George Edward Woell

March 23, 1922-Feb. 24, 2018

George Edward Woell,

95 years, died Saturday,

February 24, 2018 in Ona-

laska, WI after a short

time in Hospice care.

He was born March 23,

1922 in Browerville, Min-

nesota to Edward and

Anna (Laumeyer) Woell,

the 3rd of 4 children.

George attended St.

Peter’s Catholic School

and graduated from

Browerville High School

in 1940.

He worked at Thomp-

son Lumber Yard before

joining the Marines in

1942 to fight in the Pacific

Theatre of World War II.

He saw action in Bougain-

ville, Guam and Okinawa

as a radio communica-

tions specialist with the

155 Gun Battalion, a divi-

sion of the 1st Marines.

He was honorably

discharged in August


Upon returning to the

United States, George

found employment with

the Great Northern Rail-

road in 1946 in Minot,

North Dakota, working as

a fireman on steam

locomotives and eventual-

ly as an engineer. During

this time, he saw the

railroad’s redevelopment

and merger into The Bur-

lington Northern Railway.

George retired from the

BN in 1987.

George married Cather-

ine “Katie” J. Korenic,

whom he met at his

brother’s wedding after a

three-month courtship.

They were married on

Valentine’s Day 1953 in

Milwaukee. Together they

settled in Minot and

raised five children. They

had a passionate and

dedicated union and were

together for 55 years until

Katie’s death in 2008.

While in Minot, George

started Woell Construc-

tion Company (1950). He

and his partner, John Kell-

er, worked together to

build over 350 homes in

and in the surrounding

Minot area. They also

built homes at the nearby

Minot Air Force Base.

George retired and closed

out Woell Construction in


Throughout his life in

Minot, George exhibited

great leadership, organiza-

tional skills and persever-

ance in many organiza-

tions. He was a

problem-solving and

determined individual

who was a proficient fun-

draiser and constantly

sought to improve himself

and his community. He

was active in politics as a

Labor representative and

as a Past State Chairper-

son of the Legislative

Board of Locomotive En-

gineers, where he served

as a National


George was a precinct

committee person for the

Democratic NPL Party,

41st District, for ten years.

He was a past director of

the Burlington Northern

Employees’ Club, the

Minot Area Development

Corporation, the Minot

Planning Commission, the

Chamber of Commerce

Transportation Commit-

tee, and the Mental Health

Society of Ward County.

He was active in the

American Red Cross and

Community Chest, and

held many leadership po-

sitions at St. Leo’s Cathol-

ic Church and the PTA at

St. Leo’s and Roosevelt

Schools. George was past

President and

Secretary/Treasurer of the

Minot Sertoma Club for

which he worked tireless-

ly to raise funds. He

served on the North Dako-

ta Milk Stabilization

Board for seven years.

George also served on the

Board of Regents at Minot

State College under Gor-

don B. Olson. In 1972 he

was chosen Burlington

Northern Railway’s “Man

of the Year” from among

its 45,000 employees.

George was a member

of the Veterans of Foreign

Wars, American Legion,

and was a Disabled Amer-

ican Veterans Life

Member. He was proud to

serve for six years as the

director of the Railroad

Museum in Minot’s

Roosevelt Park.

He had a passion for

raising New Zealand

White Rabbits and found-

ed the NoDak Rabbit

Marketing Corporation in

Granville, North Dakota

which he dissolved in

1978. He was past

president of the New Zea-

land Federation Rabbit

Breeders and Rabbit Club

and served as a judge of

rabbits at the ND State

Fair for the 4-H Division.

George had a great love

of the outdoors, hunting

ducks as a young man and

raising chickens and rab-

bits in which he took

great pride. He loved his

small farm north of Minot

and raised a variety of gar-

den vegetables and fruits

which he made into

preserves and wine. He

loved history and often

talked of his German

roots. He was a dedicated

provider and loving father

to his surviving four chil-


George is survived by:

his daughters; Catherine

(Gary) Walth of Onalaska,

WI, Mary (William) Flick-

inger of Brookfiled, WI,

Ann Woell of Moorhead,

MN and son, Dr. Edward

Woell (Lisa Kernek) of

Macomb, IL. He has nine

grandchildren; Michael

(Amy), Therese, Sarah,

Jacqueline, Christine,

Katherine, Madeline (Jus-

tin), David and Julia. Four


Jacob, Emily, William and

Evangeline and numerous

nieces and nephews.

George was preceded in

death by: his wife, Katie;

his daughter, Therese

Ann in 1978, and all of

his siblings and their

spouses, as well as all of

Katie’s immediate family,

particularly a very dear

sister-in-law, Therese


A memorial service for

George was held on

March 4th in Onalaska,

Wisconsin. He will be laid

to rest in Rosehill

Cemetery, Minot, North

Dakota. Schumacher-Kish

Funeral and Cremation

Services of Onalaska is as-

sisting the family. Online

guestbook is available at

George liked to say:

“One must Plant in order

to Reap.” Blessed be the

memory of George E.