Norbert Gonwa, of West Bend, formerly of Random Lake, passed away unexpectedly at his residence early Saturday morning, Sept. 15, 2007. He was 74 years old.
Norbert was born in Dacada on April 25, 1933, the son of Nicholas and Adelia Wetor Gonwa, and was united in marriage with Lorraine Bintzler at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Adell on June 26, 1954.
The couple lived for many years in Random Lake, raising their family there.
Norbert was a village board member for 12 years and later the village president for three years.
The couple moved to West Bend in 1994.
Norbert started as a carpenter, then later purchased WB Corp. of West Bend in 1979 and became a general contractor. The company did many municipal projects in the area, including work on the West Allis Fire Department, which won him the Best of Buildings Award.
He had been recently recognized by the Carpenters Union for 50 years of continuous service.
Norbert also founded The Legacy of Hartford, an assisted living facility, in 2004.
He was a longtime member of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish and was currently a member of St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Parish in West Bend.
He had also been a past member of Rotary in West Bend.
Norb enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting and traveling, as well as his latest hobby of collecting and working on antique cars.
He led a very busy life. At the age of 70, when he decided to start The Legacy project, he wanted to build a nice place for "the old people."
Norb is survived by his wife, Lorraine; their children, Cheryl (William) Sullivan of Hartford, Larry (Sandra) Gonwa of Campbellsport, Daniel (Jacque-line) Gonwa of Fillmore, Ronald (Barbara) Gonwa of Boltonville, and Marilynn (Dennis) Born of Plymouth; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Bell of California, Gwen-dolyn Gonwa of Chicago, Tanya Kaufert of West Bend, Justin Born of Plymouth, Eric and Kyle Gonwa of Campbellsport and Joshua Gonwa of Fillmore.
He is further survived by his brother, Sylvan Gonwa of Phoenix, Ariz; his sister, Dolores Kultgen of Belgium; nieces; nephews; sisters-and brothers-in-law; other relatives and many dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Nancy (Troy) Kaufert of West Bend; two grandchildren, April Lynn Mandock and Tyler Steven Kaufert; two brothers, Melvin and Roman (Virginella) Gonwa; and three sisters, Harriet Prom, Myrtle Kleckner and Audrey Gonwa.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lakes, St. Nicholas Chapel, Dacada.
Father Richard Cerpich will officiate, and interment will follow in the parish cemetery.
The family will receive visitors on Tuesday at the Eernisse Funeral Home, 1600 W. Grand Ave., Port Washington, from 4-8 p.m., and on Wednesday at the church from 9-10 a.m.
The family suggests memorials to Our Lady of the Lakes Parish or the Luxembourg American Cultural Center.
Online condolences can be left at www.eernissefuneralhome.com.