Elizabeth Wing

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Elizabeth Wing

January 30, 2019

Elizabeth Wing Elizabeth 'Liz' Block Wing
Elizabeth 'Liz' Block Wing, a beloved wife, mother, and friend who lived in La Crosse for nearly 50 years, died at home Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. She was 87.
Liz was born in New York City and raised in Manhasset, Long Island. Her mother, Bernice FitzGibbon Block, was a farm girl from Wisconsin who became a successful advertising copywriter in New York City. Her father, Herman Block, was a son of German immigrants who worked his way through Columbia Law School. She had one brother, Peter.
Although Liz attended schools in New York, she got to know Wisconsin well as a child because she visited her relatives on the FitzGibbon family farm in Waunakee every summer. Liz was a good student who developed a strong interest in books, in the craft of writing, and in the art of persuasion. Two of her stories were published in Seventeen magazine. Liz became interested in politics at a young age. Her father ran as a Democrat for a legislative seat on Long Island and took Liz with him to many of his campaign appearances.
'I loved hearing the crowd cheer for my father,' Liz recalled. 'I was devastated when he lost.'
Later her father explained that Democrats never won in that district but it was important for someone to represent the Democratic party.
Liz attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass. There she became co-editor of the college newspaper, the Sophian. Perhaps the highlight of her college journalism career was interviewing Sen. Adlai Stevenson when his presidential campaign train came through town. After graduating from Smith in 1953, Liz went to Milwaukee, where she was hired as a reporter on the Milwaukee Journal. Liz got to know a crew of young people who wanted to have some fun while they tried to make the world a better place. One member of the group was Merrick (Rick) Stanton Wing, the newspaper's City Hall reporter (and a La Crosse native). Liz and Rick fell in love, and they married in 1954.
A few years later, Rick Wing took a job as an aide to Congressman Henry Reuss and moved his family to Bethesda, Md. Subsequently the family moved to Hamden, Conn.; and then to Denver, Colo. In Hamden, Liz worked as a researcher for a book on gold rush medicine (Gold Fever by George Groh). In Denver, she became active again in Democratic causes and campaigns. In 1967, Liz was hired by the Colorado House of Representatives to serve as information and finance officer - a job she held for two years.
In 1969, the Wing family moved to Rick's hometown of La Crosse. There Liz and Rick found a group of friends who enjoyed each other's company through the decades. They were active in the community as they raised their four children. One of their favorite evenings out was listening to Dixieland jazz performed by the Rev. Al Townsend. (Rick would bring his clarinet and play along.) Liz operated her own advertising and public relations agency for several years and worked as a free-lance writer for newspapers and magazines. She became a marketing executive, first for Home Savings and then for First Financial Savings and Loan in La Crosse and in Stevens Point, Wis. Liz was an avid tennis player and was known for her delicious 'wingding' pastries.
After retirement and her husband's death in 2002, Liz enjoyed taking long walks in the marsh, reading and spending time with her fellow members of Bookfellows, attending concerts by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale, and getting together with family members. She served on the boards of the Chamber Chorale, the local chapter of AAUW, radio station WLSU, and the Self-Sufficiency Program at UW-La Crosse. She was a member of the La Crosse Historical Society, the La Crosse Friends of the Library, the La Crosse County Democratic Party, and the Women's Fund of Greater La Crosse. She belonged to many national and international organizations supporting human rights and protecting animals, nature, and open space.
In the final years of her life, she was cared for by her youngest daughter, Victoria.
Liz is survived by four children, Victoria Wing of La Crosse; Elizabeth 'Betsy' Bashor (Jon) of El Cerrito, Calif.; Stephen Wing (Marilyn) of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Geoffrey Wing (Genevieve) of Encinitas, Calif.; three grandchildren, Blake Wing, Colin Bashor, and Stephanie Pelletier; and two great-grandsons, Colton and Camden.
Interment will be in the Wing plot of Oak Grove Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 18, in the community room of the Riverplace Apartments in La Crosse.
Memorial gifts may be sent to the La Crosse Public Library, the Gundersen Medical Foundation, or to the Women's Fund of Greater La Crosse.
Published on February 3, 2019
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3 posts

Robert M Fortney
Feb 09, 2019
Liz was a loyal member of a Current Affairs class that I had the pleasure to moderate for several years. I appreciated her sincerity, knowledge and sense of humor.
Wish to extend my sincere sympathy to family and friends.
Dan Von Haden
Feb 06, 2019
Growing up next to the Wings, I always remember conversations with Mr and Mrs Wing in the back yards. I would listen to the Brewer games in my backyard, while the Wings listened to it in their backyard. Every time my ball went over their fence and I walked over to retrieve it, we would discuss how the Brew Crew was doing. They were always enjoyable to talk to and great neighbors to have
Marcia Kolaczkowski
Feb 03, 2019
I so enjoyed getting to know Liz through hospice bereavement services after Rick was cared for in hospice. Liz was an inspiration to me on many levels and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her. Her presence as hospice volunteer was also something I treasured. Getting to know Liz was sheer gift to my heart! Blessings upon all of your family. May the love you have known and shared be a comfort to you all.