Rufus R. Vorpahl, 95, Hobart, formerly of Oconto Falls, died peacefully Easter morning, April 21, 2019 at Emerald Bay Retirement Community. He was born July 27, 1923 on the family farm in the Town of Underhill to Edmund and Elizabeth (Runge) Vorpahl. He grew up in the township where he attended a small country school. As a young man, Rufus served in the US Army during WWII and was stationed in Europe during major military campaigns in five countries. As part of a camouflage team working together during battle, he was in action during the Invasion of Normandy, Ardennes Battle of the Bulge, Omaha Beach and the Occupation of Germany. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to Oconto County.
On September 22, 1945 he married Irene “Lolly” Milhans at St. John’s Catholic Church in Gillett. In 1956, the couple moved to Oconto Falls where Rufus worked for the Scott Paper Co. until retiring in 1984. Over the years, Rufus and Lolly enjoyed traveling, going out to dinner and sharing good times with family and friends. He was a longtime member of Grace Lutheran Church in Oconto Falls. Rufus will be fondly remembered for the enjoyment he gave so many while playing his harmonica for so many years, even into the last year of his life.
Survivors include his three children, Wayne R. (Kathy) Vorpahl, Green Bay; Dawn Tietyen, Denmark; Barbara Gretzinger (Jeff Fritz), Howard; six grandchildren, Carmen (Jeff) Plutchak, Carrie (Doug) Radtke, Anthony (Jennifer) Tietyen, Erik (Emily) Tietyen, Jacob (Tammy) and Jon Gretzinger; seven great grandchildren, Marley (Ryan) McKenna, Kayla (Fiance’ Nate O’Bright) and Dylan (Sophie) Unsinn, Nicholas and Taylor Radtke, Charlotte and Merrick Tietyen; two great-great grandchildren, Cooper O’Bright and Colt Unsinn; one brother, Elden (Rose) Vorpahl, Appleton; two sisters, Gloria (Bert) Fitzhugh, AK; Sue Vigue, Mishicot; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 62 years Irene “Lolly”, three brothers Les, Donald “Eddie” and Ray Vorpahl and four sisters, Ruth Vorpahl, Edna Kallies, Frieda Reed and Betty Kitzman.
Visitation will be held 2-6pm Sunday, April 28, 2019 at Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls. Visitation will continue after 10:00am Monday, April 29, 2019 at Grace Lutheran Church in Oconto Falls until the time of service. Funeral services will be held 11am Monday at the church with Pastor Gary R. Olson officiating. Burial with military honors to follow in St. Anthony Cemetery, Oconto Falls.
The Vorpahl family would like to thank Vince and Cassandra, the nurses and staff of Emerald Bay Retirement Community and Heartland Hospice for all the care and consideration shown Rufus during their time together.