Kenneth J. Wing

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Kenneth J. Wing

October 22, 1937 - September 04, 2019

Kenneth J. Wing Kenneth J. Wing
Kenneth "Kenny" "Winger" J. Wing, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, at Lakeview Health Care, from the horrible disease of Alzheimer's. Born Oct. 22, 1937, to John and Myrtle (DeRoucher) in La Crosse and known and loved by many as "Winger."
Kenny was a man who loved his family, Christmas, Oktoberfest, being a member of the chain gang at Logan High School, his students, his Union, his reserve unit and helping others. His list of accomplishments and awards is long and volunteer hours countless. The lives that were affected by his contributions to those he loved and served, numbers in the thousands.
As a young boy he was feisty and pushed limits. He liked to tell the story of when he went to see Elvis, when he played at the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium, because that's where all the girls were. Kenny was always a flirt, but only had eyes and a heart for one, his sweetheart of 61 years of marriage, his wife, Pat, whom he loved to call "Patty-O."
He joined the Army Reserve in 1956 and remained "playing soldier" until his retirement from the Onalaska Army Reserve 389th Corp of Engineers. He created many great memories and longtime friends, as they did their drills. This was also another source of income that he saved to spend all at once and for his favorite holiday, Christmas. Christmas was always a magical time at the Wing house. From baking cookies, hosting the large family Christmas Day gathering, where it was mandatory to show a church bulletin before you were allowed to eat, to standing in the middle of a huge pile of presents, wearing his traditional shirt year after year that read, "Merry Christmas" from afar, but upon close inspection it said, "I will be MERRY when the CHRISTMAS shopping is done," which for Kenny, was never. He bought gifts all year long and for years many came from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse Auction. The auction was like a national holiday to him and he wanted to be there early, stay to the end and spend a lot of money. He was branded "The Auction King," by the Boys and Girls Club "Terry Erickson Club," which he lived across the street from and was extremely proud of the title.
Early in life he started construction and found it to be a path to teaching wood construction. He was a teacher at Western Technical College for 32 years, 11 months and two weeks and was poked fun of for not staying two weeks longer to be an even 33 years. He started at WWTI and retired from Western and never changed jobs, but saw his beloved home for all those years change names. He created relationships, not only with the staff, but hundreds of students, many of those who went on to have successful businesses and become skilled craftsmen. Kenny was not afraid to get involved with the community and volunteer his skills and students to pay it forward and learn real life skills, by making a difference in the community. He was instrumental in building the Northside Policing Center, the La Crescent Library, the first Rotary Lights Santa House, clocks, cabinets for raffles, projects for Logan High School, the Loggers and several other community projects. He spearheaded programs that helped bring many affordable houses to La Crosse and he was honored by the community, the state and nationally many times. But one thing you didn't do in Kenny Wing's class is be late, he was famous for the saying "if you are late you buy the donuts." Most students will remember the fun he brought from going to the "library" aka, the bar, to the end of the year parties that often included softball games, hot beef and the famous milk drinking. But Kenny never completely retired, as he taught night school on Tuesday nights for many more years. He was known for being traditional and predictable, like wearing a Packers shirt every Monday, during football season his entire teaching career.
He loved his Green Bay Packers. Most of his family were convinced he bled green and gold. He was a stock holder and took it seriously and felt it his duty to watch them weekly, decorate many walls with his memorabilia, spread the accomplishments of the Packers and certainly never missed a game. There was only one reason he would ever miss a game and that was for his first love, his family, although many family events were scheduled around a Packers game.
Family was his everything and what made him tick. He was the patriarch, the glue, the respect and the heart of the Wing Clan, that included six children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, with number 24 on its way. The day Kenny earned is "wings," a few short hours later #23 great-grandchild came into this world, a grandson, a boy, who will carry on the Wing name and legacy, whom he probably passed on his way to heaven, as his great-grandson was on his way down to the loving, very tight knit family Kenny had just left.
Kenny was an alumnus of Aquinas High School, class of '56, which he remained loyal to and followed his entire life. However, living across from Logan High School, where all of his children graduated lead to years of involvement. From floats being built in his garage, to attending hundreds of events for his children and grandchildren, Winger became a legend on the football field. He was the proud leader of the Logan High School chain gang, the guys that held the down markers for Logan High School games for over 40 years.
After many years of service to the community he received one of his greatest honors, becoming the 2001 Oktoberfest Torchlight Parade Marshal. Kenny never missed a single Oktoberfest and made sure his family didn't either. He proudly wore his "battle gear" whenever he could to show his pride for this honor, promote Oktoberfest and kiss the girls! Doing parades, traveling to schools and nursing homes, going to Canada and winning the log cutting contest, were special memories for Kenny. This organization was his second family and he loved them dearly. He was always one of the first to volunteer and first to flash his button for a kiss!
There will be a party in heaven when he arrives, stoked by polka music, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; five of his brothers and sisters; a granddaughter; his mother and father-in-law, Emery and Susie Haugen, whom he wrote his name on many items in their possession to ensure he would get them in their will, (a very long standing joke in the family); and several special friends, who were guiding factors of his life. He was extremely fortunate to have the staff at Lakeview Health Care to help guide him through his final year and the horrible disease Alzheimer's. The care, love and understanding and crap from Kenny made them angels in his eyes and his family's eyes.
Kenny is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patricia "Pat" Haugen; his six children, Jeffery Wing (Kim), Sue Weidemann (Mike), Debra Ciokiewicz (Daryl), Jim Wing (Kristin), Tracey Johnsrud (Mark), Laurie Noelke (Dave); 27 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren; his sister, Peg La Lalazerne (Ron) of Fort Worth, Kan.; and the hundreds and hundreds of family and friends who loved him dearly.
Services honoring Kenny Wing will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at First Lutheran Church, 410 Main St., Onalaska. Pastor Jason Stanton and Pastor Ted Dewald will officiate and burial with military honors will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 401 Main St., and again from 9 a.m. until time of services Monday at the church. Information and online condolences may be given to the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate gifts to the Alzheimer's Association or the Boys and Girls Club, Terry Erickson Club. Gifts given directly to the family will be split and sent to these cherished charities. We also ask you to join us for the Alzheimer's Association walk Sept. 14, and the fundraiser after at Jimmy's North Star, to raise money for Alzheimer's research.
To send flowers to the family of Kenneth J. Wing, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on September 6, 2019
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6 posts

Beth Weiss
Sep 07, 2019
One of the most BEAUTIFUL MEMORIAL TRIBUTES I have ever read about one of the most wonderful men I had the honor of knowing. Ken will be missed by SO many friends and family members! God Bless You and your family dear friend!
Barb Kampa
Sep 07, 2019
We are so very sorry for your loss. He was a great and fun fella. Always smiling and always with a line of something comical. His memory will live forever. Hugs to all.
Carol Michener wife of Bill Michener
Sep 07, 2019
Bill was a Union carpenter for 50 years.He knew Ken and had praise for him always. God bless your family and much sympathy to all of you
Joan S
Sep 06, 2019
Sue and Jim:
You loved him deeply and so beautifully shared his story! Peace be with you and your families.
Gordon and Nancy Bendel
Sep 06, 2019
We were newlyweds in 1961. We were fortunate to rent an upstairs apartment on 2007 Wood Street. You were our landlords. You were very kind to us.One incident stands out. One night after we had gone to bed, we heard this scratching noise. When we asked about it, you told us you were removing wallpaper,! We never forgot that incident. The racket was never heard again, Sincerest sympathy yo you and your family.
Brad & Sara Kluck
Sep 06, 2019
We are so sorry to hear of Kenny's passing. Such a wonderful man. He will be missed by all. Cherish the memories of him in your heart and he will always be with you.
God Bless.