Ludwig Bernard “Ben” Hodkiewicz, age 90 of Rhinelander, died Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 at his residence under the care of Ministry Home Care Hospice and with his family. He was born in the Town of Angelica in Shawano County May 20, 1926, to Daniel and Anne (Polczinska) Hodkiewicz. He attended grade school in Pulaski. Ben enlisted in the U.S. Airforce and finished his tour of duty in the U.S. Army where he proudly served his country in WWII in Guam and the Philippines. After the war Ben came home and graduated from high school in Milwaukee. He remained in Milwaukee where he studied and became a Master Baker.
He was united in marriage to Phyllis Petrowski at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Pulaski on June 24, 1950. The couple moved to Tucson, Ariz. where Ben was employed with a plumbing company for one year. They then moved back to Pulaski where he was employed by his father-in-law in the plumbing and heating business for twelve years. In 1964, Ben began his employment with the State of Wisconsin as a State Plumbing Supervisor, retiring in 1988. During this time Ben taught plumbing-related classes at Nicolet College. He became a Master Plumber and as a State Plumbing Supervisor, Ben instituted and wrote the first sanitary sewer ordinance for the State of Wisconsin which has now been implemented by many states. Ben was instrumental in forming and was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona Council 4439, in Pulaski, where he was a third and fourth degree member.
Ben loved to cook and bake and was known for his pumpkin pie, rolls, and mashed potatoes. He was known for his gardening and was instrumental with running the Knights of Columbus Kitchen. Ben loved to volunteer at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He loved his family and took great pride in their accomplishments. Ben was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, and an honorary lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus Macdonald-O’Neill Council 2032 Rhinelander. He will be forever remembered as a great father, grandpa and for placing his life in Christ’s hands.
He will be dearly missed by his children, Kenneth (Janet) Hodkiewicz of Lexington Park, Md., Roy Hodkiewicz of Plymouth, Minn., Paul Hodkiewicz and Lynn Murray of Neenah, Peter Hodkiewicz and Christina Bredeson of Rhinelander, Benita Brezinski of Crystal, Minn., Jean (William Yonker) Hodkiewicz of Rhinelander, Faith Hodkiewicz and Steven Albertson of Minneapolis, Minn., Ann (Mark) Parmentier of Menasha and Jan (Richard) French of Rhinelander. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, Kim, Jessica, Ryan, Andrea, Lindsay, Stephanie, Joseph, Jacqueline and Alysha; two brothers, Leonard (Evelyn) Hodkiewicz of Green Bay and John (Pat) Hodkiewicz of Green Bay: two sisters, Adeline Berg of Oshkosh, Grace “Boots” (Robert) Kanugh of Suamico; and a sister-in-law, Monica Hodkiewicz of Lena. Ben is further survived by nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; Phyllis Hodkiewicz on January 20, 2006; three brothers, Norbert, Norman and Dominic; and by three sisters, Genevive, Marcella and Florence.
The visitation for Ben will be Friday, Nov. 4 at the Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home from 4 p.m. until the 7 p.m. parish prayer service and Rosary. A second visitation will take place Saturday morning at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The mass of christian burial will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church located at the corner of Conro and King Street with Fr. Randy Knauf officiating. Interment will take place at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery with full military honors conducted by the Ray Rousseau V.F.W. Post #3143 Rhinelander and two representatives from the United States Army.
Hildebrand Russ Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, WI, 54501, 715-365-4343. Celebrating lives and healing hearts. All are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com