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Phillip “Phil’ George Delfeld

Phillip “Phil’ George Delfeld Phillip “Phil’ George Delfeld
   Phillip “Phil” George Delfeld was born Feb. 22 1929, just be­fore the De­pres­sion, son of Jerome and Paula Hoff­man Delfeld. He died in the early morn­ing of July 19, 2022 at age 93, after a long and happy life.
He was a life-long mem­ber of St. Mary’s Lomira, and his roots in the Brownsville area were very deep. He grad­u­ated from Lomira High School in 1947 and worked for 15 years at Tobin Tool & Die; he was a gifted me­chanic and rose to fore­man. In 1961 his life changed. Pres­i­dent Kennedy or­ga­nized the Peace Corps to re­cruit Amer­i­can men and women who could go to other coun­tries and help train peo­ple in use­ful skills. Phil vol­un­teered in the sec­ond group, teams of me­chan­ics, nurses, ar­chi­tects and oth­ers, who went to Tunisia in North Africa. At 34 he wasn’t quite the old­est in the group. The trainees spent a sum­mer at In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity learn­ing French, and Phil met Mar­garet Anne Tec­tor there. Phil re­turned safely, there was a happy re­union, and Phil and Anne were mar­ried in 1965 by Mon­signor Rear­don in Sher­brooke, Que­bec. Phil got a job as me­chanic with Chicago and North­west­ern Rail­road. They had five chil­dren, Carol Ann, Bruce Phillip, Neal Ray­mond (wife DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld), Helen Jean (part­ner Scott Dodds) and Mar­garet Marie (hus­band Dave Wentzell). While in Tunisia, John Mar­tinkovich taught Phil to fly a plane. As soon as Phil could af­ford it, he bought a Tay­lor­craft and built a hangar at Fond du Lac air­port to house it. There fol­lowed trips to visit Grandma Tec­tor in Canada, and to other rel­a­tives and Peace Corps friend all over the states. More chil­dren re­quired a big­ger plane, and Phil up­graded sev­eral times, even­tu­ally to a 6-place Beechcraft. Phil stayed in touch with some of the me­chan­ics he worked with in Tunisia. After a few years we and the kids took a (com­mer­cial) flight to Eu­rope, rented a car and spent a month stay­ing at bed-and-break­fasts in Eu­rope and in ho­tels in Tunisia. We re­peated this pat­tern every few years until the kids were old enough they didn’t want to come, then it was just us. We found the Ger­man vil­lage that the Delfelds came from a cou­ple of cen­turies ago, and met Otto and Maria Zehren, who more or less adopted us; we are still in touch with their son Ste­fan.
Every­one liked Phil, and the lan­guage dif­fer­ence didn’t seem to mat­ter. Even­tu­ally Phil re­tired as man­ager of the rail yards in North Fond du Lac. Since he de­cided his eyes were mak­ing it less safe for him to fly, he sold the plane and hangar. A friend, Ted Niemeyer, promptly of­fered him a part-time job with the Union Pa­cific as a safety in­struc­tor, mostly in Texas and Cal­i­for­nia. If a job lasted two weeks or more, Anne joined him on the week­ends. Even­tu­ally Phil de­cided to stay home and work on the house; there was noth­ing that man couldn’t do. But he re­fused to be vac­ci­nated, and fi­nally COVID caught up with him.
Phil is sur­vived by his wife, Anne, 89 years old, all five of his chil­dren, and four grand­chil­dren: Neal’s twins Anais and Mar­lena Delfeld, and Mag­gie’s boys Carter and Grayson Wentzell. Also by his brother Mark Delfeld, his sis­ters Jeanne Dal­ton, Gail Wiess and Kathy Delfeld, and by many, many rel­a­tives and friends.
He was pre­ceded in death by his par­ents; his broth­ers, Danny and Den­nis; and his sis­ter, Beat­sie.
Vis­i­ta­tion will be at St. Mary’s on Mil­wau­kee Street in Lomira on Fri­day, July 29, from 10 to 11 a.m.. Mass will be at 11 a.m., cel­e­brated by Fa­ther Mini­att, and bur­ial will fol­low in St. Mary’s ceme­tery.
The fam­ily is very grate­ful to the nurses and doc­tors on the fourth floor at Ag­ne­sian hos­pi­tal for the lov­ing care they gave to Phil and to the rest of us
Myrhum-Pat­ten Fu­neral & Cre­ma­tion Ser­vice has been en­trusted with Phil’s arrange­ments. On­line guest­book and con­do­lences may be found at www.​myrhum-​pat­ten.​com.