William L. 'Len' Burling, age 93, formerly of Green Lake, Wisconsin, passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at the Wisconsin Veterans
Home in King.
Len was born June 10, 1920 in Green Lake, the son of Loy and Mae (Palmer) Burling. He graduated from Green Lake High School and went on to receive his Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin
-Madison. Len served in the United States Army
Air Corps during WWII
as a member of the 9th Air Force, 378th Squadron, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He flew 75 missions as a fighter pilot (P-47D Thunderbolt) in the European Theatre and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on February 21, 1945.
In November 1945, Len married Retta Carver, also of Green Lake. Len worked most of his career as an insurance agent, operating Burling Insurance Agency in Green Lake for more than twenty years. He also worked for Heidel House Management in Green Lake as the Director of Business Development and later as an agent for Consumers Insurance Service in Madison, Wisconsin. In retirement, he was a member of the golf staff at the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake and the Dodger Pines Country Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Len was the first Mayor of the City of Green Lake, serving from 1962 to 1966. He was a past member and former Deacon of The Federated Church of Green Lake, a former member of the Green Lake Rotary Club and Masonic Lodge and a member of American Legion Post 306. Len also received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America, scouting's highest honor for leaders at the Council level.
Survivors include his children, William L. Burling, Jr. (Cathy) of Greensboro, NC, Retta B. Meser (Jeff) of Brookfield, WI, Peter C. Burling (Mary) of Middleton, WI, Richard A. Burling (Lynne) of Wauwatosa, WI, Sarah E. McCann (Don) of McGregor, TX; sisters, Jeanne Kohnke of Green Lake, WI and Dolores Broderick of Montello, WI; a brother, Hugh Burling (Pat) of Grafton, WI; six grandsons; three granddaughters; eight great grandsons and three great granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Retta (Carver); daughter Mary (Burling) Vandervelde; grandson Aaron Meser; sisters Vivian (Burling) Chapel, Marilyn Burling, Charlyne (Burling) Adams and Loyce (Burling) Thrall; and a brother, Walter Burling.
Visitation for William L. 'Len' Burling will be held Wednesday, August 14, 2013, from 10:30-11:30 am at The Federated Church of Green Lake, 489 Scott Street, Green Lake, WI 54941.
A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 11:30 am at The Federated Church of Green Lake, 489 Scott Street, Green Lake, WI 54941. Reverend Karen Gygax-Rodriguez will officiate. A private family Inurnment with full Military Honors will take place at Dartford Cemetery in Green Lake. A memorial will be established.
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