George Lewis Oncken

At age 82, George L. Oncken died with grace on March 14, 2013, on a beautiful sunny day in his Arizona home. An eternal optimist, he was born on a small farm in Waunakee.

Educated in a oneroom schoolhouse, George served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy in 1953 and a masterís in extension education in 1958 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His academic life culminated in an appointment to professor by the Community Resource Development Commission U.W. Extension Education in 1976.

In 1958, he married Barbara Ray (who preceded him in death) and fathered three loving daughters: Debora (David) Olson, Pam (James) Maguire, and Cheryl (James) Bentivegna. A devoted father, George took great pride in watching them grow into successful career women, and loving, caring mothers.

He leaves behind eight adoring grandchildren: Elizabeth, Andrew, and Julia Olson; Meagan, Scott, and Kerry Maguire; Rachel and Katie Bentivegna; and his dear brother Robert Oncken.

During a long and successful career as a county agricultural agent, he proudly represented the good people of Pepin, Crawford, and Waukesha counties. George retired in 1987. During the second phase of his life, he married JoEllen Mulder and became a much-loved stepfather to Timothy Mulder and Susan (Daniel) Kaatz, and adoptive grandfather to Danielle and Katie Mulder and Amanda and Adam Kaatz. An avid gardener and athlete, he took great pleasure rooting for his favorite teams: the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers. A quietly faithful man, Georgeís solid presence, and kind and generous spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A memorial service will be held Monday, April 8 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, W156-N8131 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls.

Memorials suggested to UW-Extension Endowment or the charity of your choice.