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Leslie John "Les" Woehlke

Woehlke, Leslie John "Les" 91, joined Lois, his beloved wife of sixty-five years, in the eternal Kingdom of God at 4:16 a.m., Tuesday, February 5, 2013. Les was born on April 2, 1921, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the second of four children of Oscar and Leocadie Woehlke. He graduated from Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, in 1939. Les attended Purdue University, majoring in mechanical engineering and graduating early in December 1942 to enable him to join the war effort. After completing Officers' Candidate School at Norfolk, Virginia, Ensign Woehlke reported for duty on the Battleship U.S.S. Texas BB-35, where he served as officer in charge of one of the ship's two engine rooms. Les' service on the Texas provided naval support at the Normandy Invasion, the Battle of Cherbourg, and the Invasions of Southern France, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa before Lieutenant JG Woehlke was reassigned to Newport, Rhode Island, and honorably discharged at the end of the war. During shore leave on July 27, 1943, Les wed Lois in New York City. Following WWII, Les returned to the Milwaukee area where he continued his career with Grede Foundries Inc. Les became the corporation's only non-Grede family president. Les served as a National Director of the American Foundry Society and president of its Wisconsin chapter. He was president of the Grey Iron Founder's Association as well as president and long time national director of the Foundry Education Foundation. He also served as president of Wisconsin Cast Metals Association and received the prestigious William J. Grede Award from the Iron Castings Society. Les was a member of Waukesha, Downtown Milwaukee, and Downtown Wichita Rotary Clubs. In retirement he continued his community service delivering Meals on Wheels with Lois. Les and Lois retired in 1983, residing in Wichita, Kansas. In 1998, they moved to Madison, Wisconsin where they resided until 2001. He lived in Muncie, Indiana for the last twelve years of his life. During retirement, Les and Lois traveled extensively focusing on bringing great joy to their ever-expanding clan. Les is survived by his brother, Leonard (wife Ethyl) of Boca Raton, Florida; five of his six children, Thomas Edward (wife Marie) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christine Ann Ziuchkovski (husband Patrick) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, James Andrew (wife Kristal) of Poughkeepsie, New York, Elizabeth Ann Miller (husband Chris) of Muncie, Indiana, and Margaret Mary McEvoy (husband James) of Fishers, Indiana; nineteen grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A funeral mass to celebrate Les's life will be 12:30PM, Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Saint Mary Catholic Church, 2300 West Jackson Street, Muncie, Indiana, with Father Andrew Dudzinski officiating. Burial will follow at Elm Ridge Memorial Park. Family and friends may gather and remember one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Muncie Mission or the Foundry Education Foundation.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Feb. 8, 2013
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