Details for Reinheart E. Zirbel

June 23, 1922 - May 11, 2018

Wauwatosa, WI -- Reinheart E. Zirbel, 95, died in Wauwatosa, WI on May 11, 2018. He was born in Wausau, WI, on June 23, 1922, to Dr. Elmer and Isabel (Green) Zirbel, where he grew up very much influenced by the fascination with aviation popular in the 20’s and 30’s, building model airplanes, and engaging successfully in many model competitions. Skiing also became an integral part of his life, as he took full advantage of the then new facilities at Rib Hill in Wausau. He graduated from Wausau High School in 1941, after which he attended the University of Wisconsin until interrupted by his military service in World War II. After training, he was assigned to the 486th Bomb Group of the 3rd Air Division 8th Army Air Force stationed at Sudbury, East Anglica, in England. After a tour of 28 missions as a radar command navigator/bombardier, receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant, he returned to the University to graduate in 1948 from the Engineering School. He was employed by Monarch Iron Range Co. in Beaver Dam, WI, then by Parker Pen in Janesville, after which he founded Zirbel Precision Engineering, which later included Camtrol, Inc. In 1949, he was united in marriage with Mary Arbuthnot in Janesville, where they reared their family of seven children. Ever the committed and involved Dad, he was the facilitator of the family’s many camping trips, the family’s instructor in skiing and camp craft, the person to go to when one’s project needed rescue, the faithful attender of the many concerts and recitals in which family members performed: the enduring exemplar of loyalty and hard work. He was a member of St. Paul’s Ev Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, of 68 years; family of his deceased son, Peter: Cathy Reed, Jackson and Connor Zirbel, John (Margaret Morse) Zirbel, Anna and Katie Zirbel, Gretchen (Jeff Beischel) Zirbel, Jamie and Mary Kate Mitchell, Martha (Rob O’Neil) Zirbel, Alexa (Michael Krausse) Zirbel, Benjamin, Clara and Raphael Krausse, Frances (Jay) Foley, Quinn, Evan and Glenn Foley, David (Shirley) Zirbel; his brother, Lowell (Ruth) Zirbel. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his son, Peter; his infant grandson, Morgan Patrick Foley; his sister, Rosemary Buell; and his parents-in-law, Irene and George Arbuthnot.

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Ev Lutheran Church, Janesville, on Monday, June 18 at 11 a.m., Pastor Daniel Decker officiating. Memorials may be made to the St. Paul’s School Tuition Assistance Fund

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