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William Lingenberg

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William Lingenberg Obituary
William J. (Jack) Lingenberg

William J. (Jack) Lingenberg, passed away January 18, 2016, at the age of 91.

Jack was married to his wife Patricia (Patti) for 63 years, prior to her death in 2014. Jack and Patti are survived by their two daughters, Christy (Mark) Halbert and Kathy (Dave Riddell, their five grandchildren, Sarah, Allie and Jenny Halbert, Katie (Jeff) Pekarek and AJ Riddell, and Jack's sister-in-law, Aulene Lingenberg.

Jack was born in Los Angeles, California and was the youngest of four siblings (Dorothy, Ralph and Dick), all of whom predeceased him. A child of the Depression, Jack worked many jobs growing up, but still found time to be active in sports. Jack graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1942, and shortly thereafter joined the US Navy. Jack served on L.S.T.s in both the Atlantic and Pacific operations during World War II and participated in the D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944. 

Following the end of the War, Jack took advantage of the G.I. Bill and enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he as a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. Jack graduated from USC in 1949 and joined the Kellogg Company as a sales representative in 1950. While at USC, Jack met his future wife, Patti, and they were married in December of 1950.

In 1956, Jack was transferred to Kellogg's headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, where the family made their home. Jack advanced in the sales ranks at Kellogg, becoming Vice President of their export operations. Jack became fluent in Spanish, and helped get Kellogg's sales off the ground in several Latin American countries. While most of Jack's work took him to the Caribbean and Latin/South America, his travel map showed Kellogg assignments in Europe, Africa, Australia/NZ and Asia during his nearly 40 years with the company.

In retirement, Jack and Patti would spend their winters in Santa Barbara, where they would see many relatives and USC friends, and would enjoy the comforts of the Birnam Wood County Club. Later, when Patti could no longer travel, Jack was her loving caregiver for the last several years of her life.

Jack was a happy person, and looked at life as a glass half full. He enjoyed people, whether at the Chesterfield dances with Patti, as part of a couples' tennis group, on the golf course at the Battle Creek Country Club, at the Knife and Fork men's dinners or at the many social events Patti would organize. He took great delight in helping each grandchild learn to fish in Goguac Lake, and was always interested in their activities. Their frequent visits were always welcomed. Jack was a gracious host, and often announced "it's mah party!" as he smoothly grabbed the check.

Jack never played up his many accomplishments. A good example is the letter he wrote to his mother, four days after the D-Day Invasion. It began, "Sorry I have not written sooner, mom; we've been quite busy lately". As befits a talented salesman, Jack was a good listener and a good story teller. He could also make people laugh.

Jack was a good man, and will be missed by all who knew him.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Kempf Family Funeral Home, Shaw Chapel, 2838 Capital Ave. SW., Battle Creek, on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 11am-noon. A memorial service to celebrate Jack's life will take place at noon following visitation with Rev. Patricia Weatherwax officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lingenberg Scholarship Fund at the Battle Creek Community Foundation (www.bcc.foundation.org) or the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek. Assistance with memorials is available at the Kempf Family Funeral Homes, Shaw Chapel. Please leave the family a personal message and sign the online guest book at www.kempffuneralhome.com

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Jan. 24 to Feb. 7, 2016
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