Virgil D. Turk
Virgil David Turk passed away Friday, June 22, .
Virgil was born October 29, 1930 in Black Earth, WI, the son of Russell and Wanda Danz Turk. He attended Black Earth Public Elementary and High School and graduated in 1948 as class salutatorian. He recently celebrated his 70th class reunion. On November 9, 1950 he married Marguerite Mary Wels in Galena, IL. They celebrated 67 years of marriage.
Virgil was a man of many talents and skills. From an early age he showed an intense interest in working with his hands to make things and learned how things worked. He was fascinated with anything mechanical. He had an inquisitive mind and never stopped learning. Virgil could fix anything. In his younger years he was a Boy Scout where he was the troop bugler. He also played cornet in the school band and played Taps for funerals.
After graduation, he drove a dump truck for his uncle. Virgil was a master carpenter and built his first home in Black Earth in 1953. He worked in residential construction in the Madison area from 1949-1975. In 1975 he started working for the State of Wisconsin and worked for the State Correctional Institution in Waupun as a carpenter foreman from 1977 until he retired in 1992. While working at the prison he also trained to be a locksmith. Virgil was a life-long member of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 314.
Virgil was an expert marksman and used his skills target shooting. In 1963 he was a member of championship Wisconsin four-man rifle team. He was a long-time member of the Vermont (Township) Rifle Club, the Black Earth and Madison indoor rifle teams, and the Blue River outdoor rifle team. He competed in many shooting competitions, and won numerous awards and trophies with small-bore and high-power rifles.
He enjoyed traveling, making seven trips to Germany with various friends and family members, and was able to explore the home of his ancestors and meet relatives still living there. He also traveled to Scotland and even met the challenge of driving on the left side of the road. Virgil always enjoyed driving, and took many drives for the pleasure of it. He made several trips through the western U.S. and Canada, and once stepped foot in Mexico. For about ten years he owned motorcycles and he and Marguerite took trips on them.
Virgil had a keen interest in aviation and in 2009 he was able to accomplish his dream of flying in a B-17. In addition, he made a flight in a glider in Prescott, AZ. He also spent hours watching wildlife and birds in his yard. He waited for the screech owls to nest in the boxes in his backyard and after they fledge, he monitored the activity of the wood ducks who moved in. He also welcomed a number of cats into his home over the years and doted on them.
After retirement, Virgil was known for his immaculate yard, kept in pristine condition with his beloved John Deere tractors. He left a lasting legacy of woodworking projects, creating many beautiful pieces of furniture and special request items for his family, friends, and church. As he worked on these projects, he often used his extensive repertoire of color language. He was meticulous, detail oriented, and was a skilled mathematician. Everything had to be perfect. He also spent many mornings with his coffee buddies, solving important global problems.
Virgil was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waupun and a current member of the City of Waupun Board of Review. He was a much loved husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend.
Virgil is survived by his wife, Marguerite; son, Brian (Sharon) Turk of Springfield, IL; daughter, Yvonne (Terry) Stults of Waupaca, WI; grandchildren: Matthew and Kristina Turk, Kurt Buchholz, Heidi (Todd) Buchholz-Schmidt, Kathleen (Leigh Ann) Cherny, and Adrian Bouressa; four great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; thirteen step-great-grandchildren; two sisters: Darlene Turk and Barbara (William) Beckman; a brother, Gene (Karalee) Turk; four sisters-in-law; and two beloved cats, Puss and Boots.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Allen Turk; sister, Ardis Walstad; granddaughter, Andrea Turk; three brothers-in-law; a sister-in-law; and numerous cats.
Memorials may be directed to the Waupun Area Animal Shelter or Aves Wildlife Alliance in Neenah, WI.
Thank you to the staff at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac for their tender care of Virgil in his final days, and their compassion for his family.
In accordance to Virgil’s wishes there will be no public service. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Werner-Harmsen Funeral Home of Waupun and staff are serving the family. Please visit our website at www.wernerharmsenfuneralhome.com for further information and to send online condolences.