Wulgaert, Edward H
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Brigadier General (ret) Edward H. Wulgaert (78) of Mesa, Arizona, and Larsen, Wisconsin, passed peacefully away with his family by his side May 16, 2013 at his home in Arizona. Edward was born October 4, 1934 to Marie (Derks) and Edward F. Wulgaert in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Myrna (Gieben), his sons Lee of Arizona, Steven (Ruth) of Combined Locks, and his daughter Julie (Patrick) Harger of Atlanta, Georgia. His four grandchildren include Lee Edward Jr. and Bryana Wulgaert and Damien and Jenna Martin. He is further survived by his sister Marion Huebner, brother-in-law Douglas (Brigitte) Gieben and several nieces and nephews. Edward was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and a good friend and mentor to many.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Margaret Ann Hammen, brothers-in-law Joseph Hammen and Wayne Huebner.
Edward was an educator, soldier, and civic leader. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, spending many enjoyable hours with family and friends on Lake Poygan.
He graduated from Kaukauna High School and was honored to be selected Rally Master for the 1993 Alumni Association Rally. He earned his BS Degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and MS degrees in Guidance and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He began his career in education in a one room school in Greenville in 1956. He then taught 7th and 8th grades at Badger School in Appleton. He began his association with Kimberly Area Schools District in 1962 serving as a Science Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Jr. High School Principal, Elementary and Middle School Principals, and retired as District Superintendent in 1995. Ed believed in the power of positive thinking and his main goal as an educator was to get students to see themselves in a positive light. His motto was KIDS FIRST. Several accomplishments he was proudest of in the field of education include the initiation of a kindergarten screening program, the formation of a middle school, site-based management in all Kimberly schools and the implementation of Chapter 1 in the district.
General Wulgaert enlisted in Company D 127th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin Army National Guard as a private in 1953 and promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General of the Line (1981) retiring in 1984. He served as a 1st Lt during the Berlin Crisis Call-up in 1961-62 and was chosen to attend the Nuclear Weapons College in Ft. Leavenworth, KS. During his career he attended various military schools which included the War College at Presidio, CA where he was a tablemate with General Colin Powell. A friendship developed and Ed particularly enjoyed sending our famous Wisconsin cheese to General Powell and his wife. During his more than 30 years of service he served in command and staff positions notably as Commander 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade (Mech) (Red Arrow). Under his leadership the 32nd Brigade trained extensively and was selected to participate in an exercise in Germany. "…..BG Wulgaert's performance of duty has been superior. The 32nd Brigade is the most improved unit in Fifth Army. The selection of the 32nd, as the first Army National Guard Brigade size unit to participate in Reforger, clearly reflects his accomplishments and outstanding leadership."…. Edward A. Partain, LTG, USA, HQ5th Army Commanding General. Ed was extremely proud to be a member of the famed Red Arrow.
During state active duty, General Wulgaert served during the University of Wisconsin Madison campus disorders in 1969 and 1970; as Task Force Commander at the Oshkosh tornado site in April of 1974; as Ground Troop Commander and Special Unit Commander in the Menominee Indian take-over of the Alexian Brothers Novitiate in Gresham, WI in January 1975; and during the 1977 State Employees strike serving as Task Force Commander at Waupun State Prison and Central State Hospital and as special liaison to Waupun Fox Lake and Green Bay Reformatory. One of his prized mementos is a plaque presented to him by the inmates of the Waupun State Prison which has a replica of the prison gate key and inscription naming him and his 2nd Battalion 127th men 'Honorary Screws", prison jargon for guards. It was presented in appreciation for their professional treatment of the inmates during the strike.
Awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with three devices), Army Reserves Component Achievement Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), Army National Guard Recruiting Bar, Wisconsin National Guard Service Ribbon (with three bronze devices),Wisconsin National Guard Emergency Service Ribbon (with five devices), Wisconsin National Guard Berlin crisis Ribbon, Wisconsin National Guard Write Ribbon.
As the door on his military career closed , he became active in local politics. He was persuaded to run for Combined Locks Trustee and won on a write-in vote. He served two terms as trustee and five terms as president before retiring to his home at Lake Poygan.
Civic, professional, and military affiliations include Outagamie County Teachers Association, Past President and Treasurer, Kiwanis-Member/Board of Directors, Combined Locks Bi-Centennial Committee Treasurer, Phi Delta Kappa, Knights of Columbus, Wisconsin School Administrators, Wisconsin National Guard Association of the United States, American Legion Post 60, Project Aware, Wisconsin State Prison Board of Directors, Past Committee Chairman and Scout Master Troop 27, Bay Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America, Hunter Safety Instructor, DNR State of Wisconsin, Ducks Unlimited, Private Industry Council, Kaukauna Elks Lodge 962, Kaukauna Alumni Association, 127th Infantry Veterans Association, Past President and 32nd Red Arrow Veterans Association, Past President. Of his many awards the Dutch Uncle Award from the Big Brothers Organization , a twenty-five year award from the DNR for teaching Hunter Safety, and membership in the Kimberly Area School District's Quarter-Century Club were among his favorites.
A celebration of Ed's life will be held Thursday, May 30th at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Combined Locks, Wisconsin. Visitation with the family from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following.
The family wishes to thank Liberty Hospice of Mesa, Sherry Wirth, RN and Dr. Michael Lucherini for their compassionate care of Ed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
, Honor Flight Network, or the Salvation Army.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on May 19, 2013