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Henry Koerten (1932 - 2012)

Obituary
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Henry "Hank" G. Koerten

The Lord opened his arms to welcome Henry (Hank) Gerhardt Koerten into his Kingdom on November 30th, at Aspirus Hospital. He passed gently and peacefully with his loving wife and family by his side. Henry was born to Jacob and Alice (Oppenhuizen) Koerten on March 27th, 1932, in Amsterdam, Holland, The Netherlands. The family settled in the town of Sneek, in Friesland, where they remained until the end of World War II.

Hank and his family immigrated to the United States in July of 1947, where they began a new life in Rothschild. Five years later, he became a proud citizen of the United Sates. Henry attended Rothschild Grade School to learn English. On December 5th, 1953, Hank married the love of his life, Carol Jean Streeter. Together, they raised one daughter and three sons, who all credit their father with teaching them how to be a loving spouse, a great parent, and how to respect others at all times. His grandchildren and great-grandchild credit him for serving as an example of who they all strive to be.

Henry's first job was working on the Kruit farm. He then moved on to the Nesbitt Bottling Company, and eventually began working at the 29 Super. Bud Bautsch took Henry "Wooden Shoe" under his wing and mentored him as he moved through the ranks from produce sorter (1948) to General Manager. Henry retired in 1991.

Throughout his retirement, Hank loved birds, perfecting his bird calls and songs, building bird houses, and raising Parakeets for local pet stores. Henry was a lifetime member of the Lionel Train Collectors Association, with a passion for collecting and restoring trains. He maintained a beautiful garden, volunteered, was part of the ushering team, and enjoyed breakfast with the men of St. Paul's United Church of Christ. Hank offered his fellowship and support at Cedar Creek Manor three mornings per week, spent every weekend for the past 50 years at Patricia Lake Campground where he and Carol enjoyed new friendships, campfires, and boating. Henry also enjoyed taking week-long fishing trips to Canada with his sons where they shared many lifetime stories. He loved recounting stories of his Dutch heritage and his life as a boy in Sneek during World War II, during which time his family provided a safe house for a Jewish family.

Hank is survived by his loving wife Carol, three sons, Jeffrey (Jean) of Omaha, Nebraska, Craig (Cindy) of Marshfield, and David (Dawn) of Milwaukee, and daughter Marcia (Joel) Stencil of Athens, 13 grandchildren (Chad, Lindsay, Anne, Kathryn, Cara, Calynn, Beth, Kacey, Luke, Phillip, Leah, Chi Anna, Mia), 5 great-grandchildren (Tanner, Beckett, Lauren, Alex, and Colin), brothers John (Charlotte) of Sevierville, Tennesse, Gertrude (Don) de Jong of Leesburg, Florida, Garritt of Louisville, Kentucky, and sister Henrietta (Harry) Pittman of Seminole, Florida, many nieces and nephews, and family still residing in Holland. Hank is preceded in death by his parents.

A funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 426 Washington St., Wausau, with Rev. Philip Schneider officiating. Family and friends may call beginning at 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, December 3, 2012, at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau, and again at the church on Tuesday beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Entombment will be in Restlawn Chapel Mausoleum, Wausau.

You may sign the family guestbook at www.helke.com.

Published in Everest Herald from Dec. 2 to Dec. 7, 2012
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