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Obituary for Elmer Amborn


On Thursday, May 3, 2018, Elmer ‘Chic’ Amborn, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away at age 92, at Sterling House, La Crosse. Elmer was born on March 27, 1926 in the home of his parents Elmer and Myrtle (Pfaff) Amborn. He earned his nickname ‘Chic’ because he and his brother, Roy, ran the chicken farm on the rural Bangor property when their father’s heart problem prevented him from doing the labor. Elmer also learned trade work from his father, who was a carpenter, construction worker, plumber and metal smith. Elmer attended grade school in the one-room Prairie School less than a quarter mile from his home. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1943, and soon after enlisted for military service at the age of 17. A case of appendicitis would delay his enlistment, but in March of 1944, he began his journey as a signalman in the United States Navy. Sailing the Pacific was an exciting experience for Elmer. However, the fear of invading Japan haunted him during those many months at sea. Elmer served two years before receiving an honorable discharge in May of 1946 and returned to Bangor at age 20. For the remainder of his life, he was able to recall, in detail, every day of his wartime service. Where, when, and with who… he never forgot a thing. Soon after, Elmer found employment as a handyman and construction worker. He bought an acre and a half of land on County Road B in Bangor and beginning in 1949, built a “spec” house on the property. He proposed to his wife, Ruth Ann Ikert, while constructing that house. They married on February 10, 1951 and it would be their home for the next 66 years. In business for himself, Elmer built too many barns and houses to count. He would build the houses from ground preparation to finish cabinetry. He designed his blueprints on the back of old calendar pages. When his two sons, Paul and David, weren’t at school, he brought them along to help with the construction. He retired from building in 1988 at age 62 when his partner and brother Roy passed away. If you had a house built by ‘Chic’ Amborn, you had a good one. The Bangor School District came to Elmer in 1995 when planning to build a new middle school and high school. He served as the liaison between the school board and the contractor. Bangor Middle/High School stands as testament to his legacy as a master builder. Elmer served the community as a volunteer for many years. He was a charter member of the Bangor Lions Club and Bangor VFW Post 8278. He was as an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and Bangor American Legion Post 40. He was also devoted to spending time with his family, and often found himself fishing and hunting with his boys and grandsons. Elmer was a longtime, avid fan of NASCAR and two words, “Dale Earnhardt” would always bring a smile to his face. Elmer is survived by his wife Ruth Ann; son, David (Karen Gilster) of West Salem; son, Paul, (Sheri Torgerud) and their two sons Cole and Cade, of Bangor; Paul’s daughter Heather (Potter) Garrison and their two sons, Noah and Caleb, of Fitchberg, WI; sister-in-law, Doris (Leo) Mashak of Bangor; sister-in-law, Marilyn (Paul) Hemker of Onalaska; and several cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Elmer was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Roy; a son, Tommy, at birth; and brothers-in-laws, Leo Mashak and Paul Hemker. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 401 16th Ave. North, Bangor. Pastor Roy Hefti will officiate. Burial with military honors will follow in Burns Cemetery. A visitation will be from 11 a.m. till service time, again at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Bangor Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com. Memorials may be given to St. Paul’s Lutheran School, 1301 Pearl St., Bangor, WI 54614; or Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Gundersen Medical Foundation, 1836 South Ave, La Crosse, WI 54601. The family expresses their sincere appreciation to the doctors and staff at Gundersen Health System for their compassionate care of dad over the course of these many years, and the staff at Sterling House, for taking such loving care of mom and dad this past year.