Elmer G. France, 86, Rothschild, died Saturday July 7, 2012 at St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston.
He was born November 13, 1925, in Elk Point, South Dakota, son of the late John E. and Eleanor (Pecha) France. On August 13, 1949, he married Lucille Dawn Zank at St. Mary Catholic Church, Wausau. She preceded him in death February 23, 1966. He married Ruby (Merwin) Feit at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild on September 6, 1969. She survives.
Elmer was a veteran of the US Navy serving during World War II. He was a member of the Rothschild, Schofield, Weston American Legion, Roy Drew Post No.492.
Elmer was a graduate of Edgar High School and a member of their Alumni Hall of Fame. In 1950 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the UW Madison in Business Agriculture. After graduation from college he had been employed at Buch Equipment and in 1957 he founded France Sales and Service Inc. He nurtured this business through the years and said he would never retire-and he did not.
Through the years, Elmer’s priorities were family, faith in God and taking care of business. The time spent up north at their cottage in Harrison Hills was priceless to Elmer and his family. Elmer had the opportunity to travel extensively, and in his words, he went everywhere there was to go except Greece. Above all, his wife Ruby was his main focus in life, he lived his life for her and if she was happy, all was well in the world.
He was a man strong in his faith, was an active member of St. Mark Parish, Rothschild, and was a member of the Third Degree Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Council, Schofield.
He was involved in his community at large in many ways. Among his many involvements, he served as Rothschild Village President from 1966 through 1968, served on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, was past president of the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association, was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose and the United Commercial Travelers.
Survivors include his wife, Ruby France, Rothschild, his children, Gary (Nancy) France, Wausau, Susan (Ken) Fabel, Schofield, Lori (Lance) Lyon, Wausau, Lois (James) Nieslowski, Kronenwetter, Linda Salzman, Weston, Ronald (Kim) Feit, Rothschild, Diane (Hugh) Jones, Rhinelander, grandchildren, Nicole (Thomas) Wojcinski, Patrick (Mindy) France, Kathryn (fiance, Taylor Bestor) France, Kevin (Brenda) Fabel, Michael (Kara) Fabel, Ashley (Joe) McCabe, Ross (Shannon) Lyon, Tyler Lyon, Aaron Lyon, Brent Nieslowski, Jessi Nieslowski, Luke Salzman, Kylie Salzman, Ronda Feit, Logan Feit, Rachel Feit, Sara Feit, Leah (Jed) Lechleitner and Bennett Jones; great-grandchildren, Madelyn Wojcinski, Anna France, Addison France, Jacob Fabel, Brooklyn Fabel, Andrew Fabel, Colin McCabe and Liam McCabe; one sister, Mary Lou McEwen, Mesa, Ariz. and a special cousin, Craig Helbach and several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents and wife, Dawn, he was preceded in death by one son, Gerald France, one granddaughter, Jamie Nieslowski and one grandson, Brandon Feit, one brother, Almond France, and one sister, Earlene Olson.
The funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday July 12, 2012 at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild. Rev. Allan L. Slowiak and Rev. Ronald Serrao will preside. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Kronenwetter, where full military honors will be conducted. Friends may call on Weds. from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild. There will be visitation on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established. There will be a combined Knights of Columbus and parish rosary 7:00 p.m. Weds. evening at the church.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.