Gordon Eric ?Wren? King
Gordon Eric “Wren” King, 90, of Merrill, died peacefully on March 15, 2015 at Bell Tower Residence, Merrill. Born June 4, 1924 in Eureka, Wisconsin, he was the son of the late Eric and Hattie (Dumdei) King of Merrill. Gordon was the last surviving of their children, who included Shirley (Russell) Breitenbach, Dorothy (David) VanSlate, Alden (Vicki) King and Daniel (Eleanor) King. Two siblings, Eria and Marvin, died as children.
Gordon married Margaret “Peg” Loewecke on July 9, 1950 and she preceded him in death in August 2009. He is survived by his daughters Ann (John) Sneyd of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, and Jennifer (Michael) Rupprecht of Lewiston, Minnesota. He is also survived by grandchildren, Adam (Lauren) Sneyd of Guelph, Ontario, Lindsey (Trevor) Parry of Ancaster, Ontario, and Johanna Rupprecht of Winona, Minnesota; great-granddaughters, Reagan and Allison Parry; and sister-in-law, Eleanor King.
Uncle “Wren” will also be fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews who spent many happy hours fishing, boating and swimming in the Wisconsin River behind the house on Riverside Avenue in Merrill. The family especially wishes to thank Robert and Judy Breitenbach, and Henry King for their care and loving attention.
Gordon was employed for 35 years as a lineman and grid specialist with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. He was a proud and active member of IUOE (International Union of Operating Engineers). Retiring in 1986, Gordon and Margaret enjoyed many travels around the U.S. and Canada, especially Lake Superior.
Gordon’s military service and record were exemplary. He was a radio man for Headquarters Co., 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Second Battalion, when they jumped into history on D-Day, June 6, 1944, over Normandy, France. Further war service included the liberation of Holland and the famous defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Following the war, he re-enlisted in the 82nd Airborne where he became a Sergeant Tec4 Airborne Instructor and member of the elite Pathfinders. His final jump was the 50th Anniversary celebrations of D-Day in France in 1994, when he was 70 years of age.
Neighbors and friends will remember Gordon as a great conservationist of his property on Riverside Ave. His parents brought him to Merrill in about 1926, and they lived on the property next door for over forty years. Gordon didn’t leave “the Ave.” until health issues overcame him in 2012. That is a long time for a person to live on the same street….about 86 years!
Gordon was a life-long Democrat, a hunter and fisherman, an extremely competent canoeist and an outspoken environmental activist on issues of local, state and national concern. He was well known for his letters to the editors of many publications. He would offer his opinion, whether you asked for it, or not! He did receive numerous recognitions and commendations for his work in protecting natural resources.
His life was the book he always intended to write, and what a story it has been! Gone, but not forgotten….Gordon E. King.
Donations in Gordon’s memory may be made to Bell Tower Residence, the Land Stewardship Project or Trout Unlimited.
Interment at Snow Hill Cemetery, Merrill, and a celebration of Gordon’s life, will be held at a later date. The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com