Russell (Russ) Wilfred Wiese, 76, Greenleaf, WI, a driven husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great uncle, godfather and friend passed away on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. Russ was born on October 18, 1942 to Wilfred and Mae (Kulhanek) Wiese. He was the eldest son, and second of fourteen children in the Wiese family. Russ was his father’s right-hand-man, quick to assume his role within his family after the loss of both parents early on. Russell was hard-working, quick witted, and left an impression on all whose paths he crossed. Russ graduated from De Pere High School in 1961 and quickly began his lifelong pursuit of logging more miles than any other Truck Driver around, driving first for Watkins Motor Lines. Soon after, he met and married Linda (Matzke) on November 15, 1969, beginning their nearly 50-year debate of Redbirds vs. Phantoms. Russ and Linda began their journey together in Menasha, WI, then spent 20 years in Twin Brooks, SD, eventually returning in 1992 to build the home that grew their family in Greenleaf, WI. There, Russ arguably reached his truck driving goal, and met his match watching his grandchildren grow. His love for family and life as a whole shone brightly, especially through his grandkids.
Russ and Linda moved their new family to Twin Brooks, SD in 1972 to embark on a new journey. With his father and brothers, Twin Brooks Alfalfa Mill was built. Russ and Linda continued to grow their family, the mill, and lifelong friendships in South Dakota for the next twenty years. In 1992, they returned to Wisconsin, building their home near family in Greenleaf soon after. While working with his brothers and continue to log miles for Fox Valley Alfalfa Mill, Russ made evident how proud he was to be a part of such a hard-working and determined family by continuing to work eight days a week, and always making sure his truck was the most eye-catching on the lot. Faced with many caution flags later in life, Russ never let any of them slow him down. He thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about his younger years driving around a race track by venturing to as many NASCAR races as possible. He also enjoyed growing an extraordinary garden and mowing all of the lawns in Greenleaf each summer. Russ looked forward to fishing trips with the guys all throughout the year, and being able to teach his grandchildren the tricks he learned along the way. Among several other hobbies throughout the years, one of his most favorite (and successful) was spoiling his grandchildren. Few things gave him more pride than putting a smile on the faces of his grandkids. Russell was an epic, one-of-a-kind man, whose admirable grandpa-skills will continue to shine through his family for years to come.
Russell is survived by his family, who loved him profoundly and will miss him limitlessly. His loving and devoted wife, Linda (Matzke) Wiese, and their children and spouses, Andrea (Donald) Socha and Brian (Shelly) Wiese. His grandchildren brought him insurmountable entertainment, and were his pride and joy¬–Kayla and Ryan Socha, Dalton and Haydn Wiese, and Taylor Verhagen. His siblings and their spouses–Diane (Paul) Baenen, Ken (Gloria) Wiese, Sharon (Bill) Turriff, Jim (Joan) Wiese, Mary (Norbert) Zitzelberger, Roger (Sheryl) Wiese, David (Joyce) Wiese and Mark (Cathy) Wiese. Sisters-in-law–Marilyn (Greg) Bohman, Lori Wiese, and Sherry Wiese, and brother-in-law–Gil Salm. Russell’s brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law–Leon (Judy) Matzke, Sandy (Tom) Eifler, and Mary (Randy) Toellner. His godchildren–Mark Wiese and Daryl Eifler, and many nieces and nephews, and their children. Russell thoroughly enjoyed his large family, and the many roles it allowed him to play in everyone’s lives.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Donald and Dorothy Matzke, his brothers, Paul, Dan, Dick, and Bob Wiese, sister, Carole Salm, and brothers-in-law, Daryl and Larry Matzke. Russell’s godchild, Jason Wiese, and many other family members and dear friends.
Special thanks to Dr. Amy James and Unity Hospice, with too many incredible caregivers to name individually. Our family will be forever grateful for your kindness and passion for all that you do.
Visitation will be at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, 340 S Monroe Ave, Green Bay from 4:00 to 7:00pm, with a prayer service to follow at 7:00pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Visitation will continue on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at Saint Clare Parish (St. Mary’s Church), 2218 Day St, Greenleaf, from 9:00 to 11:00am. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00am, with Fr. Bob Kabat officiating.