Michael F. Weninger
Michael F. Weninger, 86, unofficial “Mayor of Van Dyne”, passed away peacefully at home with his loving family at his side on Friday, February 11, 2022.
Michael was born on August 6, 1935, at home in the Township of Lomira, son of the late Jacob and Lucy (Oechsner) Weninger. On August 8, 1970, he was united in marriage to Rosemary Lehrer at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Neenah. Michael was a member of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in North Fond du Lac.
Michael was the 7th of 12 children who grew up in a very close-knit Catholic family on a farm homestead in Brownsville. Michael was a product of the great depression and World War II era. The first atomic bomb ever utilized in war time was detonated on his 10th birthday in Hiroshima, Japan near the conclusion of WWII.
At age 16 Michael won a plowing contest at the county fair, earning $50 which was a lot in the 50’s. This formative event sparked Michael’s desire to compete in the future.
Michael proudly served his country by volunteering for duty with the U.S. Army from 1958-1961. Michael, an athlete and in great shape during boot camp, trained and led his unit from the front with good friend George Goble. Michael was stationed in Darmstadt, Germany as a supply officer, then medic. Michael, a problem solver, and opportunist was held in high regard by his superiors. Specialist Michael often leveraged relationships for improved quality of life while serving. This meant free drinks at a local tavern at the end of the duty day.
Following his time in service, Michael returned home to the family farm, but his passion was competing in any sport. During his leisure time, he played Rock River Baseball with a strong arm and batting average of .375. He attended an open try-out for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee County Stadium in the mid 1960’s. Although Michael wasn’t a prospect the Pirates organization intended to scout, he quickly got their attention. The scouts working with a pitcher announced what pitch to throw prior to each swing. Michael, knowing what pitch was coming, drilled line drive after line drive with a few clearing the left field bleachers. As a result, Michael was offered a minor league contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but ultimately declined due to low pay and other factors. He said he had no regrets because he wouldn’t have met his beautiful wife Rosemary or raised six bright healthy children.
Michael briefly worked for Rueping Leather Company in Fond du Lac before becoming manager of the Brownsville Community Club and Bowling Alley where he worked for nearly 18 years. While working at the lanes he also competed in many bowling tournaments, both locally and nationally. He made several appearances on “Bowling with the Champs,” a locally televised segment, and won once. He was proud to have coached and mentored professional bowler Anthony Marrese. Michael finished his working life on the custodial staff of Rosendale Brandon School District.
Michael earned a private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying a J-3 Cub with his brother Robert.
Michael’s married life was centered around his loving family on a hobby farm in Van Dyne, WI. He was loved and admired by nearly all who met him. He had a quick wit and loved to joke. He either poked fun at himself or kindly teased others. His love of competition never faded, and he never really accepted losing. Any brother, sister, niece, nephew, son, daughter, or in-law will tell you he rarely lost a competition, and often mid-game rule changes resulted in his benefit. Regardless of the outcome, his passion, smile, and good nature always brought you back for more. He immensely enjoyed deer camp, touch football in the backyard, and card games. His later years were spent at Giese’s Country Store, surveying his property on his 4-wheeler, imparting wisdom and tomfoolery to his children and grandchildren, and enjoying Rosemary’s chicken dinners with family and friends who stopped by.
Those Michael leaves behind to cherish his memory include his devoted wife of 51 years, Rosemary; two sons, Jacob (Jacqueline) Weninger of Fox Crossing and Frank Weninger of Appleton; four daughters, Katherine (Russell) Boeldt of Fishers, IN, Malinda (David) Elliott of Oshkosh, Lucy (Lee) Randolph of Kirklin, IN, and Mary Rose (Jonathan) Musgrove of Indianapolis, IN; eleven grandchildren, Andrew and Brooke Boeldt, Michael, Garrett and Madeline Weninger, Matthew and Katelynn Elliott, Clayton Randolph, Rosemary, Sophia, and Savannah Musgrove; one brother, George (MaryAnn) Weninger of Thorp; two sisters, Elizabeth Beck of Davenport, IA and Lucille Nowakoski of Milwaukee; brother-in-law, Richard Feucht of Lomira; sister-in-law, Pilar Weninger of Brownsville; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, Michael was preceded in death by four brothers, Kenneth (Eva) Weninger, Cornelius Weninger, Rodger Weninger, and Robert Weninger; four sisters, Mary Weninger, Imelda (Leroy) Ritger, Caroline (Jerome) Emmer, and Margaret Feucht; brother-in-law, Robert Nowakoski; and a grandchild, Gabrielle Boeldt.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Monday, February 21, 2022, at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated beginning at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 705 Michigan Ave. in North Fond du Lac. Visitation at the church will be held from 10:00 AM until the time of Mass. Burial will follow in the St. Mary Catholic Church cemetery in Lomira with Military Funeral Honors rendered by the U.S. Army.
Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at ueckerwitt.com