Werner “Skip” Pitzen passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2019, at Lakeside Health and Rehab at the age of 91 with his rosary in his hands.
Werner Ives Pitzen was born Aug. 1, 1928, to Werner and Lillian (Ives) Pitzen in Saint Paul.
Skip attended Saint Paul Academy, St. Thomas College, then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Attending the Jesuit retreat at Demontreville for the last 48 years, Skip led a life of contemplation and prayer. He taught his family to be a servant of Christ to others.
He was a pillar, the cornerstone of faith to his family of six children, 22 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Playing with grandchildren was at the top of the list. Skip lived a full life which included many things: playing golf, hunting, riding horses, traveling, playing hockey, boating and fishing.
Skip adored his loving wife of 65 years, Betty (Hermes) Pitzen. He worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation as a north regional supervisor of Land Management, retiring at the age of 90.
He had an incomparable sense of humor and telling stories was a favorite pastime. His smile and laughter were contagious to those around him. He leaves beautiful memories and a staggering legacy.
Surviving Skip is his loving wife of 65 years, Elizabeth “Betty” (nee Hermes); children Mary Budke of Mora, Werner Nick Pitzen of Moundsview, Bob Pitzen (Karen Becht) of Pine City, Teresa (Duane) Gaulke of Brook Park, Susan (John) O’Connor of North Branch, Tom (Cheryl) Pitzen of Pine City; 22 grandchildren Forrest (Liping) Adams, Elizabeth Adams, Clara (Abe) Ruse, Laura Budke, Robert (Rachel) Budke, Werner “Chris” Pitzen, Joseph Pitzen, Danielle Pitzen, Matt Brandl, Robert Pitzen Jr., Patrick Hanson, Lisa Hanson, Natalie Hanson, Lucas (Harmony) Swoboda, Kathrine Swoboda, Collin O’Connor, Jack O’Connor, Sarah (Josh) Boedigheimer, Erica Pitzen, Thomas Pitzen Jr., Anthony Pitzen, Daniel Pitzen; great-grandchildren Karissa, Anika, Ariana, Theresa, Zane, Zoey, Abe Jr., Elijah, William, Anthony, Olivia, Aria, Raiden, Anora, Mikolai, Aurora, Benjamin, Leo and Nova; sister-in-law Marie Pitzen of St. Paul; many nieces and nephews.
Skip is preceded in death by his parents Dr. Werner and Lillian Pitzen and his brother John “Jack” Pitzen.
Monsignor Aleksander Suchan and Father Michael Lyons concelebrated a Mass of Christian Burial for Skip at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Pine City. A time of visitation and reviewal was held from 10-11 a.m. in the St. Anthony commons area of the church with a 9:30 a.m. Legion of Mary/Knights of Columbus Rosary. The interment took place in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery of Pine City followed by a fellowship luncheon in the church lower level.
Memorials in Skip’s memory may be directed to: Immaculate Conception Church, 535 8th Street SW, Pine City, MN 55063.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City – Swanson Chapel. www.FuneralAndCremationService.com