SPARTA — Casper “Cap” P. Linnehan, 97, a longtime Sparta resident and lifelong resident of Monroe County, died Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, at the VA Medical Center in Tomah.
Cap was born Aug. 6, 1920, in Melvina, the youngest of six children, of Jerry and Tilly Linnehan. He married Dorothy Kroll Sept. 21, 1946, in Decatur, Ill. She preceded him in death in 1994.
Cap was a member of the elite First Special Services Force in World War II, a group that earned both the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Award for its renowned courage and skill in combat. Cap was wounded in combat in 1943, in Italy, for which he received the Purple Heart. During his long recovery, he forged what became lifelong friendships with two other wounded veterans, George Frode of Illinois and Morris “Pineapple” Kuhara of Hawaii. The three men stayed in contact over the years, including a reunion in Sparta, in 1995. Both friends preceded Cap in death.
Following the war, Cap worked for Overgaard Construction, before starting his own business, Linnehan Lime-Sand-Gravel-Excavating. The company was involved in many road projects in and around Monroe County, as well as projects for many private landowners. He sold the business in 1983.
Cap was well known for his restoration of old vehicles. His 1950 Willys Jeepster and 1929 Sterling dump truck were regulars in the Cashton Fall Festival parade and other community events. He also enjoyed traveling, cutting grass, and playing cards at the Leon Tavern. Cap was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Cashton VFW, and other veterans’ organizations.
He is survived by a daughter, Pauline (Bob) Walker of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; two grandchildren, Aaron Isensee of Miami, Fla., and Megan Isensee of Wisconsin Rapids; and one stepgranddaughter, Megan Walker of Marshfield. He was preceded in death by his parents, and all of his brothers and sisters.
The family wishes to offer special acknowledgement to many individuals who played a significant role in Cap’s life. Former neighbors, Tom and Joyce Wright, as well as Joe Stanek, have been good friends for many years. Nephews, Jerry (Mary) Cooley and Mike (Ann) Linnehan; nieces, Carol (Mike) Harris, Pat Kaufman, Ramona Zeurcher, and Sue Cooley; and family members, Jim and Carrie Schmitt, were very dear to Cap. The family also wishes to thank the staff at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, where Cap was treated with the utmost respect and received outstanding care for many years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church on St. Mary’s Ridge. Father Michael Klos will officiate. Burial with full military honors will follow in the church cemetery. Friends and family are invited for visitation from 9 a.m. until the time of the service Friday at the church. The Torkelson Funeral Home of Cashton is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are available at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.