Sunday, November 16, 2003

Obituary: George W. Icke - Class of 1929

MADISON - George W. Icke, age 92, peaceably ended an extraordinary life at Attic Angel Place, Madison, on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003. He was the youngest son of John F. Icke and Della Wyman and was born in Madison on April 26, 1911. Except for a brief stint in the Civilian Conservation Corps at Durand, he lived in Madison all his life. He attended Randall School, Central High School, and Madison West High School. He graduated in the Class of 1933, from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Civil Engineering. He was the principal officer of Icke and Pankow and then Icke Construction Co. Inc., which grew from an original partnership of John F. Icke, his father, and Theodore J. Pankow. He served in this capacity for nearly 60 years. During this long tenure he had the good fortune to see Madison grow in every direction many times over, but his particular interest was the development of the Greenbush area near south Madison where many of the descendants of the original Italian workforce employed by his father lived. He was also active in the general business community of Madison where he was one of the founding directors of both WKOW-TV and the Westgate Bank. He was a member of Christ Presbyterian Church for nearly 80 years, had long tenures in Downtown Rotary (President 1973), the Madison Technical Club, the Madison Club (President 1968), Maple Bluff Country Club, the Madison Friends of the Arboretum, the Madison Stamp Club, and his favorite "crony" group, the Bushwackers. George's interests were formed during the 1920s when he and his siblings, Helen, Phil, and Paul supplied the lion's share of labor in the family truck garden in the new, raw subdivision of the Highlands. His interest in gardening, hoeing weeds, and collecting produce resulted from these early times. The distribution of the produce in more recent times was legendary. Growing things made him feel good and this grew into financial support for both the Arboretum and Olbrich Gardens. At age 92, George was very nearly the last man standing in his contemporary group. This was a fact that gave him pride and lonesome regret in equal parts. He greatly missed his two wives who predeceased him. He will be missed in this world by all those whose lives he touched with his sly grin, clever puns, humor, and genuine appreciation. George was a leader who led by example and nearly everyone who ever worked for Icke Construction Co. Inc. would agree that the most fitting monuments to him would be a statue of a shoveler using his knees properly or his hand reaching up with the famous white handkerchief calling for attention "over here!" He is survived by his children, John (Karen) Icke, Madison, Joan (Tad) Dunn, Madison, Virginia (Jeanette) Brown, Philadelphia, Pa., and Philip (Tara) Icke, Madison; grandchildren, Elizabeth Cross, Madison, Julie Dunn, Durango, Colo., Janet Todd, Richmond, Va., Abigail Bloedorn, Fort Collins, Colo., Robert Icke, Madison, Diana Icke, Washington, D.C., Alexander Brown, Issaquah, Wash., and Lindsay Brown, Denver, Colo. He was preceded in death by his two wives, Virginia Black, and Mary White; and a great-grandchild, Petra Bloedorn, Fort Collins, Colo. Memorials may be made to the Madison Rotary Foundation, the UW Arboretum, or the Great Performance Fund in care of the Madison Community Foundation. Visitation will be Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison. Funeral services will be at ATTIC ANGEL PLACE in January 2004. A family memorial service will be held in the Highlands in the spring.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 16, 2003

Note: George Icke's class year is based on information in the 1929 Tychoberahn, where his photo is included among those of the February Class. He is also lsited at the vice-president of the February 1929 class.

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