William Von Arx, 84, of Caledonia
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:43 AM
William Vincent "Bill" Von Arx, 84, of Caledonia died Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, surrounded by family at his home after a well-fought battle with cancer.
Bill was born Nov. 19, 1928, in La Crosse, Wis., to William J. and Emma T. (Langen) Von Arx. He was raised in rural "Bush Valley" of Mound Prairie Township near La Crescent. He graduated from St. Peter's Catholic School in Hokah in 1946 and La Crosse State Teacher's College a few years later.
He honorably served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War in Germany from 1951-1953, serving as a counter intelligence agent. After the service, he attended night school at William Mitchell College of Law while teaching at Ramsey Elementary School in St. Paul.
He married Theodora "Teddy" Fregin on Aug. 11, 1956, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wis.
After completing law school, he began his legal career working for Northern Pacific Railway. In 1961, he joined the L. L. Duxbury Law Firm in Caledonia and eventually bought the business, which became Von Arx Law Office.
He served as county attorney for Houston County for 16 years and served as city attorney for several communities in Houston County throughout his career. He was city attorney for Caledonia for many years and for La Crescent for well over 40 years.
He so enjoyed his career, he found it difficult to retire in 2012.
He also enjoyed several hobbies including beekeeping; building picnic tables, bluebird houses and sandboxes; mowing lawn and caring for his land; picking hickory nuts on the farm; and helping Teddy with their plants and flowers. They planted thousands of trees over the years.
He so loved being with his family and friends. He had much enthusiasm for life and enjoyed singing and speaking German to just about anyone.
His religion was central to his life. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church where he sang in the choir for many years.
He was also a member of the VFW, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, and a 50+ year member of the American Bar Association.
Survivors include his loving wife, Teddy; seven children, William of Winona, Nancy (Pete) Szotkowski of Madison, Wis., Joseph (Beth) of Rockford, Ill., Stephen (Anita) of St. Charles, Christopher (Jana) of Caledonia; Erika (Dan) Lind of Peterson, and Francesca (Dave) Ortmeier of La Crosse. He has 25 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He is further survived by brother and sister-in-law, Francis and Frannie Von Arx of Hokah; three sisters, Marguerite Sheehan of Hokah, Dolores Benz of Portland, Ore., and Rita Hayes of Burnsville, Minn; three sisters-in-law, Betty Von Arx of La Crescent, Rita Von Arx of Houston, and Liz Von Arx of Caledonia; and several nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers and sisters-in-law, Alfred and Evelyn Von Arx, Otto and Marjorie Von Arx, Paul Von Arx, Walter Von Arx, George Von Arx, Jacob and Jean Von Arx, and Joseph and Phyllis Von Arx; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Bernice and Don Cavanaugh, Les Sheehan, Helen and Bill Hoskins, Don Benz, and Bill Hayes.
A Mass of Christian Burial officiated by the Rev. Gregory Lief will be at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Caledonia, on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m. Burial with military rites will be in Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia.
Visitation will be at Holy Family Hall, adjacent to St. Mary's Church, Feb. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. with a rosary at 4 p.m. and Christian Wake service at 7:30 p.m.
There will also be a visitation the day of the funeral at the front gathering area of church from 9:30 a.m. to the start of the funeral service.
McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.mccormickfuneralhome.net.