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Erwin Wittwer, 94

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Erwin Wittwer, age 94, of River Falls, Wis., went to be with his Lord on Friday, July 4.

Erwin Arthur Wittwer was born on Sept. 14, 1919, to Harry and Francis (Voight) Wittwer, in Little Falls, Minn. He lived with his grandparents as a child, but grew up on the family farm in Long Prairie, Minn.

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Erwin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, aboard the USS General S. D. Sturgis. His service took him to France, England and Japan, and he was aboard one of the first ships to arrive in Tokyo Bay for the signing of the Japanese surrender. On Feb. 15, 1947, Erwin was united in marriage to Nellie H. Warner in Gutches Grove, Minn. This union in marriage would be blessed with four daughters and a son.

Erwin worked as a union bricklayer. He started his own masonry contracting company building fireplaces to keep him busy between union jobs. Erwin excelled at brick and stonework, and was a self-proclaimed artist with fireplaces and chimneys. He was still laying brick in his 80s.

Beyond masonry, Erwin also enjoyed woodworking, planting trees, and conservation. He built picnic tables, chairs, bird houses and many wooden tools and frames his wife would use for her sewing projects.

Erwin loved spending time with his family. He was a kind man who never complained or had a bad thing to say about anyone. Erwin had a grateful heart and an appreciation for everyone who helped him.

Erwin is survived by his daughters, Judy (Randall) Rodrigue of Kileen, Texas, Jane (Bill) Kirk of Ellsworth, Wis., and Jennifer (Richard) Reynolds of Marana, Ariz.; son, Erwin James (Bonnie) Wittwer of River Falls, Wis.; grandchildren, Brian, Robert, Joyce, Jeremiah, Charles, Michael, Jason, Jamie, Joe and Jessica; 11 great-grandchildren, Kassandra, Brianna, Brandon, John, Michael, Ryan, Hayden, Delanie, Rowan, Casey, and Wyatt; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Erwin was preceded in death by his wife, Nellie; his daughter, Joyce Faye, who died at the young age of seven; his parents; his great-grandchild, Broderick; and his siblings, Raymond Wittwer, Amanda Zabel and Ruby Bozen.

A memorial service for Erwin Wittwer will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, at the First Baptist Church of River Falls Wis., with Pastor Philip M. Bushy officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church. Burial will be held at a later date.

Services handled locally by the O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson WI, and the Countryside Crematory. 715-386-3725

www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com

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