Orrin Russell Kasten, 88, prior resident of Portage, Wisconsin, passed away on Sunday, October 31, 2010, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home, King, where he had been a resident for 14 years.
Orrin was born August 8, 1922, in Lena, WI, the son of Henry A. and Louis Marquardt Kasten. On December 5, 1945, he eloped in marriage to Helen Theresa Kwiatkowski in Dubuque, Iowa. They celebrated 45 1/2 years of marriage. Orrin will be remembered for his friendly and helpful nature. He was very devoted to his ill wife and raising his only child. When able, he would take his daughter fishing or hunting. He taught her the love of animals, farm life, and compassion for people. It was his mission that his daughter get a college education. He took her to the library every week in Pardeeville or Portage to get books to improve her reading. He loved the quiet of fishing, dogs, and the beauty of nature. Orrin had a very strong faith in the Lord throughout his whole life, in later years being a role model to others with his faith. His life motto was “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He entered the Army in 1941, served as a medic during World War II in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. His bravery, courage, and attempts to administer aid to his wounded fellow soldiers lead him to put his own life in danger many times. He was severely wounded twice and returned to the battlefield after each recovery to help others. Several articles about his courage and bravery were written in the Milwaukee Journal. His bravery earned him the Purple Heart Medal. Midlife, he became disabled to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused during his service in World War II. This led to permanent hospitalization until his death at age 88, on October 31, 2010. He is preceded in death by his parents – Henry and Louisa; his wife – Helen; a brother – Melvin; and an infant son – Albert, along with four other children lost to miscarriages; and a nephew – Peter Kaylor. He is survived by a daughter, Marlene (Kasten) Palit of San Antonio, Texas; sisters, Shirley Block of Gillette, WI and Janet Kaylor of Fort Pierce, Florida and six nieces. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. in the chapel at Olson Hall on the Wisconsin Veterans Home campus in King, Wisconsin. Visitation will be held Thursday from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Service. Following the spiritual service will be a full Military Salute Service held outside Olson Hall. Burial will follow on Friday, November 5, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Portage, Wisconsin, where he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Helen Kasten. In lieu of flowers, it is requested donations be made to the local animal shelter in Waupaca or Portage, Wisconsin. The Holly Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.