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Manley Kirkeeng, 92, passed away Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at Hillview Health Care. He was born September 26, 1927, at home in Fish Creek, WI, to Emma and Mengel Kirkeeng. Manley was the fifth child of eleven consisting of two sets of twins. His parents instilled a good Christian background and faith in living every day. He was baptized and confirmed at Fish Creek Lutheran Church.
He attended grade school at Pleasant Valley Country School in Leon Township. He would slide down a hill (with his siblings) to school, weather permitting, as this saved time. When Manley was in 7th grade he contracted rheumatic fever which kept him bed-ridden for almost a year; most of that year with tents to hold the bedding from touching his body to lessen the pain. After recovering from rheumatic fever, during his high school years , he worked for his uncle Lenard doing chores before catching the school bus to Cashton High School. Upon graduation, Dad went to work at The Portland Cheese Factory with his older brother, Muriel. The next fall he applied for employment with Trane Company and was hired shortly thereafter. Manley married Vernice Witte on July 30, 1949; they recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Our family survived several strike periods (at Trane) by Dad finding odd jobs painting houses, stripping tobacco and any other farm or yard work he could find. Upon settlement of the strikes, it was back to work as usual and their favorite song was “Happy Days Are Here Again”.
Dad continued working at Trane Company until switching over to what is now called Chart industries. Manley retired from Chart in 1990 for health reasons.
Upon Chart retirement, he started driving courtesy cars for Ray Hutson Chevrolet and other dealerships, doing dealer trades and auctions, and finally transporting cars for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, until his full retirement at age 83.
Dad kept a pristine yard and he enjoyed fishing, bowling, card games, visiting with friends, t.v. sports, woodworking, painting and many “do it yourself” type repairs, learning from trial and error for perfection. He always thanked people for visiting or their help. Ice cream completed any meal.
Dad felt he was inspired by his family upbringing and his work at Trane to produce the best quality projects he could. He earned the trust and respect of his fellow workers and remained friends with many over the years. He was a member of the Trane 25-year Club.
He is survived by two children, Jeanie (Bob) Blaschke and Bruce Kirkeeng, grandson Eric Mickelson; great-granddaughter Alyssa Lind, brothers; Lyle (Josephine) Kirkeeng, Janesville, WI and Dave (Bev) Kirkeeng, Rochester, MN, along with many dear nieces and nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Vernice (12/3/2019), his parents, brothers: Muriel(Irene) Kirkeeng, Lwellyn(Muriel) Kirkeeng, Malcolm and Melbourne (twins), Dennis Kirkeeng (twin), sisters, Ruth(Bill)Jewson, Hazel(Norb)Dietz and Donna(Belva)Wilson (twin).
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, December 17th at Mt. Calvary Ev. Lutheran Church, 1602 Park Ave. Pastor Robert Wassermann will officiate with burial to be in Woodlawn Cemetery. Visitation will be held Monday, December 16th from 4:00-6:00 P.M. at Blaschke and Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. S. and 10:00 A.M. at Church on Tuesday before the service.
A special “thank you” to Dr. Kyla Lee and Peggy Smith, RN, for all the years of their kindness and tender loving care. We thank Hillview Health Care Center for their love and support to our father, especially the 300 Wing.
Memorials are preferred to Mt. Calvary Ev. Lutheran Church or Luther High School.
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