Cover photo for Wayne Michael Van Ess's Obituary
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1940 Wayne 2024

Wayne Michael Van Ess

December 19, 1940 — April 24, 2024

Wayne Michael Van Ess, age 83, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, after a brief battle with leukemia and related complications. Wayne was born in Green Bay on December 19, 1940, to the late Don and Regina (Pieschek) Van Ess. He attended a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and graduated from Preble High School in 1958.


After high school, Wayne became the first member of his family to attend college, majoring in Meat and Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served on meat judging teams, became the Vice President of his fraternity, Delta Theta Sigma, and joined the ROTC. Wayne served two years active duty in the Army after graduating from college, and then was in the reserves. He attained the rank of Captain, in charge of a Company consisting of 300 men.

Wayne was hired by Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation as a Pre-Management Trainee in 1965. In 1966 he married the love of his life Elaine Barbian at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Waunakee, Wisconsin. Their only child Pamela was born later that year and after spending six years in Perry, Iowa, the family settled in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin in 1972.


Wayne had a successful career as a procurement manager at Oscar Mayer for 34 years. He was also very active in his community. He volunteered at St. Albert the Great Church in Sun Prairie as a lector, lay distributor, and CCD teacher, and was also a member of the Sun Prairie Exchange Club. In his later years, he volunteered at De Pere Christian Outreach in De Pere, Wisconsin after he and Elaine moved there in 2005.


Wayne loved hosting gatherings with family and friends, whether at home or at the Van Ess family cottage in Door County, Wisconsin. He also enjoyed many years wintering in Naples, Florida. He was a devoted fan of the Badgers and the Packers, and enjoyed reading, fishing, boating, playing cards with his granddaughters, playing the accordion, and doing jigsaw and Sudoku puzzles. He was deeply loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed.


Wayne is survived by Elaine, his wife of 58 years, his daughter Pamela Filler, son-in-law Gregory Filler, granddaughters Gillian and Georgia Filler, his siblings and their spouses – Nancy and Clete Cisler, Mike and Sue Van Ess, Rita and Aaron Daubner – and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.


Family and friends are invited to celebrate Wayne’s life on Friday, May 3, 2024 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 4805 Sportsman Drive, De Pere, Wisconsin. Visitation will be from 9:00 am to 10:45 am; with the Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11:00 am with Rev. Mike Ingold officiating. Entombment will take place at Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum.


The family wishes to thank Unity Hospice and Home Instead for the care they provided to Wayne in his final days. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Wayne’s memory to De Pere Christian Outreach (www.deperechristianoutreach.org).


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Michael Van Ess, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 3, 2024

9:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary Catholic Church - Ledgeview

4805 Sportsman Drive, De Pere, WI 54115

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Friday, May 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary Catholic Church - Ledgeview

4805 Sportsman Drive, De Pere, WI 54115

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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