Born in Milwaukee to German immigrant parents, Fred was the second child of Joseph Vincent Kohnle and Dorothea Pauline (Linnemann) Kohnle. He was just a youngster when the family moved to Tisch Mills after his parents purchased the local feed mill there. He shared his boyhood days with older brother, Rudy (Krista Larson), Alfred (Carol Zachek), and sister, Dorothy VanSickle. While Fred was still in high school, the untimely death of his father changed the path of his life forever. Fred was able to attend school and run the mill with the help of his family until which time he purchased the business from his mother. He watched the business grow from a small feed mill grinding flour and mixing small batches of feed to a modern agribusiness providing many services to all sized farms in the area. He enjoyed the company of all his customers from small hobby farms to larger farming establishments. Fred was so appreciative of his family’s interest in carrying on the business he built.
Fred was athletic, playing numerous sports in high school. He continued to play fast pitch softball with Tisch Mills and the Swan Club teams. He will be remembered as one of the best softball pitchers in northeastern Wisconsin during the late 1960’s and 70’s. He passed on his love of sports to his sons, Chris and Matt. He was instrumental in forming the Tisch Mills Little League, where later his beloved grandchildren honed their ball skills as well.
Fred discovered that golf was enjoyable too. His first foursome, which included Bob Murphy, Tom Belleau, and Bob Ray appealed to his love of the game and piqued his competitive side. In more recent years he golfed each Tuesday with friend, Pat Willis. Thursdays would find him on a different course with Bob Sinkula, Blackie Delwiche, and Ron Zimmerman, and occasionally Rich Kalies. Just days before his illness in September, Fred scored his best game of the season. He beamed with joy as he collected $3.50 from Blackie and Ron.
Fred maintained his service to his community with his involvement in the Squeekers SIP club, as well as his longtime membership in the Feed and Seed Dealer Association. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for Baylake Bank and served as treasurer for the Tisch Mills Cemetery. He also was a former member of the Tisch Mills Fire Department.
Fred’s interest in growing things did not stop with corn and soybeans. He followed in his mother’s footsteps and developed a love of gardening. He loved to water, weed and most importantly he loved to share his harvest. Fred took pride in his property, always having blooming flowers and a picture-perfect lawn. Not only was he an outdoors guy, but he also knew his way around the kitchen, always cooking for the holidays and grilling up many more hamburgers than needed. He especially enjoyed celebrating his birthday which was on July 4th. Cake, beverages, and huge scoops of ice cream were always served, as Fred was a big fan of ice cream. We can only guess why some thought of him as the original firecracker of Tisch Mills. Along the way he learned to make Chex Mix, and made massive batches of it, giving it to friends and family each Christmas season.
Fred’s greatest love was for his family. For 50 plus years he was the best husband ever to Peggy (Bruemmer) Kohnle. He was so proud of his sons and their families. Son Chris, (Beverly Obry) blessed him with two grandchildren; Alexandria (Dominic) Putala, and Samuel Kohnle. He was delighted with the addition of his son Matt’s (Elizabeth Ostrowski) children; Claire and Payton Kohnle. As much as he loved watching his children play sports, he loved watching his grandchildren even more. Of course, he offered them “tips” after each game.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; Josef and Dorothea Kohnle; his in-laws, Earl and Leona Bruemmer, and various uncles and aunts.
Fred was a religious, generous, caring man who loved life and all that each day brought him. He was an honest businessman, good friend to many, competitive golfer, community leader, loving husband, father, and grandfather. Upon his marriage to Peggy, Fred was also blessed with two sisters in law, Jane (Ron) Zimmerman and Lois Skrivanie. He was a fun-loving uncle to 9 nieces and nephews, many of whom he employed throughout their teen years and beyond. They learned much from his values, fairness, and work ethic. Throughout the past weeks Fred’s sons, Chris and Matt, along with their wives, Bev and Elizabeth, were the strength of the family. Fred would have been so proud of them had he known what they were all doing. As a last measure of respect, his employees will serve as his pallbearers.
Due to COVID, a private service for Fred was held. Online condolences can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The family would like to thank the staff at BayCare Hospital, especially the ICU workers. Heartfelt thanks go out to the angels at Homestead Health Care Center in New Holstein. They compassionately helped Fred transition from this life to the next when his family could not be there. They gave him reassuring comfort and prayers during that difficult time. Peggy would like to thank all who prayed for Fred. It was God’s choice that he needed to be called to his eternal home. Thank you to Father Bill O’Brien for his comforting words. Thank you all so much!