Monroe E. Koeller
Monroe E. Koeller , 93, Platteville passed away peacefully on Friday, November 24, 2017 at Epione Pavilion Nursing Home in Cuba City. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. On Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Platteville. Father John Blewett will officiate. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery. Friends may call from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 27, 2017 at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory, Platteville, where there will be a parish rosary at 3:45 p.m. Friends may also call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday, at the church. Memorials may be made to the Monroe E. Koeller Memorial Fund. Online condolences may be made at www.melbyfh.com.
He was born November 3, 1924, the son of Clarence A. and Ruby M. (Retallick) Koeller. He married Mary Reuter on February 7, 1950 at St. Andrew Catholic Church, Tennyson. She predeceased him in 2014. Monroe grew up on the family farm, still in the Koeller family. He attended Sinners Creek school located over the hill from the home farm. Monroe and Mary started married life farming outside of Potosi. Monroe farmed until 1951 at which time he began full-time employment with Kowalski-Kieler, Inc. He was employed at the Dickeyville plant until 1982. From 1982-1984, he was employed by Rural Excavating. EAO Corporation became his employer from 1984-1986. In 1986, he began employment with Kowalski-Kieler in Lancaster, retiring from there in 1994.
Many times he was referred to as the “Best damn Cat skinner” in the area. Although specializing in the bulldozer, he operated all types of heavy equipment including cranes and scrapers. Monroe was always concerned about water and soil conservation, specializing in land and water conservation work and also had a fine hand with roads and construction. In 1980, he was named Conservation Construction Operator of the Year by the Grant County Soil and Water Conservation District. Northern Illinois also honored him that same year.
Monroe’s interest in heavy equipment began in 1944 when he purchased a Cletrac Crawler Tractor and his first project was a pond on the family farm still holding water today. This was followed by requests from many of the neighbors. Monroe continued farming and began working part-time for Doc Kowalski and Lester Kieler when they approached him about operating a bulldozer for them until he went full-time in 1951 at which time he stopped farming.
Monroe enjoyed spending time with his family, working on his cars, professional wrestling especially in the 1960’s, and rodeo particularly bull riding. He also enjoyed reading and playing cards, euchre was usually his game of choice.
He is survived by two daughters, Sharon Koeller and Connie (Jim Kopp)Koeller, one grandson, Calvin (Sara)Koeller, and two great-grandchildren, Michelle and Gavin. He is also survived by hIs twin brother and sister, Leonard “Ben” Koeller and Lenice Flesch. He is further survived by sisters-in-law Dorothy Johns and Viola Winkler.
He was predeceased by his parents, wife, older brother Melvin Koeller, and twin siblings, Gerald (Kathleen)Koeller and Geraldine (John) Skonetch, brothers and sisters-in-law Rosemary Koeller, John Flesch, Wilbert Reuter, Malinda (Donald) Upmann, Mansel Johns, CC “Junior” Winkler, and Alberta (Duane) Hanson.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Fr. John Blewett and Deacon Bill Bussan for their visits and prayers. They would also like to thank Dr. Jeff White and his staff, the staff of Epione Pavilion, and Matt Melby and the staff of Melby Funeral Home for their help during this time.