Melvin D. Kirschling, 94, died February 2, 2013, of complications following a stroke at Strawberry Lane Medical and Rehabilitation Center under the care of Ministry Home Care Hospice. He was the husband of Marie Kirschling (1941-1997) and the father of Wayne (married to Corinne Johnston of Wisconsin Rapids), Ron (married to Barbara King of Duluth, MN) and Jane (married to Bob Flick of Paoli, IN).
Born on September 3, 1918 in Stockton, WI to Augustine and Antoinette Kirschling, Melvin graduated from Emerson High School and received a teaching certificate from Stevens Point Teachers College. Prior to World War II
, he taught in a one-room school house in Portage County. In 1941, he married Marie Lang of Rudolph, WI.
During World War II, he served his country for four years attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps and was stationed in Africa and the Middle East. In the three years after he returned from the war, Melvin, Marie, and their eldest son Wayne built the family home on Biron Drive, where Melvin lived for the rest of his life.
In 1941, Melvin went to work as an electrician at Consolidated Papers, Inc. When he retired, he was celebrated for his 60 years of service to the company. During this time he also taught future electricians at Mid-State Technical College in the evenings. For many years, he served as President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1147, a leadership role that he deeply valued.
Married for 55 years, Melvin and Marie are survived by their three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Melvin is also survived by one brother (Greg Kirschling of Stevens Point) and two sisters (Ann Sweeney of Wisconsin Rapids and Bertha Beam of Alabama). He is preceded in death by a brother, four sisters, and one grandchild.
In his retirement Melvin enjoyed traveling, going on fishing trips with Renate and Larry Oleson, chopping firewood, listening to big band music, and going to Brewer and Rafter baseball games. He was also a musician and played the drums professionally for many years, forming The Squires dance band when he was a young man. He served as the president of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 610.
Viewing and a Catholic service will be held on February 16, 2013, at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home, Wisconsin Rapids. Visitation will begin at 8:30 am and the service will take place at 10:30 am. Fr. John Steiner will officiate. Melvin will be interred at Forest Hill Mausoleum, Wisconsin Rapids. In lieu of flowers, his children request that contributions be made to the Marie Kirschling Memorial Scholarship Fund at Assumption High School, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.