WILLIAM (“BILL”) JOSEPH FISCHENICH, age 92, of Ellsworth, Effie and Bigfork, MN, died Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Bigfork Valley Communities, in Bigfork, MN. He was born February 11, 1927, in Ellsworth, to Nerres and Ethel (Rowe) Fischenich, the last of six children. Bill attended St. Mary Catholic School, in Ellsworth, until drafted to serve in the military during World War II. After re-enlisting in the Army, he served in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Bill attained the rank of PFC; and received various awards including the World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupation of Germany Medal.
Upon discharge in 1947, Bill returned home to Ellsworth, and learned the carpentry and construction trade. He was successful enough to become an independent contractor and employ other workers. Eventually, he took a position as Foreman for the Great Plains Lumber Company. It was said that he and his workers either built or repaired most of the homes in Ellsworth, at one time or another. He also built his own lake-shore home in Northern Minnesota, to which he retired in the early 1980's.
He was an avid sportsman. Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, motorcycling and camping, particularly in Minnesota’s North Woods. Later in life, he enjoyed cooking, gardening, wood-carving and going to the casino. He shared his interests and lake-shore home with family, often serving as step-dad for nieces and nephews or step-granddad for their children.
Bill is survived by twenty four nieces and nephews and their children.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his step-father, John Neyens; three brothers, Ray, Ed and Cecil Fischenich; and two sisters, Anastasia (Fischenich) Engel and Marian (Fischenich) Palmer.
Funeral will be 11 am Tuesday at St. Catherine Catholic Church, in Luverne, officiated by Monsignor Gerald Kosse. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Burial with full military honors, provided by the Ellsworth American Legion, will be in the St. Mary Cemetery in Ellsworth.
Dingmann Funeral Home, in Luverne, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are preferred to St. Mary’s Cemetery (c/o St. Catherine’s Church in Luverne), Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Bigfork, MN., or Bigfork Valley Communities, Bigfork, MN.