MARSHFIELD, Wis. — Martin J. “Marty” Draeger, 83, died Jan. 1, 2014 at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.
Marty was born in Racine on Dec. 27, 1930, to William C. Draeger and Laura Forster. Shortly after graduation from high school in March 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of the Korean War and was honorably discharged in March 1953 as a sergeant.
In May 1954, Marty married Donna Pansch, of Racine. They were divorced in 1980.
He graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science and joined his father and brother in the Draeger Funeral Home in Racine. He left the business and worked for Wisconsin Telephone Company (now AT&T), retiring in 1986.
In 1981, he married Suzanne McDaniel. Upon his retirement, they moved to Watersmeet, Mich ., and his dream log cabin on Long Lake. Suzanne preceded him in death in 1990.
Marty was a founder of the Long Lake Property Owners Association, serving as its secretary for four years. He was an active member of Immaculate Conception Church in Watersmeet and secretary of its Finance Council. He belonged to the American Legion Post 417 in Watersmeet, serving as chaplain. He also belonged to the Telephone Pioneers of America and the Michigan Loon Protective Association, serving as loon ranger and area coordinator.
In 1992, he married Mary T. Zelinski, of Watersmeet.
In addition to his wife Mary, he is survived by five children, Susan Pathak, of Hales Corners, Daniel (Barbara) Draeger, of Muskego, Anne Lamb, of Milwaukee, Amy Draeger, of Minneapolis, and David McDaniel (Alla and Evelyn), of Antioch, Ill. He is also survived by two brothers, Jerome (Carol) Draeger, of Racine, and William (Joanne) Draeger, of Clearwater, Fla .; one grandchild, Kari Duenze (Flint), of Milwaukee; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. CST at Immaculate Conception Church in Watersmeet, with the Rev. George Maki and Rev. Antony Kalapura concelebrating.
Visitation will be at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass.
Visitation and Rosary will be at the Cane Funeral Home in Bruce Crossing on Friday, Jan. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. CST.
The Catholic Rite of Committal, followed by Legion Post 417 Veterans Committal, will be held immediately after Mass, with cremation and inurnment at a later date.
The Cane Funeral Home-Bruce Crossing Chapel is assisting the family.
The family has requested that any memorials be Mass stipends or donations to Immaculate Conception Church, the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Land O’ Lakes Public Library.
Friends may view Marty’s obituary and leave messages of remembrance at canefuneralhome.com.