REED CITY, Mich. - Milton R. Wirth Sr., 90, of Reed City, died Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
Milton (Meg) was born Sept. 5, 1922, the 10th of 12 children, to Sarah (Moser) and Jacob Wirth.
He attended the Trimner School, then Reed City High School from which he graduated in 1942. During his senior year, Milton enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sworn in by his former high school football coach, Harry Monson.
Milton served as a machinist mate second class operating a landing barge, primarily in the South Pacific campaign, on the USS Fayette. He participated in the invasion of Sicily, North Africa, and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Palau, Leyte, Luzon, Tarawa, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok; and was awarded several ribbons including one for the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign, and the Occupation Service as well as a Purple Heart.
In 1946, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth (Eleanor) Whalen, and to them two children were born, Milton Jr. and Nancy.
Milton always worked hard, starting on his family farm at an early age and then later in high school working on the Blank Family Farm. After his marriage, he was co-owner of Nelson Hardware. He briefly worked in construction; then, until his retirement, he worked as a machinist at what eventually became Cooper Industries.
Milton was a longstanding member of the Lou B. Winsor Masonic Lodge and was recently honored for 65 years of service to the lodge. He will also be remembered for his willingness to help others as well as his outstanding vegetable gardening, his manual building skills, and his wood craftsmanship.
Milton was preceded in death by 10 of his siblings as well as his wife, Eleanor. He is survived by his brother, Donald (Darlene) Wirth of Grand Rapids; sister-in-law, Leona Wirth of Reed City; son, Milton R. (Carol) Wirth, Jr. of Iron Mountain; daughter, Nancy (Rob Davenport) Wirth of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Jenifer (Jeremy) Brady of Coleman, Wis.; Jonathan Wirth of Osaka, Japan; Nicholas Davenport of Baltimore, Md.; and Alex Davenport of Beloit, Wis.; and great-grandchildren Adarae and Scott Brady.
A graveside service will be announced in the near future. Memorials may be directed to the Lou B. Winsor Masonic Lodge363 or the food bank at St. Phillip Neri Church, both in Reed City.