Obit: Steiger, Erivn John "Ertz" (1929 - 2005)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Steiger, Riedy, Kauffman , Reineking, Mohr

----Sources: Marshfield News Herald

Steiger, Ervin John "Ertz" (13 Dec. 1929 - 19 Dec. 2005)

Ervin John "Ertz" Steiger, 25 Clay St., Neillsville, passed away Monday, Dec. 19, 2005, at Neillsville Memorial Medical Center. His family surrounded him as he peacefully entered internal life.

Visitations will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, 2005, at Gesche Funeral home in Neillsville, with Masonic Right observations at 7:45 p.m. Additional visitation will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 27 at Neillsville United Church of Christ. Funeral services will immediately follow at 11 a.m. The Rev. James Mohr will officiate. Burial will take place in Neillsville Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.

Ervin was born Dec. 13, 1929, to Edwin and Ella (Reineking) Steiger in the township of Warner, near Greenwood. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel E & R, now United Church of Christ, near Greenwood. He was a 1947 graduate of Greenwood High School. Music played a major part of his life; playing trombone and singing were his passions. In 1946 he helped organize the Howie Sturtz Orchestra where he had been a member for over 50 years. He was the "Ertz" of the "Ertz & Sturtz" duo.

On May 13, 1950, he was united in marriage to Dorothy Jean Kauffman of Loyal, at Loyal Methodist Church.

He first worked at Greenwood Gleaner and then at Clark County Press in Neillsville, Wis. In 1949 he was employed as a secretary/bookkeeper for the Production Credit Association of Neillsville, Wis. He worked his way to loan officer, and in 1957 was appointed as president for the farmer-owned Production Credit Association of Neillsville, Wis. By the time of his retirement from the farm credit service in 1985, he had become the chief executive officer for the PCA loan offices in Neillsville, Black River Falls and Thorp that provided financial service to farmers in Clark, Taylor and Jackson Counties.

After his first retirement, he went on to work with the Farmers Home Administration; the Co-op Credit Association of Black River Falls; the Citizens Bank of Loyal; and was a driver for Abby Vans. He additionally worked with WCCN-AM where he recorded many voice "tags" to introduce "The Best Music" from Big Band to Classis Oldies.

Ertz was a very active community citizen and volunteer. He was a member of the 32nd Division Wisconsin National Guard 128th Service Company, based in Neillsville from 1949 to 1955. He served as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 64, Neillsville, from 1968 to 1971. He was extremely active with the Neillsville United Church of Christ were he served as Sunday school director, board member, and most noteworthy, as a 50-year member of the senior choir. Over the past 10 years, he helped coordinate the Salvation Army collection kettle in and around Neillsville area.

In addition to volunteer activities, he was a member of the Future Farmers of America; Rotary International; Jaycees; Neillsville Masonic Lodge No. 173; Black River Falls Royal Arch Masons Chapter 41; Knights Templar Commandery 8; Eau Claire, and Zor Shrine Temple of Madison.

His hobbies besides his family, friends, trombone, and singing were his golf game and his world traveling.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy; his two sons, Keith (Betty) of Howards Grove and David of Neillsville; daughter, Debra (James) Riedy of Oakland Township, Mich.; and five grandchildren, Benjamin, Mathew, Katherine, Kelley and Thomas.

He is further survived by his brother, Kenneth (Janice) Steiger of Onalaska; and many additional nephews and nieces.

His parents, three sisters, Marian, Evelyn, and Beatrice; and an infant son, John, preceded him in death.

Memorials will be divided between some of his favorite charities including the United Church of Christ, the Salvation Army, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association/ALS research.



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