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Obituary: Karl Presslein, Jr

“Don’t get shook”, but Karl Presslein, Jr, 85 of L’Anse, MI, passed away on Monday, May 27, 2019 with family at his side at his daughter’s home in Stillwater, MN following a brave battle with cancer.

Karl was born on July 21, 1933 to Karl, Sr and Gertrude (Zumstein) Presslein, both Swiss immigrants. He grew up in a beautiful stone house built by his father on the outskirts of Milwaukee, WI. Throughout his youth, he was active in the Milwaukee Swiss community, participating in gymnastics and the singing club. As a young adult, he worked as a mason with his father, and later operated his own Swiss import business, often traveling to Switzerland to buy goods and spend time with family.

In the early 1960s, he met “his Susie” Campbell, a schoolteacher in nearby Menomonee Falls, WI. After a short courtship, they eloped to Las Vegas (October 1, 1965) before it was fashionable. They soon moved to L’Anse, MI and opened The Green House, a flower and gift shop, which they owned until their retirement in 2007. In L’Anse, they started their family, raising four children. Always supportive, they traveled throughout the UP and neighboring regions for sporting events, always leading the cheering section with cowbells.

Karl was active in the Bricklayers & Allied Crafts Union, his church (United Lutheran), the Ojibwa Indian community (along with Susie) and the Lions Club, where he served as a District Governor of the Western UP.

An avid traveler, he visited most of the 50 states, parts of Asia and Europe, particularly Switzerland. In his retirement, he cherished time with his children, spending long periods in the Twin Cities, Waterford, MI and Zurich, Switzerland. He loved meeting new people, typically sharing stories over coffee and dessert.

Most recently, he lived with his children and always looked forward to his granddaughters’ sporting and school events. As his mobility declined, he was active in sending and receiving postcards from family and friends around the world, connecting through video calls (singing Swiss-German to his latest granddaughter), and playing cribbage, scrabble and solitaire.

He is survived by his children Stefan (Cheryl) Presslein of St. Michael, MN, Heidi  Presslein (Marylene Herady) of Stillwater, MN, Trudi (Mark) Koskinen of Waterford, MI, and Erich (Tatum) Presslein of Zurich, Switzerland; his five granddaughters Grace and Claire Presslein, Karli and Morgan Koskinen, and Poplin Presslein; sisters-in-law Carol Presslein and Lis Campbell; numerous nieces and nephews; and exchange student son Reto (Aline) Gmunder of Biel, Switzerland and their children Max, Nina and Elias.

Preceding him in death are his parents; wife Susie; his sister and brother-in-law Trudy (Victor) Feller; his brother John Presslein; brother-in-law and his wife, Samuel (Mary) Campbell, brother-in-law Frank Campbell; nieces Kathy Feller Clemon and Sharon Campbell.

Visitation is Tuesday, June 4, 2019 from 4-7 PM at the Jacobson Funeral Home and Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 10-11 AM at the United Lutheran Church. His funeral service is Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM at United Lutheran Church with Rev. Peter Warmanen and Rev. John Ansell officiating. Following the service, the family invites friends to join them for fellowship and a luncheon in the church hall. Burial will be at the family lot in L’Anse Evergreen Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please honor his memory by donating to Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp (138 Fortune Lake Camp Road, Crystal Falls, MI 49920).

Friends may sign Karl’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com

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