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Anthony L. Ceelen
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Obituary for Anthony L. Ceelen

Anthony (Tony) Leonard Ceelen, age 72, beloved husband, father, grandpa and great Bompa, passed away on Thursday, May 17, 2018, after a courageous battle with stomach cancer, surrounded by his loving family. The youngest of 10 children, he was born on January 30, 1946 to William and Ann Ceelen. Tony graduated from Oshkosh High School in 1964, where he excelled in football, earning the honors of All-Conference and All-State for both the Offense and Defense. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he was a member of the football team and continued to play both Offense and Defense.
Tony joined the US Army Reserves and after two years in the Reserves, he volunteered for the draft and joined the US Army. While serving in Vietnam, he was decorated for Valor with a Bronze Star and Oak Leaf Cluster. Upon returning to the US, Tony completed Drill Sergeant School in Fort Polk, LA. After his two year service commitment, he returned to Oshkosh, where he joined the active Army Reserves and became Senior Drill Sergeant, where he was in charge of the Drill Sergeant Academy, at 2nd Brigade, 84th Division.
Tony was employed at the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, starting out as a Corrections Officer and retiring as Captain of the Training Department. During his 28 year law enforcement career, he represented the Sheriff’s Department on the Four Man Pistol Team, where they won the National Championship in the Expert Class in Police Combat Shooting in Jackson, MS. After retiring, Tony joined the Sheriff’s Reserves, where he worked for another 10 years.
In September of 1993, he met Patti Damerow (Lautenschlager). On May 3rd, 1997, we were married. Although it wasn't long enough, God gave us 25 wonderful years together. During that time, we took road trips to Florida, Colorado, Canada, Louisiana, a train to Texas and a cruise. Every year for the past 9 years he/we drove down to Tennessee, where we attended a reunion with a number of his Vietnam "brothers and sisters". That was a drive Tony always loved to take; reconnecting with so many of his Vietnam "brothers and sisters", where they could talk, laugh and cry. A great time was always had by all who attended. We want to thank some of those "brothers and sisters" for making the trip here to Oshkosh to show their respects and say a final farewell to a fallen comrade: Leonard and Connie Frye, Wl, Bill and Judy Buss, Wl, Dale and Linda Melton, IL, George and Carol Lefman, MO, Ed and Becky Arendt TN, and Craig Fring, PA.
In his retirement, Tony enjoyed hunting, spending time with his wife and family, fishing, recreational shooting- trap and skeet, as well as rifle and pistol shooting at local clubs. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Disabled Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, Americal Division, several local gun clubs, and an active member of Saint Raphael’s Catholic Church.
Tony is survived by his wife, Patti; his daughters, Maggie (Steve) Faust and their children, Mimi and Carson Faust; Katy Klug and her children, Trysten and Kathryn Hazen, and Gabriel Klug; step-daughter, Tina Kruger and her children, David (Shelby) Lautenschlager, Brandon (Brittany) Kruger; great granddaughter, Arwyn Lautenschlager; sisters, Dinah Schmidt, Grace Sawyer, Rose (Jim) Scheuerman and Pat (Lynn) Kraus; sister-in-law, Joyce Ceelen; mother-in-law, Marilyn Lautenschlager; brothers-in-law, Craig (Cher), Kerry (Jan), Jay (Sherry), David (Sue) Lautenschlager; and sister-in-law, Jill (Jeff) Doro; as well as many nieces and nephews. Tony and his nephew John Ceelen had a very special bond. They traveled together, hunted, fished and laughed together. Tony jokingly and lovingly referred to John as "the son I wish I'd never had".
Tony was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ann Ceelen; his brothers, Henry and Bill Ceelen; sisters, Charlotte Bruss, Beatrice Getchel, Jean Grabel; and father-in-law, Jerome Lautenschlager.
Visitation will be held at Saint Raphael's Catholic Church on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 9:00-11:00 am, immediately followed by a Mass of Christian burial. A private burial will be held at Lake View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to St. Jude's and Shriner's Children's Hospitals.
We want to thank Dr. Abbi and all the staff at Oncology and Hematology at Mercy Medical Center. Also the staff at Affinity Hospice for their dedicated support and care, especially Jenny and Jessica.
Poem written by Patti to Tony. The love of my life and the bravest man I know.
What Will I Do Without You?
What will I do without you when the sun comes up tomorrow?
You won't be here to hold me tight and wipe away my sorrow.
My tears will fall, my heart will break, the day will last forever.
For you, my love, are far away, too far to be together.
For you now live in paradise, with our Savior and our Lord.
You are young and strong and healthy, like the way you were before.
Please know I'm going to miss you, more than words can ever say.
You'll be part of every memory, from dawn till end of day.
What will I do without you when the moon comes out at night?
The sun is gone, the darkness comes, the stars still shining bright.
That will be the hardest time for me, when loneliness sets in.
That's when I'll miss you most of all, my husband and best friend.
We knew at once, when we first met, our love was meant to be.
God had a plan for both of us, of that we do agree.
Your strength, your courage, your sense of humor, all the things I love so much.
I'll hold close to all those memories, your hugs, your kiss, your touch.
What will I do without you until Heaven calls my name?
I'll take just one day at a time, until we meet again.
My love always and forever.

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Previous Events





9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church

830 S. Westhaven Drive
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54904





11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church

830 S. Westhaven Drive
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54904

Cemetery Details


Lake View Memorial Park

2786 Algoma Blvd,
Oshkosh, WI 54901


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