Lee Tikalsky, 89, beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, friend, and public servant, peacefully entered eternal life on March 17, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.
Leland Joseph Tikalsky was born on August 4, 1927, on the Tikalsky Homestead, located near Stangelville, WI, to Paul and Lillian (Wais) Tikalsky. He attended elementary school in the one room school in Bolt, WI and was salutatorian of Kewaunee High School in 1945.
His youth was spent working on the family farm, training horses with his stepfather, Christ Forst, riding bicycle with cousins around the lakes in the area and sledding on nearby hills.
As a young man, Lee worked with building crews on local highways and bridges and in various local manufacturing companies and Atlas Cold Storage. During this time, he met the love of his life, Marilyn Kriwanek, of Denmark, Wisconsin, and on April 24, 1954, Lee and Marilyn were united in marriage at All Saints Catholic Church in Denmark.
In Denmark, Lee and Marilyn started their life together and their family, that would grow to include five sons and four daughters. Professionally, he earned his insurance and real estate licenses and worked for the Kriwanek Brothers General Store as a clerk in the hardware department and service man for appliances. He was a member of the volunteer fire department and served as Chairman of the Denmark High School Building Committee in 1962-1963. He was a member of All Saints Catholic Church and served as the Chairman of the Usher Society.
Lee began his long career of dedicated service to the City of New Holstein in 1963. From 1963 to 1978, Lee served as Deputy City Clerk and office manager for the New Holstein Utilities. In 1978, he was appointed City Clerk and served in this role until his retirement in 1989, when he was honored by the City of New Holstein with Resolution Number 671, in recognition of his extraordinary service and well-earned highest respect of those in government as well as the citizenry. After his retirement, he was elected Mayor of the City of New Holstein from 1994 to 1996 and was honored with Distinguished Citizen of the Year 2009 by the City of New Holstein Chamber of Commerce.
One of Lee’s many leadership accomplishments began in 1976, when he led an effort with Ernest Dyer for New Holstein to be a founding member of Wisconsin’s first Public Power Company, WPPI. This effort saved the people of New Holstein more than $8 million over many years.
As a volunteer in New Holstein, Lee became a lifetime member of the Kiwanis Club in 1967 and through the years served as Secretary from 1969 to 1980, President and served as Lieutenant Governor of Division 7N in 1977. He was the top fundraiser in Kiwanis to provide matching private funds for the New Holstein Aquatic Park.
Lee served on the Boy Scout Committee, served as Cub Master, Cub Committee Chairman, General Scout Committee Chairman and member of the Explorer Post Committee. He went on many Explorer Post canoe trips with his sons as a scouting leader. He was President of the New Holstein Community Committee from 1990 to 1992, was an active member of the All Saints Holy Name Society and St. Vincent DePaul Society. He is a lifetime member of the Catholic Order of Foresters (85+ years). He also volunteered his time for the New Holstein Historical Society, Community Chest, Holy Rosary Church, Helping Hands Food Pantry, Salvation Army and the Calumet County Civic Association.
He was a member of the local Girl Scout committee and co-led the Senior Troop with his wife, Marilyn, for Bay Jammer competition events with the Senior Girl Scout Drill Team with his daughters.
As part of his ongoing dedication to youth and the community development, Lee and his wife Marilyn annually award a New Holstein School District graduating senior a $500 scholarship for continuing education.
Lee is survived by his children, Lee Brey, Kiel; Kevin and John Tikalsky, both of Charlotte, NC; Paul (Julie) Tikalsky, Stillwater, OK; Nancy Tikalsky, Zion, IL; Mary Tikalsky, Wheaton, IL; Lynn Tikalsky, Troutdale, OR; and James Tikalsky, Plymouth, WI; his grandchildren, Desiree (Brian) Rahmlow, Rebecca Brey, Vanessa Brey, Peter, Daniel, Olivia, Lauren, and Joseph Tikalsky and Sarah and Lucas Phillips; great grandchildren, Addison and Peyton Rahmlow; brother-in-law, Russell Kriwanek and many beloved extended family members.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn Tikalsky, and his son, David Tikalsky.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 23, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1724 Madison Street, New Holstein, WI 53061 at 11:30 a.m. Family and friends may call at the church on Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New Holstein Kiwanis Club, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in New Holstein, or the charity of your choice.
Newcomer Funeral Home, 340 South Monroe Avenue, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 54301, is assisting the family (920) 432-4841.
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