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Loren Stephen Woerpel
January 4, 1939 ~ November 21, 2022 (age 83) 83 Years Old
14 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Loren's family - View on Tribute Wall
Loren Woerpel, of Escanaba, MI, 83, passed away Monday, November 21, 2022, in St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, WI of a recently diagnosed aggressive cancer.
Loren was born January 4, 1939 in Mankato, MN. He was the son of Leslie Sweet Woerpel, and Lucille G. Gifford Woerpel. He grew up in Stevens Point, WI, graduating from P.J. Jacobs High School in 1956. While in high school, he was active in his church and Boy Scouts. He also took an interest and participated in events with his local Native American friends. An important part of his entire life. After high school he attended, what was then, Central State College in Stevens Point. After one year, he transferred to Michigan Technical College in Houghton, MI, studying Forestry.
While still at Stevens Point, he met Donna May Henke, of Port Washington, WI. They married on June 13, 1959 in Port Washington. Donna taught 4th grade in Chassel, while Loren attended Michigan Tech, where he finished his degree in Forestry in 1961. He was Chief Forester for a term, during which time the Forestry Department won Winter Carnival, an honor usually won by the engineers at Tech! Loren spent his career working for the U.S. Forest Service. His first assignment was in Manistique, on the Hiawatha National Forest. From there, he worked in Glidden, WI. Following that, he was assigned to the Milwaukee office, where he was in Public Affairs and photography. Other assignments were in Tawas City, as District Ranger, and then back to Milwaukee. He spent the last 16 years of his service in Escanaba, arriving here in 1974. Working in many areas with the Forest Service, the impact he made in those areas often set standards in forest management. Policies developed while serving as fire manager officer, went on to be used as a national model for fighting forest fires. He worked in fisheries management, also developing a national model. His method to work with other agencies in these areas, was to promote cooperation by working together. His biggest accomplishment might well be the acquisition of Grand Island by the Forest Service. He “had the check in his hand.” Loren retired from the Forest Service in 1990, in Escanaba, on the same forest where he began in 1961.
Following retirement, he began the family business of Noc Bay Trading Company in Escanaba. This went on to become an international mail order business, with the purchase of an original old building on Stephenson Ave. His ideas and knowledge of Native American crafts and traditions created a business providing employment to many people over the years, still in operation and now owned by his son, Jeff. Loren was also active in the Boy Scouts and his church, Immanuel Lutheran, singing with and directing the choir, Sunday School superintendent along with Donna, president of the congregation, chairman of Outreach...and in the early years, a mean volley ball player.
Loren and Donna enjoyed traveling, covering thousands of miles throughout the United States in their RV. Not ones to stay in one place, they preferred seeing new towns, parks, museums...and visiting friends and relatives.
Loren is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Craig Woerpel, wife Patty Bray Woerpel of Escanaba; son, Mark Woerpel, wife Cindy Capra Woerpel of Ellsworth WI; son, Jeff Woerpel of Escanaba; daughter Kristine Hovland, son-in-law, Dan, of Escanaba; also survived by sister, Linda Radoll; her children, Cindy and Tim; brother-in-law, Ron Radoll; sister-in-law, Sharon Reisner, her children, Jim, Heath (Yelisa) and Hue; grandchildren, Lauren Hovland, Cameron Hovland, Karen Albrecht, and Joanne Preston; great-grandchildren, Michael, Jacob, Hannah, and Norah Preston; nephews, Dale Rismeyer (Patti), Duane Rismeyer (Jaime); nieces, Amy Hjort (Kevin) and Wendy Zettinig.
Loren was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents, Leslie and Lucille Woerpel; parents-in-law, Hugo and Edith Henke; sister-in-law, June Rismeyer; brother-in-law, Donald Rismeyer; a nephew, Keith Clough; an infant brother; along with aunts, uncles and cousins
Visitation will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Loren will follow at 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, with Pastor Michael Markwell officiating. A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. (CST), Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at Hildegarde Cemetery in Conover, WI with Pastor Mary Hovland officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Boy Scout Troop 411 or Immanuel Lutheran Church in Escanaba.