Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SK: "Jerry Van", W9VOW

Gerald VanDen Wymelenberg (1916 - 2012)

Gerald Van Den Wymelenberg, "Jerry Van", 95, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, with family by his side and with him in prayer. He was born on Aug. 23, 1916, in the Village of Wrightstown, to the late Arnold and Eleanore Van Den Wymelenberg.

On May 4, 1940, he married Marie Hendricks at St. Mary's Catholic Church in De Pere. In 2006, Gerald and Marie celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary prior to Marie's death on Dec. 2, 2006. The Van's have been longtime members of Annunciation Parish where Jerry was an usher and a member of the Finance Committee.

Jerry graduated from St. Norbert High School in 1935. After graduation, he began working with his father at Van's Hardware on Dousman Street in Green Bay. The Van family operated the store until the sale of the business in 1973.

In 1958, Jerry and John Van (his brother) purchased land and built the Downtowner Motel on Washington Street in Green Bay. The late Bernard Garot was also a partner until 1973. In 1993, the business was sold to Jerry's son, Paul. He continued working with his son in the business until 2010, when he became a resident of Renaissance Assisted Living.

Jerry was appointed to the Green Bay Planning Commission from 1964 to 2004. He also served on the Brown County Planning Commission from 1974 to 2001.

Jerry was a founding member of the Ecumenical Foundation, which was formed in 1981. He served as Treasurer for the Newman Center at UW-Green Bay.

Jerry was involved in the banking industry for 23 years serving as a Director for West Bank & Trust, United Bank, Valley Bank and M&I.

He served on the Advisory Board of St. Mary's Hospital for 23 years. Jerry promoted and attended retreats at Monte Alverno Retreat House in Appleton for 37 years. He was a member of the Visitor & Convention Bureau for 25 years. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Since 1935, he was an Amateur Radio operator, with call letters--W9VOW. During the Korean War, he relayed messages for Army personnel to their loved ones in the Green Bay area. He was a Charter Member of Green Bay Mike & Key Club since 1946.

Most important to Jerry's life was his wife, Marie and the wonderful family that they nurtured together. He "lived his love" for God and family. He is survived by four children and their spouses, Rosemary (Wade) Ritchie, Paul (Susan) Van Den Wymelenberg, Jean (Arthur) Wieber, Helen (Kenneth) Fisher; 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one sister, Ruth Merkey.

Jerry was preceded in death by his wife, Marie; infant daughter, Carol Ann; and a great-grandson, Ryan Fischer. He was also preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Bill Merkey; a sister and her husband, Marcella and Al Albertson; a brother and his wife, John and Janet Van Den Wymelenberg; and Marie's brother and his wife, Sylvester and Helen Hendricks.

Friends may call at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Ave., from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. A Parish Wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Visitation will continue from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, corner of Ninth St. and 12th Ave., Green Bay. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the church with Rev. Donald Everts officiating. Rev. Richard Mauthe will present the homily. Burial will be in Fort Howard Memorial Park. To send online condolences, please go to

The Van Den Wymelenberg Family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Daniel Lemkuil, Dr. Christopher Wolfram and the staff of Renaissance Assisted Living and Rennes Nursing Home for their special care and support.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.

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