Wilbur J. Petroskey, age 90, of Rhinelander, died Jan. 1, 2017, at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander. He was born Oct. 8, 1926 in Antigo to Louis and Rose (Smith) Petroskey. He attended schools in Antigo graduating from the Antigo High School in 1944. Shortly thereafter he was drafted and served his country as a member of the US Army. Wilbur was stationed in Italy in the infantry at the end of WWII. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to Antigo where he purchased the family farm from his dad and mom. At that time also, Wilbur went to work for the USDA and the ASCA in soil conservation. Wilbur loved his new venture which turned out to be his life’s work. He ended up working for Oneida, Florence, Forest and Vilas counties for 28-plus years before retiring.
Wilbur was always busy and involved in making his community a better place to live. He did this through years of volunteering for the Bells of St. Mary’s Drum and Bugle Corps, as a member of the Oneida County Board for 20 years and as an officer of the Veterans Service Commission for 45 years. He was a longtime member of the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus of which he held many stations, including district deputy. Wilbur also served on the Rhinelander/Oneida Airport Commission for many years. What he was most proud of was being one of the first veterans to be a participant on the “Honor Flights”
As you can tell, Wilbur loved the outdoors and all of God’s creation. He loved to take care of the land and was an accomplished gardener. He also loved to help curb the deer population every deer season and was pretty darn good at it.
Wilbur married the former Gloria Frink June 9, 1948 in Antigo and they enjoyed 68 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife Gloria; his daughter Mona (Charles) Macdonald of Rhinelander; his grandchildren, David (Jessica) Macdonald of Appleton, Ross (Zoe Browne) Macdonald of Stevens Point and Meg Macdonald of Rhinelander; his great-grandchildren Jace and Bree; his sister, Germaine Vignone; his brothers, Jerome (Vonnie) Petroskey and Wiley (Penny) Petroskey; nieces, nephews, other family and many friends. Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Louise.
A mass of Christian burial will be held Friday, Jan. 6 at 12 p.m., with visitation from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., all at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church/St. Mary’s site. Father Randy Knauf will be officiating. Interment will be in the Northland Memorial Park Cemetery. A memorial is being established in Wilbur’s name and can be directed to his family. You may leave your private condolences for the Petroskey family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for Wilbur’s family.