George A. Grill
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George A. Grill, Sr., 95, Birnamwood, passed away on Friday, June 14, 2013, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at North Central Healthcare, Wausau. He was born on March 1, 1918, in the Township of Aniwa, the son of the late Joseph and Regina (Mancosky) Grill. On July 4, 1956, George was united in marriage to Eileen Maguire at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Halder. She preceded him in death on October 16, 1999.
George attended Birnamwood Public Schools, from which he graduated in 1936. In 1939, he received his Associates Degree in Bookkeeping from Madison Business College. For approximately one year thereafter, he worked with his aunt, Mrs. Mary Kettner, in West Palm Beach, Florida, in her bus/taxi business.
In August, 1941, George enlisted in the United States Army. He served as a radio operator and mechanic on transport planes in the Army Air Corps throughout World War II. He was honorably discharged from the service in October, 1945.
After the war, George returned to Birnamwood. For approximately ten years thereafter, he worked as a bookkeeper at Walk Motor Company in Antigo. During this time, he was an avid bowler, and also played baseball and basketball with numerous local teams. Following his father's death in 1957, George took over the operation of the family farm, which continued until 1977.
George "took an interest" in local government. First elected as a village trustee in Birnamwood in 1962, a position he held for five years, in 1967 he was subsequently elected village clerk, serving in that capacity for the next 35 years. He was the long-time secretary/ treasurer for both the Birnamwood ambulance service and fire department, retiring from these positions at the age of 88 in 2006. In 1966, George also began at 38-year run as the elected District 27 supervisor to the Shawano County Board, serving as chairman from 1973-1977. George was a member of numerous local boards and commissions, including the Lumberjack RC&D, Antigo, the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Appleton, and the Shawano County Housing Authority. George served as the executive director of the Housing Authority from 1977-1983. George also worked as a substitute mail carrier for the United States Postal Service for over 30 years, retiring from that position in the late 1990's.
George was an active member of St. Philomena Catholic Church, serving as a parish trustee for many years. He was an active member and past officer in the following organizations: Darling-Gunderson Post #341 American Legion, Birnamwood Memorial Post #7933 VFW and the Shawano County Voiture #986 40/8 Chapter. He was also a long-time member of the Birnamwood Lions Club, from which he received an award for exemplary service in 2001.
George enjoyed watching the wonders of nature unfold in the fields outside his kitchen and living room windows. He loved his farm—driving his "H" and "C" Farmall tractors around the fields and up and down the road, grandsons occasionally in tow; mowing the lawn that never stopped growing; making wood in the surrounding forests, first by himself, then with Eileen (so he would not do himself another injury), then finally with Roy. When asked, George could offer a well-reasoned opinion on almost any topic, but was not one to force his opinion on you. He would engage in spirited conversation, but also enjoyed quiet contemplation. George was tremendously proud of his grandsons, who never ceased to be amazed by his "Grandpa George-isms." In retirement, George and Eileen were regular members at daily Mass at St. Philomena's, usually followed by morning breakfast with the gang at Truck's Restaurant, a practice George continued after Eileen's death. Over morning coffee, George and his friends discussed and resolved many of the world's problems on a daily basis.
Survivors include his son Leo (Laurie), Baraboo and two grandsons, Matthew, Madison and Nathaniel, Baraboo. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Dolores Maguire, Halder, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife and parents, George was preceded in death by his son, George A. Grill, Jr., on June 20, 1978, as well as by sisters-in-law Clara (Maguire) Bickel and Grace (Maguire) O'Connor, brothers-in-law Jack O'Connor, James Maguire, Sr., and John Bickel, and a nephew, Timothy Maguire.
The family cannot thank enough the caring staff of both Mount View Care Center (South Shore Wing), Wausau, where George spent his last three months, and Autumn Lane Assisted Living, Birnamwood (including good friend, Earl Nelson), where he lived for the 10 months preceding. Also, George could not have lived on his own on the family farm until the age of 94 without being surrounded by the loving and caring Birnamwood community, especially long-time friends Roy, Jim and Allan.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2013 at St. Philomena Catholic Church, Birnamwood. Father Anthony Ibekwe will officiate. Interment will be at the parish cemetery, with military rites conducted by the American Legion. Friends may call from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at Schmidt and Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood and again on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church. The family guestbook and condolences are available at schmidtschulta.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made in George's name, which will continue to assist funding annual scholarships at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School (now to be in memory of George, Sr., Eileen and George, Jr.), and which will also support contributions to specific Birnamwood community projects.
Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home
445 Main Street Birnamwood, WI 54414
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on June 28, 2013