Gilbert "Skip" Mense, 83, of St. Libory, Ill., born Mar. 20, 1933 in St. Libory, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 surrounded by his loving family.
Skip was a faithful, life-long member of St. Liborius Church and sang in the church choir for the past 30 years. He was a member of the St. Libory American Legion Post 683; the St. Libory Fire Department; Mon-Clair League Baseball Hall of Fame; NRA; and two hunting clubs.
Skip was scouted by the New York Giants baseball team and signed with them after his graduation in 1952. He played pro ball in the Class D Sooner State League in Paul Valley, Okla. However, in January of 1953, Skip was drafted by the US Army and went to serve in the Korean War.
He returned home to continue working as a carpenter as he had trained to do with his father and brothers while growing up. For several years, he was in charge of the Mense-Kramper Construction crew that built many fine homes throughout the area.
In his spare time, Skip enjoyed golfing, camping, boating, playing cards, and listening to the St. Louis baseball Cardinals. His love for baseball was not over and he continued to play county league baseball until he was 40 years old in 1973. He especially enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, was proud to have taught almost all of them how to water-ski, and attended their ball games, school, and church programs.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugo and Hilda, nee Sandheinrich, Mense; a brother, Vernon Mense; brothers-in-law, Mel Weber, Ferd Luecking; sisters-in-law, Armella Luecking, and Virginia Buescher; and his father and mother-in-law, George and Bertha Buescher.
Surviving are his wife, Rosalie Marie, nee Buescher, Mense, whom he married in St. Libory, Ill., on May 21, 1958; four children, Kathy (Jerry) Brockmeier of Addieville, Ill., Kevin (Mona) Mense of St. Libory, Ill., Mike Mense of St. Libory, IL, and Karen (Rodney) Kehrer of St. Libory, Ill.; nine grandchildren, Jamie (Kevin) Fritz of Fayetteville, Ill., Megan (Mike) McLean of O'Fallon, Mo., Kristen (Matt) Knake of Freeburg, Ill., Jeremy (Casey) Mense, Jessica Mense (Clark Weeke), Lucas Mense, Lauren Mense, Owen and Olivia Kehrer, all of St. Libory, Ill.; five great-grandchildren, Payton Fritz, Mason, Wyatt, and Nolan McLean, and Caleb Knake; a brother, Roy (Dorothy) Mense; a sister, Jeanette (Dan) Cronin; brothers-in-law , Harold (Beverly) Buescher, Ralph (Sandy) Buescher, Robert (Donna Hummert) Buescher; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Weber, Dolores (Tom) Bergkoetter; plus numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends.
The family is very grateful for the compassionate care given to Skip by the many wonderful doctors and nurses at Illinois Oncology Ltd., Memorial Hospital in Belleville, and Hospice of Southern Illinois in recent days, weeks and months.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc.; St. Liborius Cemetery Fund; or to Masses. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting mollfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 and from 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 at St. Liborius Catholic Church in St. Libory, Ill. A prayer service will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the church.
Funeral: A funeral mass will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 at St. Liborius Catholic Church with Father Paul Wienhoff officiating. Burial will follow in St. Liborius Catholic Cemetery with military graveside rites provided by American Legion Post 683 of St. Libory.
MOLL FUNERAL HOME, St. Libory, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Nov. 29, 2016