Warren A. "Eggs" Eigenberger, 93, of Sheboygan Falls, passed away peacefully with family by his side on the morning of Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Sharon S. Richardson Hospice.
Warren was born in the city of Plymouth, WI on June 15, 1919. He attended St. John the Baptist Catholic Grade School in Plymouth.
Having grown up in the '20s and '30s, Warren always had a multitude of stories and memories to share. Among his favorites were: rafting on the Mill Pond; his father's homemade still during Prohibition; and riding the trolley to Sheboygan and Elkhart Lake.
After graduating from Plymouth High School in 1937, he joined with his father to learn the trade at Eigenberger's Barber Shop in downtown Plymouth.
In 1942 Warren answered the patriotic call to serve his country by enlisting in the United States Navy. After boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, and ordinance school in Virginia, Warren began his tour of duty aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill CV17. His job as an aviation ordinanceman (AO2) was to load the ammunition onto the F4U Corsairs.
On May 11th, 1945, the ship was kamikazied twice - within 30 seconds. Explosions and gasoline fires began to consume the ship, killing nearly 400 sailors, airmen, and Marines. The defenseless ship limped back to Bremerton, WA, and survived as one of the most heavily damaged ships in the entire war. All told, the ship and her crew were awarded a number of medals and honors, including 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. Being a Plank Owner of the Bunker Hill (aka the Holiday Express) was always a source of great pride for Warren.
Upon return to civilian life, he once again joined his father in the barber trade.
It was during a dance at Turner Hall where Warren met his future wife, Rosemary Nigh. They were wed on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, 1946, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plymouth. The union proved to be fruitful with a multitude of blessings.
In 1950, Warren purchased the Altmeyer Barber Shop and moved his small but growing family to Sheboygan Falls. The business was renamed the Eigenberger Barber Shop, and it is still in operation today. Working as a barber, Warren became friends to many; he shared in enjoyable, unforgettable, lifelong friendships. More importantly, he was a mentor to his many apprentices.
In 1959, he moved his still-growing family to the hobby farm on Highway 28. Warren and Rosemary spent the next 27 years there, enjoying life while raising 13 children and staying busy working the land and raising horses, calves, and critters.
After a brief partnership in the Franklin House, Warren decided to start another business and bought the Villager Restaurant. From 1972 to 1982 he and Rosemary successfully owned and operated the Villager in downtown Falls. There is no doubt that the success of the Villager was due, in large part, to the fact the employees came from two main sources: their children and their friends.
After numerous visits to northern Wisconsin, Warren began yet another adventure in his life; he purchased a resort near Eagle River. Together with Rosemary, and many others they would recruit, they ran "Warren's Cottages" for nearly 20 years. Big Bass Lake became their second home. Unforgettable and lifelong friendships were made at this time in their lives. Many have fond memories of the peaceful beauty, the campfires, and the 5 o'clock "cocktail cruises" aboard the USS Bunker Hill III.
With the loss of Rosemary in 2010; the last two years of his life were not always easy, but made peaceful because of his unending faith, loving family, and loyal friendships.
Warren was a member of Blessed Trinity Parish in Sheboygan Falls, the Sheboygan Falls Lions Club, American Legion Post 149, and the VFW. He was an avid reader of historical and Civil War events. He also enjoyed golf, bowling, thrift shopping and flea markets, and spending time with his family.
Warren is survived by three daughters, Mary Jo (Randy) Holzer of Sheboygan Falls, Susan (Greg) Kiela of Plymouth, and Jessica (Paul) Jensen of Sheboygan Falls; ten sons, Marty (Charity) of Kenosha, Steve (Diane) of Sheboygan Falls, James of Davenport, Iowa, Neil (Tanya) of Glenbeulah, Robert (Jackie), Andy (Suzanne), both of Sheboygan Falls, Paul (Annette) of Plymouth, Tim (Bonnie) of Sheboygan Falls, Tom of Plymouth, and Kurt Eigenberger of Sheboygan; 30 grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; one sister, Eunice Friederichs of Plymouth; and four sisters-in-law, Virgie Eigenberger of Plymouth, Marilyn (Charles) Ostermann of Belgium, Jeanie Nigh of Cascade and Lucille Nigh of Kewaskum; and one brother-in-law, John T. Rose of Saukville.
Warren was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary; a daughter-in-law, Vicki Eigenberger; one sister, Doris (Robert) Miller; one brother, Jerome Eigenberger; one sister-in-law Judy Rose; three brothers-in-law, Al Friederichs, Duane and Nathan Nigh; and one niece, Leah Eigenberger.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Warren's life will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Blessed Trinity Parish in Sheboygan Falls, with the Rev. Bob Lotz officiating. Burial will take place at St. Mary Cemetery in Sheboygan Falls.
Friends may greet the family at Blessed Trinity Parish on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10 am until the time of the Mass at 1 pm.
For additional information and online condolences please visit www.wenigfuneralhome.com
A memorial fund is being established in his name.
The Eigenberger family would like to thank Dr. Haid and his staff at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic, Dr. Curtis Hancock, as well as the entire staff at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for taking such extraordinary care of Warren and their family.
A special thank you goes to the Wisconsin Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Program.
…and so it goes…
Published in Sheboygan Press on Mar. 31, 2013