Died: 19 December 2016
Grefe, Henry “Hank” Dean passed away at his home on Castle Rock Lake on 19 December 2016, on what was his 90th birthday. He was born 19 December 1926 to Henry Dean and Laura Mae (Wermuth) Grefe in rural Necedah.
Hank is survived by his children Deborah (Harold) Nelson of Lodi, Marsha Lubinski (Steve Stubbs) of New Lisbon, Jean (Ed) Doller of New Lisbon, John (Karen) Grefe of Reedsburg; grandchildren Jason and Jeffrey Lubinski, Jennifer (Jos’e) Garcia, Derek and Devin (Brittany) Doller and Haley (Kolten) Bartell; great-grandchildren Antonio and Liliana Garcia, Gage Doller and Baby Bartell; brother Fredrick (Norma) of Wisconsin Dells; sister Phyllis Moore of Mauston; as well as many other relatives and friends. .
He was preceded in death by his wife Bonnie of 54 years; his parents; grandparents; sisters Dorothy Ruf, Eleanor Huffman, Beverly Rothe and Doris Gourley; brothers Gaylord, Harold, Paul and Robert.
After graduating high school, Hank served in the US Navy from 1944-46 as a Seaman 1st Class on a destroyer escort. After WWII, he was stationed in Japan. On 12 July 1952, Hank married Bonnie J. Christie of Reedsburg, WI. They lived in New Lisbon, where Hank was the Manager and Accountant for John E. White Motor Sales. They were actively involved in their church, St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran. Hank was also an active member of the American Legion (serving as both Vice Commander and then Commander), 40 Et 8 and Winter Wanderers Snowmobile Club. Hank loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting in his younger years. He also loved playing fast pitch softball and bowling. In addition to raising four children, he and Bonnie owned and operated the Dairy Isle in Mauston for many years.
In December 1973, Hank and Bonnie moved to Reedsburg where they owned and operated a General Trading Co. (Car Quest Auto Parts) store, later opening one in Hank’s home town of Mauston as well. He was very proud to have been bestowed the honor of Reedsburg Businessman of the Year. They again were active in their church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and local organizations. After retiring and turning the auto parts businesses over to their children, Hank and Bonnie came full circle when, in fall of 2002, they moved back to New Lisbon and made their Castle Rock Lake home their permanent residence. He spent a good deal of his time volunteering as a driver to take veterans to their appointments at the VA Hospital in Madison.
A visitation was held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at noon on Monday, 26 December 2016 at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 208 Allen Road, New Lisbon, with Pastor Joel Free officiating. Interment followed the service (at New Lisbon City Cemetery) with military honors accorded by the New Lisbon American Legion.
Hank was an extremely hard worker and his children all feel blessed that he instilled his hard work ethic in them. He was a generous and caring man, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was a trooper until the very end, having celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends just the day before his death.
Henry is pictured on page 180 and listed on page 196 in the 4th edition of the Seidemann Family Tree Book. He is a 5th generation descendant of Friedrich and Rosina Seidemann and his genealogy is as follows: Friedrich, Friedericka, Oscar, Laura, and Henry.