children and efforts such as The Richmond Stadium, the Navarino Nature Center and the St. Jakobi Lutheran Church. Irvin will be remembered as an extremely hard worker. He instilled a strong work ethic in those he worked with and expected individuals to work hard and help others. He got his start as a two-man cross cut sawyer on the Menominee Indian Reservation working with his brother, Bob. Irvin started his own sawmill and handled nearly every board of lumber that came off the circular saw and planer. He was a builder at heart, constructing hundreds of Kroenke Rustic Style homes and A-Frames using large white pine timbers and cedar paneling from his mill. He was proud of his homes and his work crews. Irvin loved to play softball in his early years and was a winning fast ball pitcher with a great curve ball and “riser.” Dorothy and children spent many years on the bleachers watching Irvin and having fun at the games. Irvin was also a big fan and supporter of the Shawano Girls’ Softball program. Irvin enjoyed white tail deer hunting in Forest County. He and Dorothy honeymooned at their new hunting shack which he helped build with other family members and friends. Irvin loved to brook trout fish on the Red River. In later years he loved to watch song birds out the dining room window and constructed a large bird feeder to feed and watch the birds. In his 80’s Irvin planted 30 apple and fruit trees on the farm for the next generation. Irvin left a lasting legacy for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and for future generations when he and Dorothy donated a considerable sum of money to help establish and protect the 150 acre Kroenke Lake State Natural Area on the home farm in 2005. Irvin is in a better place right now and waiting for Dorothy and family in Heaven. We will miss him tremendously and know he is in the Lord’s hands and has found everlasting peace.

Irvin is survived by: his wife, Dorothy; 3 children, Kathy (Dennis) Fonger, Michael (Val McQuade) Kroenke, Joel Kroenke; 6 grandchildren, Tanya (Dave) Jensen, Jason (Christy) Fonger, Seth (Jeelan) Kroenke and Shannon Kroenke, Sara and Ryan Kroenke; 8 great-grandchildren, Hunter, Morgan and Trevor Jensen, Logan, Ashlyn and Mason Kroenke, Tessa Fonger, Taylor Habeck; and 3 brothers, Robert (Lois), David and Kenneth (Doris Mae) Kroenke.

Irvin was preceded in death by: his parents; and a sister, Doris (Butch) Gueths.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. On Friday, June 7, 2013 at the St. Jakobi Lutheran Church in the Town of Richmond with the Rev. Travis Kleinschmidt officiating. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorial funds are being established following: St. Jakobi Lutheran Church, Shawano Co. Agricultural Society in support of the Shawano Co. Fair and the Shawano Co. Humane Society.

Irvin’s family would like to thank Val McQuade who has provided comfort and care to Irvin and Dorothy for over three years allowing them to spend extended weekends together at their home farm. We would like to thank Mary Schroeder who provided loving support and assistance to Irvin at the sawmill for over 20 years and her continued help to the couple at their home in the years that followed. We would also like to thank all the caring workers at Maple Lane as well as many friends and neighbors for all their help and support.

11/02/1920  -  06/03/2013

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Born: November 2, 1920

Place of Birth: Town of Richmond, Shawano Co., WI

Death: June 3, 2013

Place of Death: Town of Belle Plaine, Shawano , WI

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