Nathanael Flegel

June 2, 1910 - Sept. 28, 2009

Nathanael Flegel died on Sept. 28 at the age of 99 years, 3 months and 25 days. He was born in Leipzig Bassarabia, Ukraine, on June 2, 1910, to Johann Flegel and his wife, Maria Flegel (nee Steltzer).

There were nine sisters - five of which died as infants - and one brother, all of whom preceded him in death. Nathanael was married to Emilie Bantel on Jan. 25, 1932. She preceded him in death on Feb. 25, 2003. After four years of courtship, they were married and remained so for 71 years. Their marriage was blessed with seven children: Lilli Hradelowitz of Miami Springs, Fla., Ludmilla (who died an infant), Helmut (Annie) Flegel of Milwaukee, Erna Seifert of Pewaukee, Vic Flegel of Waukesha, Elsa (Bruce) Cuppan of Fond du Lac and Wally (Don) Kissinger of Waukesha. He also is survived by 23 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. He also is survived by one brother-in-law, Walter Schattschneider, and many nieces and nephews, both in Germany and in the USA.

As a young man, he served in the Romanian Military Cavalry Regiment for four years. In 1940, together with 94,000 other Germans of Romania, he and his family were moved to Germany. The family was settled in West Prussia, formerly Poland. In March of 1944, he was drafted into the German army, and in April of 1945 he was taken prisoner by the Russians and served as a POW until September 1947. It was his strong desire to once more see his wife and children that kept him alive in starvation and the deep freeze of winter. He was released in September 1947.

Because his family was refugees of the war, it took him some time to find his undernourished but healthy wife and children in West Germany.

In December of 1951, he emigrated with his family to the United States, first to Maryland and then in April of 1953 to Waukesha. There he and his family joined Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he remained a member until his death.

Nathanael and his wife, Emilie, cared and sacrificed much for their children in their new country. It was not easy for him and his wife to learn a new language after the age of 40, for which the children and grandchildren will always be very grateful.

Visitation at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1052 Whiterock Ave., will take place from noon until the 2 p.m. service Monday, Oct. 5, with the Rev. Lawrence Gates officiating. Private interment will take place at Prairie Home Cemetery.

The family is especially grateful for the compassionate care by Season’s Hospice.

Memorials have been designated for the Ascension Window at Trinity Lutheran Church, Tomorrow’s Choice, a resource center for pregnancy counseling and Jesus Cares Ministry for mentally challenged children.

Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.