George Rothlisberg, 68, of Merrill, died accidentally from a fall on November 4, 2017 at his home. He was the second child born to Ruth (Kienietz) and John Rothlisberg on August 1, 1949. George graduated from Merrill High School and received college degrees from Concordia College in St. Paul, MN; University of North Dakota—Grand Forks, ND; and the University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh. His graduate preparation was in Social Work and Guidance and Counseling. Although he worked as a guidance counselor in Darlington, WI, the majority of his working life was spent at Lincoln Hills School as a youth counselor.
The hallmark of George’s life was his ability to care for others, especially the elderly.
He first devoted himself to the care of elder family members and neighbors making sure they were not forgotten and helping them with necessary tasks. In the last part of his life, he dedicated himself to his mother, assuring her of attention and care even as her abilities failed and she resided at Pine Crest Nursing Home. He began helping residents at Pine Crest by giving them rides to and from the dining room, and making sure they were set for their meal. He became a fixture at the residence, helping at a mealtime every day.
Aside from his capacity to care, George had a wicked sense of humor and a unique viewpoint on life. He often surprised people with his “take” on situations. He tried to make everyday tasks enjoyable through his banter and outlook. He enjoyed periodically going to a casino and somehow believed that if he just played long enough . . . he would win. His competitive spirit came through on the church dart ball team (he played for Trinity) alternately taunting and teasing his teammates and opponents.
George was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He is survived by his sister, Barbara, of Merrill, as well as two nieces, an honorary niece, one great-grandniece, two great-grandnephews, and numerous cousins. George was particularly fond of his niece Sarah with whom he shared a special bond and perspective on life. George was preceded in death by his parents and older brother John. He will be missed by all who knew him.
George requested that no service be held; however, because he was so devoted to the residents of Pine Crest, a gathering of family and friends will be held at the Pine Crest Nursing Home Chapel, Merrill, WI—tentatively scheduled for Friday, Nov. 17 from 11:00 am to noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the food pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church or to Pine Crest Friends. Pine Crest Friends is a program sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. Donations can be made out to: The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin with Pine Crest Friends in the memo line and sent to 500 First Street, Suite 2600, Wausau, WI 54403, or online at www.pinecrestfriends.org.
The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.