William G. Oelhafen,
William G. ďBillĒ Oelhafen entered eternal life and joined his beloved wife, Glenice, on April 7, 2013, at the age of 91, after a brief illness.
He was born on July 4, 1921, at home, on the family farm in the town of Addison, the youngest of 12 children by John and Bertha (nee Rate) Oelhafen. Bill graduated from Slinger High School with athletic distinction in 1938. Several of his sports records stood unmatched for decades. He especially enjoyed playing baseball, including a try-out with the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing baseball on Sunday afternoons around the area in a league was one of his favorite things to do.
Bill was united in marriage to Glenice Eimermann on Nov. 20, 1941, at St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church. They enjoyed almost 65 years together as husband and wife.
In 1942, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country for more than three years including the Naval Reserve. While in the Navy, Bill learned firefighting skills. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he became a member of the West Bend Volunteer Fire Department. Eventually Bill became the head of the Rescue Squad, was the assistant fire chief, and ultimately became fulltime fire chief from January 1968 to December of 1979. During his years in the Fire Department he became a state fire instructor and taught innovative firefighting techniques throughout Wisconsin.
While working as a volunteer firefighter, Bill also managed his sisterís, Ellen Wentorf, plating company in West Bend, in addition to selling fire trucks part-time for a Milwaukee company. Billís commitment to public service also included his tenure as alderman of the 5th Ward and as civil defense director for several years. Bill was a hard worker, loyal employee, tireless public servant and capable leader. In retirement, Bill and Glenice spent their summers fishing and enjoying Wisconsinís north woods. After Gleniceís death in 2006, Bill became a resident of Cedar Community. He served as president of the Residentís Board and made many new friends in the six years he resided there. He was known for posting sage and witty advice on his door at Cedar Bay West.
Bill was an active member of St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church for seven decades, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association, Lt. Ray Dickop American Legion Post 36 and the Fred A. Schaefer VFW Post 1393.
Bill will be greatly missed by family and friends, and will forever be in our hearts.
He is survived by his two daughters, Sharon (Tom Meierbachtol) Clark of Tucson, Ariz. and Patricia Mayer OíNeil of Dallas; his devoted grandson, Matt (Sheri) Mayer; three great-grandchildren, Claire, Evan, and Madeleine Mayer, all of Wausau; and other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services in remembrance of Bill will be held on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. at St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church, 809 S. Sixth Ave., West Bend. The Rev. David Kellerman and the Rev. Gerald Presuhn will co-officiate. Visitation will be at the church on Thursday from 3 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will take place on Friday at 10 a.m. in Washington County Memorial Park, West Bend.
Memorials to St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice are appreciated by the family.
Myrhum Ė Patten Funeral & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.myrhumpatten.com.