Norman J. Van Heuklon
Norman Van Heuklon, age 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning, December 9, 2013. Norm was born in Appleton on March 3, 1922, son of the late Hugh and Rose (Engel) Van Heuklon. On October 8, 1946, he married the former Mary Louise Kufner. She preceded him in death in 2004.
In his teen years, he was a member of the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC). He enlisted in the Navy on January 3, 1941. After Recruit Training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, he reported to the USS Lamson at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on March 25, 1941. During the initial stages of the war, while conducting convoy escort duty, he saw a series of combat operations from October of 1942 until January of 1943, including the fourth battle of Savo Island. During this critical battle, Norm recalled Japanese torpedoes passing beneath his ship. Norman and the USS Lamson then participated in landing and support operations at Lae and Finschhafen. He then attended Advanced Gunner's Mates School before being transferred to the USS City of Dalhart where he spent the remainder of the war and participated in the capture and occupation of Guam. After the war he helped decommission several vessels before being discharged as a Gunner's Mate First Class on March 1, 1947.
Norm was also an active community and church member, including involvement with the Catholic Knights Society of Wisconsin, Knights of Columbus - Father Fitzmaurice Council #607, Harvey Pierre Post #2778 of the VFW, Johnston Blessman Post #38 of the American Legion, Tin Can Sailors, and the National Association of Destroyer Veterans. He was also a volunteer at St. Joseph Food pantry for many years and enjoyed bowling on the Knights of Columbus teams.
Norm retired in 1987 from the American Can Corp, which was later acquired by Georgia-Pacific.
Norman is survived by his seven loving children: Marge (Paul Freund) Van Heuklon Norma (Ken) Sanderfoot, Mary Ann (Ray) Grassl, Robert (Renae) Van Heuklon, Richard (Mary) Van Heuklon, Roger (Fiona Doyle) Van Heuklon, and Nancy (Gilbert) Young. He also leaves behind his companion and special friend: Grace Gebhart.
He will also be missed by his grandchildren: Fr. Brian, Jennifer, Andy, Amy, Julie, Jay, Karen, Nick, Nikole, Melissa, Eric, Matthew, Kevin, Stephanie, Sandy, Seth, Sarah, Michelle, and Elizabeth; thirty great-grandchildren; a sister: Elaine Bro; two brothers: Earl (Pat)Van Heuklon and Arnold Van Heuklon; sisters-in-law: Margaret Kufner, Gloria Van Heuklon, Jean Wojahn, Janet Warner, and Glenda Kufner; and brothers-in-law: Ernie Meulemans, John Kufner, and Dave Van Ryzin. Norman was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mary Louise, a granddaughter Ashley, brothers: Clifford (Liz) Van Heuklon and Jack Van Heuklon; sisters: Helen (Clifford) McHugh and Irene (Carroll) Lornson; sisters-in-law: LaVerna Van Heuklon, Yvonne Meulemans, Barb Van Ryzin, Joan Sanders, Margaret Rose Kufner, and Rita (Bud) Tedlund; and brothers-in-law: Alan Bro, Robert Wojahn, Donald Warner, Erwin Kufner, Jim Kufner, and Paul Kufner.
The Funeral Liturgy will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at SACRED HEART CATHOLIC CHURCH, 222 E. Fremont Street in Appleton, with grandson Fr. Brian Sanderfoot and Fr. Donald Zuleger officiating. Friends may call at the Wichmann Funeral Home, TRI-COUNTY CHAPEL in Menasha on Wednesday beginning at 4:00 PM. Visitation will conclude with a parish prayer service at 8:00 PM Wednesday, and will resume directly at the church on Thursday morning from 9:00 AM until the time of the mass. Full military honors will follow the service at the church. A memorial fund is being established. Online condolences may be offered at www.wichmannfuneralhomes.com.
Wichmann Funeral Home
537 North Superior Street Appleton, WI 54911
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Dec. 11, 2013