Obit: Schenzel, Lavern “Vern” H. (1915 – 2007)
Poster: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Schenzel, Trantow, Nugent, Fucht, Kalio, Weaver, Hanson, Gerritts

---Source: Foto News (Merrill, Lincoln County, Wis.) Wednesday, 20 June 2007; page 10

---Schenzel, Lavern “Vern” H. (26 Oct. 1915 – 22 June 2007)

Lavern H. Schenzel

Lavern "Vern" H. Schenzel, 91, of Rhinelander, died Friday, June 22, 2007, at Friendly Village Nursing Home.

Vern was born Oct. 26, 1915, in Merrill, son of Herman and Martha Trantow Schenzel. He married the former Grace Nugent in 1936, and the couple enjoyed almost 40 years of marriage until her death in 1976.

Vern worked for the Weinbrenner Shoe Company in Merrill back in 1936. He owned and operated Schenzel Standard Oil, which was the origin of the Merrill View Motel. He had other technical jobs over the years, retiring in 1973 after 20 years with Square D Company in Milwaukee. He and Grace moved to the north end of the Willow Flowage shortly thereafter. Vern was also employed by Willow Hawk Taxidermy Studio in the 1980s, a business owned and operated by his son Gary to this day. In his younger days he played semi-pro football and baseball for Fromm Foxes in Merrill. Bowling was also an important part of Vern's life. He and brother Myron and sister Lorraine Hanson were all inducted into the Merrill Bowling Hall of Fame. In later years, his avocation turned to the construction of a one-of-a-kind, king-size birdhouse replica of the U.S. Capitol. The birdhouse was featured on many floats in parades seen throughout the Northwoods and was a prominent news item on television and in the newspaper, even gaining national attention. Vern and his son Gary were also noted fishermen on the Willow Flowage for almost four decades.

Vern married the former Lucille Fucht Kalio on Oct. 8, 1983, in Rhinelander. The couple enjoyed traveling and were both faithful members of the Hodag Twirlers Square Dancers for many years. Vern was also a parishioner of Nativity of Our Lord Parish.

He is survived by his wife Lucille, Rhinelander; son Gary (Bernadette), Hazelhurst; step-children Frank Kalio, Hebo, Ore.; Faye Weaver, Boca Raton, Fla.; and Gary (Janet) Kalio, St. Germain; five step grandchildren and a step-great-grandchild. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife Grace on Dec. 12, 1976, brothers Myron and Stanley "Breezy," sister Lorraine Hanson, and a step-grandson.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, June 26, at Nativity of Our Lord Parish at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Rev. John Gerritts officiated. Interment was Tuesday in Merrill Memorial Park. The Hildebrand-Russ Funeral Home, Rhinelander, served the family. All are invited to share memories of Vern on-line at



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