Heinz G. ToorenMarch 22, 1922 ~ December 30, 2016 (age 94)
Heinz Gerke Sjuts Tooren, 94, of Dousman, formerly of Fort Atkinson, died on Friday, December 30, 2016, at the Masonic Health and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born on March 22, 1922, in Esens, Wittmund County, Lower Saxony, Germany, to Hinrich and Therese (Janssen) Tooren.
He was raised in Schortens, outside Wilhelmshaven, Germany where his family had moved shortly after his birth. After finishing his required schooling he went into an apprenticeship and became a tool and die maker, a trade he practiced throughout his working life.
Heinz fought in the Germany army on the Russian front, surviving a number of serious wounds.
In 1958, he emigrated to Chicago, Illinois to join his two brothers, Friedel and Heiko, who had previously relocated to that area.
He married Irene Marie Powell a few years after his arrival in the U.S. They were together until her death in 1969. In 1972, he married Carole Ingold, who was his wife until she passed in 1993. Neither marriage produced any children.
Heinz was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on June 28, 1968, in Constellation Lodge #0974, located in Des Plaines, IL. He became Worshipful Master of Germania Lodge #182 in the state of Illinois in 1976 and 1978, then affiliated with Marinette #0182 in Marinette, Wisconsin, before affiliating with Billings #0139 in Fort Atkinson, which consolidated with other lodges into Jefferson County Lodge #9 in Jefferson.
One of the unique bits of Masonic history that Heinz gifted to Jefferson County Lodge was a top hat purchased in 1953 by Oscar F. Mayer, the founder of the well-known foods company Oscar Mayer. Mr. Mayer, as the lore goes, disliked the hats worn by the Masters of Germania Lodge and obtained an expensive and fine top hat more befitting of the office for the lodge's centennial. That hat passed down from Master to Master until 1976 when Past Master and Secretary of Germania Lodge Robert Hotten sold it to Heinz for one dollar to prevent its destruction by another member who disliked Mr. Mayer.
Surviving are 17 nieces and nephews living in the U.S. and Germany; and a sister-in-law, Judith Tooren.
He was predeceased by his parents; two sisters, Marga (Hermann) Kurth and Hanna Rubsamen; and three brothers, Friedel (Waltraud), Gunther and Heiko Tooren.
Services will be private.
A special thanks to Pastor Paul Scharrer and Rachel Reiton who frequently visited with Heinz. Also, thank you to his friend, David Medici, and his neighbors, Greg and Chris Banaszynski and Ralph and Sue Vanderheiden.
The Olsen Funeral Home in Jefferson is assisting the family.