Phillip George Delfeld
Cemetery Record Information
Full Name: Phillip George Delfeld
Birth: February 22, 1929
Death: July 20, 2022
Phillip (Phil) George Delfeld was born Feb. 22 1929, just before the Depression, son of Jerome and Paula Hoffman Delfeld. He died in the early morning of July 20, 2022 at age 93, after a long and happy life.
He was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Lomira, and his roots in the Brownsville area were very deep. He graduated from Lomira High School in 1947 and worked for 15 years at Tobin Tool & Die; he was a gifted mechanic and rose to foreman. In 1961 his life changed. President Kennedy organized the Peace Corps to recruit American men and women who could go to other countries and help train people in useful skills. Phil volunteered in the second group, teams of mechanics, nurses, architects and others, who went to Tunisia in North Africa. At 34 he wasn’t quite the oldest in the group. The trainees spent a summer at Indiana University learning French, and Phil met Margaret Anne Tector there. Phil returned safely, there was a happy reunion, and Phil and Anne were married in 1965 by Monsignor Reardon in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Phil got a job as mechanic with Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. They had five children, Carol Ann, Bruce Phillip, Neal Raymond (wife DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld), Helen Jean (partner Scott Dodds) and Margaret Marie (husband Dave Wentzell). While in Tunisia, John Martinkovich taught Phil to fly a plane. As soon as Phil could afford it he bought a Taylorcraft and built a hangar at Fond du Lac airport to house it. There followed trips to visit Grandma Tector in Canada, and to other relatives and Peace Corps friend all over the states. More children required a bigger plane, and Phil upgraded several times, eventually to a 6-place Beechcraft. Phil stayed in touch with some of the mechanics he worked with in Tunisia. After a few years we and the kids took a (commercial) flight to Europe, rented a car and spent a month staying at bed-and-breakfasts in Europe and in hotels in Tunisia. We repeated this pattern every few years until the kids were old enough they didn’t want to come, then it was just us. We found the German village that the Delfelds came from a couple of centuries ago, and met Otto and Maria Zehren, who more or less adopted us; we are still in touch with their son Stefan.
Everyone liked Phil, and the language difference didn’t seem to matter. Eventually Phil retired as manager of the rail yards in North Fond du Lac. Since he decided his eyes were making it less safe for him to fly, he sold the plane and hangar. A friend, Ted Niemeyer, promptly offered him a part-time job with the Union Pacific as a safety instructor, mostly in Texas and California. If a job lasted two weeks or more, Anne joined him on the weekends. Eventually Phil decided to stay home and work on the house; there was nothing that man couldn’t do. But he refused to be vaccinated, and finally COVID caught up with him.
Phil is survived by his wife, Anne, 89 years old, all five of his children, and four grandchildren: Neal’s twins Anais and Marlena Delfeld, and Maggie’s boys Carter and Grayson Wentzell. Also by his brother Mark Delfeld, his sisters Jeanne Dalton, Gail Wiess and Kathy Delfeld, and by many, many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Danny and Dennis, and his sister Beatsie.
Visitation will be at St. Mary’s on Milwaukee Street in Lomira on Friday July 29 from 10-11 AM. Mass will be at 11 AM, celebrated by Father Miniatt, and burial will follow in St. Mary’s cemetery.
The family are very grateful to the nurses and doctors on the fourth floor at Agnesian hospital for the loving care they gave to Phil and to the rest of us.
Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Phil’s arrangements. Online guestbook and condolences may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.
St. Mary’s Cemetery – Lomira, WI