Kraegel, Wilfred A. 88, died on November 6, 2012, at home with his wife, Janet. Born in Lansing, Illinois to the late Laura Pflug Kraegel and William Kraegel, Wilfred earned his BA in Mathematics from the
University of Illinois
in 1947. This education was interrupted by
. While part of the Army Air Corps, he spent three semesters at Denison University studying pre-meteorology, and it was there that he met Janet. He later served in Europe, and after VE Day, in Military Police units in France. Wilfred was called back into active duty during the
as a second lieutenant. He was assigned to the Pentagon, doing analysis for an econometric study that was run on the third Univac computer. After receiving his MS in Actuarial Science from the State
University of Iowa
, Wilfred enjoyed a 35-year career at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in Milwaukee, where he pioneered the use of IBM mainframe computers in the life insurance industry in the 1950s and served as Director of Data Processing, among other positions. A PhD in Urban Social Institutions from UW Milwaukee in 1987 launched Wilfred's second career as a social scientist, futurist, and adjunct professor. A proposal he wrote for the UWM Urban Research Center evolved into Goals for Greater Milwaukee 2000, and his commitment to this "future-oriented urban project" extended over a decade. In 1997, he earned the Warner Bloomberg Award for Distinguished and Exceptionally Creative Service to the Use of Futures Studies and/or Research in Urban Issues. Throughout his life, Wilfred was deeply committed to community service, and he served on numerous committees and charitable boards in Milwaukee, including the American Lung Association, the Milwaukee Audubon Society, and the Artist Series at the Pabst. He also served on the Fox Point-Bayside school district School Board and the Fox Point Lutheran Church Council. Wilfred enjoyed extensive travel, but most of all he loved to spend time at the cottage on Lake Michigan that he and Janet built fifty years ago. The consummate people person, he rarely made it down the beach without talking to half a dozen other beachwalkers, whether strangers or friends. A passionate thinker, he delighted in reading, writing, teaching, and talking about the environment, the future, global warming, politics and spirituality. A man of palpable integrity and goodness, Wilfred Kraegel lived his belief in the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life. Wilfred and Janet were to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary this month. In addition to his wife, Wilfred leaves his four children, Beth Labush, Jean (John) Stanton, Jeffrey (Sarah) Kraegel, and Susan (Andrew) Corbett; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his brother Armin. A celebration of Wilfred's life will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 11 AM in the chapel at Newcastle Place, 12600 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, Wisconsin. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Alliance for the Great Lakes or Horizon Hospice.
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 11, 2012
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"A gentle man gone...from our sight, but never from our hearts. - Lynn Laun Lindert"
"Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. I always enjoyed my..."
"My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. I knew Sue through Fox Point..."
- Gail (Hoppe) Sommerfeld
"I really loved that Uncle Will, as smart and prominent as he was, was never dismissive of others goals..."
- Cathy Roth
"Seeing Wil's picture brought back a flood of childhood memories. What an amazing man! He walked the..."
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