WINONA/LA CROSSE, Wis. — Wilbert “Bill” J. Ipsen, 101, of Winona and formerly of La Crosse, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2019, at Sugar Loaf Senior Living.
He was born March 21, 1918, in La Crosse, to the late William and Lillian (Plunkett) Ipsen. He graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1937 and served in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Bill was a World War II U.S. Army combat veteran (1941-1945), serving three years in the Southwest Pacific theater, on the island of New Guinea and in the Dutch East Indies.
On Nov. 23, 1946, he married Lillian Jean Cobb of Johnstown, N.Y. Bill owned and operated Bill’s Shoe Service in downtown La Crosse for 30 years. Well known in the La Crosse business and professional community, he was elected and served 25 years on the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors, where he was vice chairman for several years. At an age when others might have retired, Bill worked another eight years as a security guard at the former Gateway Foods distribution facility near his North Side home. He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He was proud to serve his country and his community.
Bill is survived by his wife of 72 years, Jean, of Winona; three sons, John (Jane Petersen) of Madison, Wis., James (Debra) of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Joseph (Susan) of Orfordville, Wis.; two daughters, Jeanine (Clifford) Black of Winona and Kathleen (Scott) Zierath of Decorah, Iowa; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his twin brother, William; brother, Henry; and sisters, Catherine Vingers, Geraldine Fazio and Virginia Mach.
The family wishes to thank Bill’s physicians at Winona Health, Gundersen Health and the River Valley V.A. Clinic in La Crosse, as well as the staff and volunteers at Sugar Loaf Senior Living, Elder Network of Winona County and Winona Health Hospice.
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Winona, where a service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to Gundersen Foundation, Elder Network or Winona Health Hospice. Words of sympathy and remembrance can be given at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.