Obituary for Roger F. Binsfeld

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Roger Francis Binsfeld (90) passed away at his Onalaska residence on July 15, 2017. Roger was the 2nd child born to Joseph W. Binsfeld & Veronica G. Pritzl on Feb 12, 1927 in Brillion WI. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic grade school and Brillion High School. After being drafted into military service in February he was granted a deferment to graduate with his class of 1945. Upon graduation, Roger was inducted into the US Army Air Corps and became a cryptographic specialist in the Army Signal Corps stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany.
After his discharge from the Army, Roger attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI on the GI Bill, obtaining a degree in economics and accounting. Throughout his life, he was quick to mention his gratitude for the GI Bill, which changed his life by giving him an opportunity he would not have had the resources to pursue. During his years in Milwaukee he met and courted Ann Marie Brennan, the daughter of river contractor James F. Brennan of La Crosse. Roger and Marie were married June 13, 1949, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. They subsequently settled on South 23rd Street of La Crosse before later spending 35 years living along the banks of the Black River on Nakomis Avenue.
Roger began working for his father-in-law’s marine construction business in 1950, beginning his career catching hot rivets as part of a bridge construction crew. He found a mentor in Jim Brennan and regarded Jim as one of the greatest influences on his life. Roger would go on to build many levees, dams and industrial docks throughout the Midwestern United States. He loved his work, but even more so loved the people with whom he worked. Even in retirement, Roger never forgot the great talents of a particular tugboat pilot, welder or crane operator who may have worked at Brennan decades ago. Roger actively worked at Brennan, a family business, for nearly forty-five years, retiring from day to day duties as President of the company in 1992. Roger was also a founding partner of Brennan Marine and River Steel Corporations. Roger maintained an active interest in all Brennan work right up to the last days of his life, never failing to review daily reports, or inquire about ongoing and upcoming work.
Roger is survived by a son, Anthony Binsfeld (Barbara) of La Crosse, WI and a daughter, Kathryn (David) Karademas of Milwaukee, WI; grandchildren: Matthew (Megan), Mark (Angela), Michael (Betsy), Adam (Beth) and Brittany (Dan) Hensgen, all of La Crosse; Claudia, Eva, Anastasia, Sophia and Alexander Karademas, all of Milwaukee: along with 13 great-grandchildren.
Extended family members include a sister, Virginia Kershek of Brookfield, WI: brother, Joseph J. Binsfeld of Scottsdale, AZ: and brother, Richard Binsfeld of Sheboygan, WI, along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marie on March 3, 2005, a sister, Germaine Hesse, a very special friend, Mae Stanek, and best of friends, Ken & Betty Kastner.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at St. Joseph the Workmen Cathedral, 530 Main Street, La Crosse. A visitation will be held at the church on Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and again on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until time of service. Roger will be laid to rest next to his spouse, Marie, in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse following the liturgy.
Memorials may be given to Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation, 315 South 11th Street, La Crosse or Boys & Girls Clubs of La Crosse, 1331 Clinton Street, P.O. Box 91, La Crosse.
The family would like to express sincere appreciation to his neighbors and friends, the Mayo Hospice program, and Lori Ohland who provided diligent and empathetic care during his last months.
The Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements