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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Allen J. Engebretsen

Allen J. Engebretsen, 72, Gillett, died Wednesday, June 25, at his residence surrounded by his family after a courageous eight year battle with cancer.

Born on March 22, 1942 in Shawano to Edmond and Ruth (Arneson) Engebretsen, he was Baptized and Confirmed at Bethel Lutheran Church in the Town of Green Valley and graduated from Gillett High School with the Class of 1960. On July 27, 1963, he married his high school sweetheart Barbara Kallies at Bethel Lutheran Church. The couple farmed and raised their family on the family farm which was homesteaded in 1883 and is currently being farmed by his sons which are the fifth generation to farm the land. In addition to farming, he hauled milk cans for Bill Wendt and later obtained his bulk milk hauling license and hauled milk with his friend, Jim Schroeder.

Very involved in his community, he joined the Town of Gillett Fire Department in 1969 and served as the Treasurer for many years. He served as a Town Supervisor for many years and continued on the Board as Town Chairman until 2009. He was a member of the Oconto County Dairy Promotions Committee and along with his wife co-chaired several of the first Breakfast on the Farm celebrations that were held in Oconto County. He was a long time serving member of the Oconto County Fair Board, serving for 27 years.

He was a member of the Gillett Civic Club where he also organized the Horse pull at the Gillett 4th of July Celebrations. In 2011 the couple was honored to be the Grand Marshals of the Gillett 4th of July parade. He also served as a Director on the Equity Northeast Livestock Shipping Association in Bonduel for 9 years. He was a past member of the Gillett Area Ambulance Service. He served his church by being on the Council, but took great pride being on the Bethel Cemetary Association Board. He was a past member of the Gillett FFA Alumni, the Oconto County Holstein Association, and the Oconto County Farm Bureau. He was also a charter member of the Frontier Farmers Association.

His past times included raising Registered Belgian horses and pulling his teams at various horse pulls around the area. His interest in draft horses began by his father offering him either a snowmobile or a team of horses. He also enjoyed bowling and getting together with family and friends. He enjoyed his early morning drives around the neighborhood which usually ended by having morning coffee “with the guys”. He also enjoyed his Norwegian Heritage. Most recently he met his cousins, Asgier and Kari during one of their trips to the US where he was able to learn a lot of his Norwegian family history.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Barbara; daughter, Julie (Terry) Yonker; sons, Jeffrey (Cindy), and Chris (Vicki); seven grandchildren; brother-in-law, Donnie Hinkfuss of Gillett, sisters-in-law, Shirley Wegner and Helen Kallies of Shawano, Delores (Duane) Horsens of Germantown and brother-in-law, Bill Kallies of Colorado; also many nieces, nephews, Godchildren, and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-inlaw and father-in-law, Edwin and Gertrude Kallies; sister, Rosalie Hinkfuss; brothers-in-law, Melvin Wegner, Maynard Kallies, and Richard Runge; and a sister-in-law, Gwen Kallies

Visitation with the family was held on Sunday, June 29, from 3 until 8 pm at Kuehl Funeral Home in Gillett with a prayer service at 7:30 pm. Visitation continued on Monday, June 30th at Bethel Lutheran Church from 9 am until the time of service at 11 am with Pastor William Gruenstern officiating. Internment took place in the church cemetery.

A memorial fund has been established in his name.




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