Elmer William Grassman

In memory of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed.
Annotation 2020 06 05 163052

In memory of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed. Elmer was born in the Township of Clifton, WI on July 17 1926, the son of Norbert and Leota Grassman. Elmer was baptized and confirmed into his saving faith at Indian Creek Lutheran Church in Clifton, WI. He graduated from Tomah High school in 1944. After graduation he proudly served in the 9th Division, 60th Infantry in Germany during WWII, ultimately attaining the rank of sergeant. After his discharge Elmer attended The County Normal Teacher Training School in New Lisbon, WI. After graduation he taught in the Council Creek Rural School south of Tomah. He pursued and received his Bachelor’s Degree from UW La Crosse and his Master’s Degree from Winona State.

Elmer taught many young men and women throughout his career as a teacher starting at Friendship, WI as the 7th and 8th grade teacher. He continued to teach as the basketball coach and was advanced into the role most of us knew him as – Principal. He then served as Principal of Horicon Junior High at Horicon, WI. He then taught at Jefferson in La Crosse and was Principal at Roosevelt, Washburn, Webster and Josephine Hintgen Schools in La Crosse.

While studying at Winona State he met the love of his life, Lillian Ravnum. Elmer and Lillian married on August, 1954. Elmer and Lil are the loving parents of Mark Alan and Karla Jo.

In addition to the joys of fatherhood Elmer pursued many passions during his life including woodturning and carving, volunteering and serving the community though the Rotary Lights, serving on the La Crosse Dive and Rescue team and anywhere else he could engage with others. One of his distinctive accomplishments was obtaining his Scuba Diving Certificate at the age of 62 and was known for diving for golf balls at the local courses’ water hazards.

Elmer was an active member of First Ev. Lutheran Church in La Crosse. He served his community and teaching profession through his leadership to the State Elementary Principal’s Association; UWL Alumni Board of Directors; Board of Directors and President for Downtown Rotary. Elmer also served the boards of the United Way, the Library, and the Police and Fire Commission. He was honored to be selected as the 2000 Maple Leaf Parade Marshall; the Rotarian Four Way Test Award Winner; a Paul Harris Fellow; and the Viterbo Pope John the 23rd award.

His greatest joy was being with his family. He was very proud of all of us. He is survived by his wife, Lillian, son Mark (Michelle), daughter Karla Proksch (Scott) and grandchildren Anna Grassman, Emma Eldridge (Gabe), Chaille Proksch, and Helen Proksch.

Dad, you are a man who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much. You have been a strong arm to carry us through our trials, always reaching out and offering guidance. You have gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children. We will always hold you in our hearts.

A visitation for the general public will be held on Monday, June 8, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at First Ev. Lutheran Church in La Crosse. A private funeral service for family and selected friends will begin at 1:00 PM. A livestream of the funeral service will be available on the Schumacher-Kish Facebook page. Burial with Military Honors will be at 2:00 PM in the Oak Grove cemetery with social distancing restrictions and masks in place for anyone wishing to attend. The family would ask that anyone attending services please wear a facemask or do not attend. For a complete obituary, Facebook link, or online guestbook please go to www.schumacher-kish.com.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Bethany St. Joseph’s Care Facility. There are too many to list but know that your loving care and support of dad provided him joy and allowed him to rest easy. We are lucky to know each of you.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials of your choice to First Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rotary Lights, or the La Crosse Volunteer Dive and Rescue Team.