Richard J. Wanserski
Richard “Butch” J. Wanserski, 94, died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, at Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital, Stevens Point, following a brief illness. He resided at Willow Brooke Senior Living Center for the past year.
He was born Jan. 3, 1923, in Galloway, to the late John and Elizabeth (Kruzicki) Wanserski. He was never married.
He graduated from Rosholt High School and attended the Central State College (now University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) in Stevens Point. He held three different jobs before joining the Army Air Corp in November 1942. He became a 2nd Lieutenant and co-pilot, flying B-17 bombers with the 398th bomb group of the 603rd bomb squadron, stationed in England.
On only his fifth flying mission over Meersburg, Germany, his plane was shot down, forcing him to bail out and land in a farm field. He was captured by the Germans on November 2, 1944 and held as a prisoner of war (POW) for six months. One of the prisons he was held at was Stalag Luft III, the same prison where English prisoners made the “Great Escape.”
He and his four brothers held a notable distinction of all serving in World War II, gone from home at the same time.
After being liberated by General Patton, he returned home to Rosholt. He took some time off and enlisted in the Air Force serving from April 13, 1953, to Oct. 31, 1956.
He was involved with the original charter application for the Rosholt American Legion Post 509, and was a proud lifetime charter member.
Mr. Wanserski worked in Milwaukee for a while and then moved to California taking a job as a postal service employee for 30 years. He retired in 1986 and remained in California for several years prior to moving back to Wisconsin.
He was an avid golfer. He sponsored and supported a female student from Romania while she attended and graduated college in San Diego, allowing her to pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner.
He loved traveling, especially the European countries, Poland, Germany and also Africa. Every summer he would drive from California to Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona and Illinois. His favorite baseball team was the Chicago Cubs.
He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Pozolinski, Appleton; his brother-in-law, Ray Zielinski, Menasha; and many nieces, nephews and cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Gertrude (Felix Stanislawski), Ervin (Alvina) Wanserski, Leonard “Larry” (Mary) Wanserski, Danny (Irene) Wanserski, Ralph (Ina) Wanserski, Julane Zielinski, Maxine (Conrad) Ostrowski.
The family would like to thank Willow Brooke staff for their care.
There will be no funeral service. A burial service will be scheduled for the spring of 2018 with full military rites at Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery King. A memorial will be established in his name to the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
Pisarski Funeral Homes are honored to be serving the family. For online condolences, visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.