Ritchay Funeral Home
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Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495-0847
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Al Van Asten

1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Al Van Asten Obituary
Van Asten, Al

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, Al Van Asten joined the love of his life, Ellie (Honkomp), in heaven.

The second child of Leo & Minnie Van Asten, Al was born in Wisconsin Rapids - reportedly the first successful cesarean section in Wood County - after his mother endured a 10 mile ride to the hospital in a horse drawn sleigh on January 30th, 1923.

Al served his country proudly fighting in the Army's 75th Infantry during World War II. He was seriously wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Al was the last surviving charter member of the American Legion Post 485 in Rudolph, as well as the last charter member of the Rudolph Volunteer Fire Department.

Al & Ellie were married in 1948 at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Wisconsin Rapids. The following year they moved to Rudolph, WI and started a family. The home Al & Ellie built across the street from St. Philip's Catholic Church is where they raised their six sons and lived for the next 60 years. They moved to Wisconsin Rapids in 2008.

After the war, Al worked at Preway Manufacturing. He went to school in Chicago to become an electrician. He then worked for Staub Electric where he met Ellie. Later he worked at Consolidated Papers, retiring after 31 years of service.

Al is survived by his six sons, Gene ("T"), Appleton; John (Patti), Rudolph; Robert (Char), Appleton; Jeffrey (Krista), Kimberly, WI; Kirk (Gwen), Wisconsin Rapids; and Kelly (Betty), Appleton. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and his brother Donald Van Asten (Wisconsin Rapids).

Al was preceded in death by his wife, Ellie, his parents, his sisters Lorraine (Harold Jagodzinski) and Peg (Larry Berard), his daughter-in-law Alice (John), and his granddaughter Laura (Kelly & Betty).

The most important thing in Al's life was Ellie and the family they created together. They spent many summers camping up north, singing around the campfire, water skiing, and hiking. After the boys were grown and on their own, Al took up golfing, woodworking and buying some modern conveniences like a snow blower, riding lawnmower, dishwasher, a housekeeper … ?.

Family & friends are invited to visit at Ritchay Funeral Home, 1950 12th Street South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM Tuesday, September 5th, and at St. Philip's Catholic Church, 6957 Grotto Ave, Rudolph, WI 54475 from 10:00 - 11:00 AM Wednesday, September 6th. At 11:00 AM Wednesday there will be a mass of Christian burial led by Father David Bruener, followed by a graveside service at All Souls Cemetery, Rudolph.

Dad … Grandpa … Great Grandpa, we love you, and we will miss you. Thank you for all you have taught us and done for us, and for all the wonderful memories you leave with us. We look forward to the day when we are all reunited in heaven. With Love … your sons, your daughters-in-law, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Sept. 2, 2017
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