Loschel Pierringer, age 94, of the town of Port Washington, WI, peacefully passed away with his family at his side on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at his home.
He was born on November 14, 1925 in Port Washington; son of Leo and Rosalie “Sally” Rodesch Pierringer. Loschel grew up on Cleveland Street, attending St. Mary’s Grade School and Port Washington High School. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946 achieving the rank of Ensign Radioman Second Class. He would remain in the Naval Reserves through 1961.
Upon his return home, Loschel entered State Teachers College in LaCrosse. He married Ruth G. Hansen on September 3, 1949 at St. Mary’s Church in Port Washington. In 1951 he attained a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
His work experience included Harnischfeger Manufacturing and Prohaska Electric. In 1957, Loschel was seriously burned in an explosion while on the job. His case resulted in a Wisconsin State Statute called the “Pierringer Release” Our dad chronicled his recovery in a journal he titled “A year of pain and suffering”. After his recovery, he began his career as a teacher at MATC, teaching future electricians. He was a master electrician by trade but always a teacher at heart. He retired in 1987.
To say that our dad was active is an understatement. He not only did ordinary things like walking, biking and swimming, he played and taught tennis at Port Washington High School and the Port Washington Recreation Center. He traveled to Colorado for downhill skiing, took up rollerblading and long track speed skating, spending hours on the Interurban Trail and on the ice at the Pettit Center. The amazing part is that he started most of this after he retired in his 60’s. He participated in the International Senior Olympics – 70-74 age group, taking two first place medals and two second place medals. In 2001, at age 76, dad bladed in the North Shore Inline Marathon World Cup in Minnesota completing the 26 mile course. At age 80, he laced up his speed skates and took a lap around the oval at the Pettit Center for the last time. He was always up for an adventure! He went on a Harley road trip to Myrtle Beach with his son, Chris, rafting with son Brian’s family, skiing with any family member that wanted to join him, trips to Great America, where he rode all the rides and a few trips to Las Vegas where he did more walking and looking than gambling.
Our dad lived a life of service to others. He enjoyed doing projects to help not only every family member but many friends and strangers. He always said that if he could read a book or watch a tradesman work, he could figure out how to do anything he put his mind to. He was very involved in his church, St. Peter of Alcantara, now St. John XXIII Parish in Port Washington. He was a member of the Men’s Club and the Holy Name Society, the resident electrician and annual Fish Day fryer. He worked as an electrician on Habitat for Humanity homes in Wisconsin and Arizona. He was a hospice respite volunteer, supported St. Ben’s meal program in Milwaukee and tutored high school students in math. Dad touched many people in his lifetime.
On March 4, 1995, his wife Ruth passed away. After a few years vacationing in Sun City West with his good friend Marv Huiras, he became a snowbird. Eventually he would buy his own place. Now he could keep up his active life style all year round.
The high point of the year for the whole family was Thanksgiving. In a tradition started by his parents, everyone would come from all parts of the country to get together for this one day of the year. When the family outgrew any single house, we started going to a buffet at a local bowling alley. By combining food and entertainment, dad managed to entertain the sometimes 75 people that attended. It is something his great-grandchildren will always remember.
In his 80’s and 90’s, Loschel could be found most late afternoons at his favorite restaurant, Newport Shores, for dinner and his Brandy Manhattan. Everyone looked after him there, especially his favorite rollerblading buddy and hostess, Mindy Weinrich. For him, it was like going to the bar in “Cheers”, where everyone knew his name.
Dad had such a full life! He could accomplish more in a day than most people did in a week. We, as family, thought he’d never slow down but he did. He stopped driving at age 93, even though his license was good for seven more years. He never complained and always seemed content with his life, filling his time with jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, word search puzzles, reading and watching his DVD’s. He took pride in the fact that he could still walk without a cane, do most things for himself and climb up and down the fifteen stairs in his son Dan’s home where he lived. He did that several times a day, especially when he needed some chocolate ice cream. His was a long life, truly well lived. We were blessed.
He is survived by his children Mary (Dale) Rybacki of Grafton, Tom (Cindy) Pierringer of West Bend, Judy (Steve) Cole of Temple Terrace, FL, Dave (Katey) Pierringer, Jane (Brian) Love, Dan (Lisa Glander) Pierringer, all of Port Washington, Dawn (Kim) Brophy of McHenry, IL, Chris (JoAnn) Pierringer and Brian (Kim) Pierringer, both of Port Washington. He is further survived by 33 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren, his brother Jim Pierringer of Eden, sisters-in-law Esther (the late William) Bley and Doris (Ray) Tiegs, brother-in-law Paul (Joan) Hansen, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Loschel is preceded in death by his wife Ruth, his son Joel, grandson Grant Harms, his sister Carol “Mitzie” and her husband Art Butzen, sister-in-law Mary Jane and her husband Bob Janzer and brothers-in-law James and Tom Hansen.
Family services with military honors have taken place. A public celebration of Loschel’s life will take place in the future. Interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington.
Memorials to St. John XXIII Parish, Port Washington (www.stjohn23rd.org) appreciated.