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Lee A. Pagel, age 91 of North Prairie passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at Linden Grove-Mukwonago. Lee was born on May 16, 1931 in Indiana to Willard and Dorotha (Lippett) Pagel. He married Karen Olson on April 17, 1954.
Lee was a man who loved his country, his family and his wife. And he is known by many for outgoing personality and his passion for antique cars.
He clearly showed his love of country through his two military enlistments. In the 1950’s, he enlisted in the Marines and experienced combat in the Korean War. Decades later he enlisted in the Army Reserve and served with distinction training soldiers in Armored Vehicle Operations.
For decades he demonstrated his love for his children through a very long commute so they could experience small town life and open spaces. He and Karen also planned family vacations across the U.S. so the family could experience the history, culture and natural wonders of the U.S. Through this and by example he infused a love of learning in each of the children.
He deeply loved his wife. After the children became adults, Lee and Karen were constantly on the go, including traveling to Europe multiple times, and not surprisingly making new international friends.
Lee purchased his first antique car (a 1929 Model A Ford) in 1957, which remains in the collection. This car was a key part of family time, travelling to car shows across the state and nation. With others, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge of cars to any who expressed interest.
Those who knew him enjoyed his outgoing, friendly personality, his sense of humor and his genuine care for others. He exemplified a life well lived and will be deeply missed.
Lee is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Karen; his children, Erich (Corinne) of Michigan, Joann (Gregory, Sr.) Williams of East Troy and Gary (Pam) of Mukwonago; his 6 grandchildren, Mark (Jennifer) Pagel, Chad (Malinda) Pagel, Megan (Jeremy) Pagel-Staples, Nicole (Justin) Seefeldt, Gregory (Karlena) Williams II and Kelly Ann (Matthew) Schmidt; his 12 great-grandchildren, Victoria, Hannah, and Grace Williams, Ben, James, and Hannah Pagel, Emma Staples, Dylan Ruby Pagel-Staples, Jennifer and Paul Schmidt and Theodore and Oliver Seefeldt; his brother, Tom Pagel of Arizona; other relatives and many good friends.
Preceding Lee in death are his parents; his brother, Willard and his sister, Elaine.
Memorial Life Celebration Service for Lee will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 11:30AM at Thelen Funeral Services (W309S4840 Commercial Drive, North Prairie—NW corner of Hwy’s 83 and 59), followed immediately by military honors. A time of gathering and sharing memories will be held from 9:30AM until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Lee’s name should be directed to either
Tunnel to Towers https://t2t.org/
LindenGrove* Foundation https://lindengrove.org/foundation/
*LindenGrove Senior Care Community is where Lee received gracious care in his last days.
For those unable to attend or just wanting to sign the on-line guest registry, please click the Share A Memory link below Lee's photo.
Thelen Funeral Services of North Prairie/Genesee is honored to be serving the family.