FUNERAL FOR GEORGE WEGMANN, JR. – ST. MARY’S LUTHERAN CHURCH
July 27, 2012 – Kenosha, Wisconsin
Good Morning. I just wanted to stand up here for a couple of minutes to tell you about one of my fondest memories I have of my father… When my mother went into labor with me at Saint Catherine’s Hospital, my dad was sitting in the waiting room for hours. This was back when they didn’t let the father go into the delivery room like they do these days. During this time, the nurses changed shifts and no one bothered to come and tell my dad that I was born. My dad eventually went to the nurse’s station and asked how my mom was doing. The nurse said “Oh! No one told you? Your wife had a baby girl!” My dad then started to cry and said “I finally got my baby girl!”
My father loved me as his baby girl every day of his life. Now, as he goes on to his eternal life with God in Heaven, I’m sure he’s looking down on us now, happy to see just how many people really loved and cared for him. Thank you all for being a part of his life, and for being here today. We love you dad. Peace be with you.
Text: John 6:58-63
Ninety Two. Just imagine. Well, we don’t have to imagine. We will have to rewrite that verse in the Psalms about “three score and ten, and maybe four score if we are strong enough”. More and more people are living through and past nine decades. And they say in a short while, living past 100 will be common place.
It is an “Amazing Grace” to live nearly a century. Those I have known have all displayed a remarkable view of life. They seemed to have an understanding of the incredible “glory” written in the Revelations, like the verses we just shared; a vision of heaven not so mysterious as it is to those of us who are farther away. It’s an amazing grace coming out of a patience with life. Approaching and passing 90 it seems we finally understand what Jesus was saying when he asked, “Why are you so anxious about so many things?”
We youngsters find anxiety to be a way of life, and the younger you go the less patience we seem to find. Children have almost none at all, demanding everything “NOW! We live with such urgency. We work so hard to “make a living”, when the truth is “life makes us”. George and others know something we have yet to find.
Still, to understand God’s “amazing grace” Jesus says we have to approach “like children”, willing to trust, ready for change, searching for “new”. To get older is not just resignation, giving in, taking life as it comes, “whatever”. Rather through the years it is God’s gift that we discover the grace that flows in power, moving through life with us. Peace like a river, carrying us on.
I got a letter this week from a friend in Madison. Her name is Anita, and it happens that she also is 92. I did her husband’s funeral about 25 years ago. She writes in her own hand 2 or 3 times a year. This time she told me about a shooting that happened in her trailer park where she has lived for over 50 years, and how it has stirred up a fear in her that is so foreign to her view of life. And she also expressed the great joy she has in lots of folks who hold her in their daily conversation, so that even now she knows her life is full of grace.
There is a place in Marks gospel where Jesus heals a blind man, and Jesus says, “Do you see anything?” And the man says he looks and there appears people, “like trees walking”. I caught a glimpse in Anita and in George of humanity like a forest, and some of us grow so long and rooted and tall, protecting all us young saplings (not to mention “Saps” sometimes), as we find our way. They know the flow of grace, up through from their feet, out to the living and still growing ends, leaves of knowing grace and celebrating it. They bare the marks of hurt and healing and the strength of no longer needing to be anxious about every wind or storm.
George’s life includes the story of the Great Depression growing from boy to young man, and World War II — first hand. I caught my breath when Rick and Mike and Sandy told me how George had come away from Pearl Harbor just days before December 7, 1941. They said he never talked about it much, but how would you talk about such a thing? And he went back into battle in the Pacific for another six years.
Then he had to take on a world gone crazy out of the 60’s and 70’s, and right up to now. It is not just the pace of life that has changed, but much of what we casually call “crises” ain’t nothin’ to where George has been. Yes, there are some older folks who bare life with a kind of bitterness, but not George or my friend Anita. Life has not made them hard, but gentle, and able to see in the midst of all the awful stuff — like in Colorado — the gift of observing the good in every day, every person. And Jesus says, in those words from the gospel of John, that we ought not expect to find “amazing grace” in the stuff of the flesh, the stuff that fills our days with anxiety and fear. It is far deeper than that. It is of the SPIRIT.
We always think of the “spirit” as being so mysterious and intangible, but I wonder if the work and power of the spirit rather becomes more real and more actual as we pass more and more days and years behind us. I can imagine George right now saying, “I knew it! I knew it!”
We can pray that we don’t have to wait until we are 92 to get it, to see and grasp the invitation of amazing grace. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise him all creatures here below; praise him above the heavenly host — including George; praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
He was born on July 17, 1920 to the late George and Bessie (Hopf) Sr. in Kenosha. He was educated in Kenosha and graduated from Kenosha High School.
On January 23, 1940 he entered the US Navy and was honorably discharged in March of 1947.
On August 2, 1952 he married Irene M. Holtdorf in Kenosha. She preceded him in death on May 13, 1989.
George worked at Simmons, Quaker Stretcher and then at AMC/Chrysler as an inspector for 30 years.
George was a member of St. Mary’s Lutheran Church. He was a member of UAW Local #72, the Navy Club Ship 40, and Senior Center and sung with the Kenosha Senior Chorus.
George enjoyed hunting, fishing, cookouts, watching old movies, going to plays at Ft. Atkinson and was an avid Packer fan.
George is survived by his loving children Ricky Wegmann, Michael Wegmann and Sandra (Jimmy) Trottier all of Kenosha, a step son Robert Andersen of Richfield, IL, his grandchildren Scott Wegmann of Norfolk, VA, Matthew Krumm of Kenosha, Kevin Trottier of Kenosha, Timmon Sinnen of Cudahy and Tiana Honey of Kenosha.
He is preceded in death by his son Dennis, his brother Roger, his sister Ruth Lynn, his daughter-in-law Ginger Wegmann and a stepson James Andersen.
Funeral Services for George will be held on Friday, July 27th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church (2001 – 80th St.). Interment with Full Military Honors will follow at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park. Visitation will be held on Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Bruch Funeral Home and again on Friday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church. The Navy Club Ship 40 will conduct a memorial service at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday evening at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank the staff at CCU St. Catherine’s Hospital and the 2nd Floor staff, the staff at Manor Care, Heartland Hospice, Dr. Chua, Dr. Novsam, Dr.Bandealy, the LJH Transportation, and his caregiver Karena Oseman for their loving care given to George.
The family would also like to thank his son Rick for taking early retirement to stay home and take care of his dad and when Rick worked, his daughter Sandra and his son Mike for filling in during the day.Bruch Funeral Home 3503 Roosevelt Road Kenosha, WI 53142 262-652-8298 Visit George’s Online Memorial Book at www.bruchfuneralhome.net
George passed away this morning at his home. He was surrounded by his family, and we got a chance to see him just before he left us. He was 92 years young, and had a good life. He survived World War II, and left Pearl Harbor just before the attack. I’ll post more information on arrangements as they become available. Peace be with him.
Today I scanned in another one of my dad’s old photo albums. This one is Album #13. I think most of its photos are from 1987-1988, but I’m not sure. There are definitely a couple black & white photos that are WAY out of that range, but those had details written on the backs. Many others were unlabeled and I don’t know who they are. It’s a rather random collection of nearly 100 photos, including many of Joe Smith, Harold, Donna, Penny, Linda, Missy, Kari, Beth, Loretta, Roger, Clayton, and many other kids and adults. There’s even a shot of lil Jayson on my lap… Ha! As usual, I could use a little help with the unknowns, if anyone recognizes someone. I think some of these are of Paula and her family, so, Paula, if you can help out with some names, I’d appreciate it! Please add any details to a photo under the comments for that photo, and I’ll update the captions accordingly. Thanks…and enjoy the photos!
This is my dream phone. (The HTC Desire was my Nightmare!) For starters, the 32GB of memory is fully open to your apps, data, files, music, photos, whatever you throw at it. (The HTC Desire, after all of your updates from a fresh wipe of the phone, had about 80MB available. That’s about 1 or 2 apps you can install, since you’re “supposed” to leave 30MB free so the phone will run properly). With Andoid 4, like I have on my tablet, there’s no arbitrary 1GB or 2GB app memory limit, it’s wide open for whatever you want, giving you all of the memory in the phone, whichever way you need to use it. Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is very smooth and functional, and it means I can install the Apex Launcher and get all of the benefits I only previously had on my Motorola Xoom tablet on my phone now! With the same OS and launcher on both of my devices, it also makes things so much easier to deal with all the way around. If you end up getting an SIII yourself, save yourself a lot of frustration and re-learning, and install Apex Launcher as one of the first things you do. It’s really worth it! If you wait until later, you’ll end up having to re-learn how to use with the menus and functions, which are much different (and very enhanced and expanded) in Apex Launcher, and you’ll also have to completely setup all of your home screens from scratch, of which, by the way, you can have nine, and I always increase it to the maximum, just to I have an extra home screen or two to play around with, or view the wallpaper cleanly at any given time.
The camera has some nice improvements over my Electrify–it has a great HDR photo mode that takes awesome shots, has a 20-frame burst mode (the Electrify could only do a 6-frame burst), and a very cool addition to burst called “Best Shot” where it will take a burst of photos, analyze them, and suggest the best one for saving. You can even look through them yourself and choose one, but, as expected, the phone probably chooses the best one correctly every time…unless you WANT some blur in your phone. There are many more new camera features as well, but I leave it at that for now.
Siri is even included on this phone! Well, actually her name is “Galaxy” on this one, but it’s virtually the same as Siri. Double-click the only button on the phone and she makes a tone and says “What would you like to do?”, and waits for you to talk to her. She reminds me a lot of “Eliza”, the old artificial intelligence program that started the whole “AI” revolution just after PCs came out and started to do speech synthesis. She’ll make smart remarks to silly questions, just like Siri. She’ll give you the weather when you ask if it’s going to rain, and answer all those questions you would normally use Google for. I asked her “What’s the population of Kenosha, Wisconsin” tonight. She said “99218 people”. It’s like you’re talking to web. And that’s about what it is. If Google or Wolfram Alpha can give you the right answer, Galaxy can…while incorporating a little “AI pizazz” to make it seem more human.
The S3 runs on a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, which is even faster than my tablet. It has a larger screen size that previous Androids, yet it’s much thinner than all of my previous phones (a whole two of them).
Complaints? Sure, I have a few: Since it doesn’t have an NVidia Tegra graphics processor in it, I can’t play my Zen Pinball tables! I guess I’ll have to keep playing those tables on my tablet…aw shucks. I also have a problem with the location of the volume buttons in relation to the power button. They’re exactly opposite each other on the phone, and I tend to squeeze the phone when I need to power on, power off, or adjust the volume, causing the other side’s button to push as well. This results in me either turning the volume up or down when I try to power the phone on or off, or vice versa. I think I just have to get in the habit of holding the phone properly in my palm, so that my thumb is always higher than my other fingers. And, lastly, at US Cellular, the only 32GB Galaxy SIII that they sell is WHITE. It’s not my preferred color–far from it–but I put it in a nice blue case, so it looks much better to me that way. The area around the screen is white, the bezel and back are blue…now, if I can just find a way to add a RED touch to it somewhere… “U-S-A!! U-S-A!!”
So, even with those negatives out there, none of them are deal-breakers for me. I love the phone and highly recommend it. Price? I paid $199 (after a mail-in rebate of $100) on an existing US Cellular plan (no contract).
Today George (Sandy’s dad) had to be taken to the hospital. Rick called and said his legs got weak and he eased him down to the floor. Sandy went to his house and they got him into his wheelchair, then she called Hartland Home Care Services and they advised her to get him checked out as his blood pressure was only 68/52 and his heart rate was 136. He was admitted for at least over night and maybe longer, but his regular doctor is on vacation, so they have an alternate doctor to cover until Monday and they are running a bunch of tests to see if his cancer has spread. George has a lot of other medical issues going on also, so when he comes home he will be in hospice services. We just want him to be comfortable for as long as he has left. It has been over a year that his health has been deteriorating and it’s so hard to see him go downhill like this, but at least he will have his wish to die at home. Whenever that time will be, that’s in Gods hands. Now, God will lead us through this, and as we know more we will post it here. His hospital bed gets delivered tomorrow for when he does come home. Keep him in your prayers.
I had another Dr. visit today. Just a 3-month checkup. I lost another 6 pounds. I was pretty happy with this news, but my doctor didn’t see it that way. He wants me to do MORE exercise. I assured him I’m walking every day, and even twice some days, because when I walk at lunch, 30 minutes just doesn’t give me enough time to get a lot of exercise in. So I guess I’m not losing the weight fast enough. As Emeril says, “Time to kick it up a notch!” Speaking of Emeril, I’ve got to keep my distance from HIS dishes too I guess…