It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that our brother Niles J. Delfosse, 68, of Green Bay, passed away peacefully at Clement J. Zablocki Spinal Cord Injury Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 6, 2017 with family at his side. Niles was born October 24, 1948 to the late Roland K. and Jennie R. (Jauquet) Delfosse in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He attended S.S. Peter & Paul grade school, Premontre High School, East High School and graduating from Premontre High School Class of 1967.
While in high school he worked at Barney’s drive thru on Willow Street (now University Avenue) and after graduation he worked for Pabst delivering to area taverns until he was drafted. He entered the U.S. Army March 10, 1969 and during his 14 month tour in Vietnam with his unit “The Wolfhounds” he received a Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Overseas Bars and Air Medal. He was honorably discharged October 11, 1970. Niles managed his life the best he could after service and never lost his sense of humor, his love of family and his friendships. He never quite conquered his lateness or not showing up for family gatherings, bowling, baseball games and tournaments but always had an excuse whether it be the truth or not. You couldn’t stay upset with him long because no one knew what he was going through. His choices were his choices and we just had to be there for him whether we agreed or not.
Niles along with business partners started taverns throughout the city of Green Bay. They had The Brewery, Tucker Inn, Floyds, Oscar’s, and Partner’s II. Niles alone had Nilie’s Pub and Ol’ Bluestone which he was operating at the time of his hit and run accident which happened December 31, 1996. He was walking on Manitowoc Road and was hit from behind by a drunk driver. When he had to appear in court for sentencing of the person that hit him he asked if he could speak and the Judge agreed. He talked in his monotone voice and one of the things he said was “I know that I would be a hypocrite if I said I never drank and drove and I’m sure a lot of you in this court room could say the same but I know for a fact I would never have left someone to die”. This had quite an impact on the court room and the Judge presiding.
Niles enjoyed sports of any kind and excelled in many in his grade school and high school days. He especially liked golf and missed playing the game after his accident.
The last 20 years have been a challenge for Niles but he never gave up and he didn’t let his disability slow him down. He lived on his own with home care and went wherever he wanted with the help of his wheelchair, his handicapped van and the Metro system. Over the last 10 years his disability was taking a toll on his body’s health and for the last 1-1/2 to 2 years he was basically in bed most of the time trying to heal. He was not happy about this arrangement and decided along with his doctors to have surgery this past February. It was successful and he felt the best he had in a long time. He was returning home to Green Bay April 4, 2017 and planned on attending Billy Joel’s concert at Lambeau Field and of course his beloved Packers games this fall, the City Deck, attending Mass at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and just enjoying his freedom and independence. He returned to church approximately 15 years ago with the help of Sister Loretta Beyer, she taught him how to pray and he truly loved God and often said he was Blessed.
Unfortunately on Sunday April 2, 2017 he attended 10:30 Mass at the VA Chapel. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Milwaukee. He talked to Father Patrick Fitzsimons after Mass and discussed how great he felt and how excited he was about going home. After talking with Father Patrick he decided to go outside because it was such a beautiful day. He somehow got distracted and misjudged a curb and was thrown from his wheelchair. He incurred several broken bones including his left femur resulting in fat embolism (emboli) which left him in a comatose state.
Niles enjoyed life to the fullest and before his surgery in February he had discussed openly with his doctors and social worker that if for some reason something went wrong and he couldn’t have quality of life he didn’t want to live on life support. He truly was an unselfish man.
Niles is survived by one brother and three sisters, Milan (Gloria) Delfosse of Green Bay, Loretta (Mike) Granius of Stuart FL, Sandy Marchant of Green Bay, Charlene (Roger) Motquin of Bellevue, sister-in-law, Judy Delfosse of Two Rivers. 13 nieces and nephews, Greg Delfosse of Two Rivers, Marilee (Pete) Weaver of Whitelaw, Penny (David) Lutterman of Whitelaw, Lori (Philip) Kunesh-Carrasco of Odessa TX, Dennis (Kim) Delfosse of Cumberland, Brenda (David) Jones of Abrams, David (Carey) Granius of Oneida, Marty Granius of Menasha, Jennifer Lipscomb of Woodstock, GA, Sara Marchant of Howard, Jenna Marchant of Milwaukee, Tony (Tammy) Motquin of Ashwaubenon, Heidi (Mark) LeMere of Suamico; 19 great nieces and nephews; 2 uncles and 2 aunts, Ida Alsteen of Luxemburg, Alvin (Rena) Jauquet (Godfather) of Green Bay, Francis (Rita) Jauquet of Brussels, Lucy Jauquet of New Franken.
Beside his parents Niles was preceded in death by 1 niece Holly Delfosse, aunts and uncles, George (Verna) Jauquet, John Jauquet, Florence (Earl) VandenAvond, Josie (Bill) Destree, James Alsteen, Dorothy (John) Willems, Neoma (Elmer) Baudhuin, Florence (Ray) Dequaine.
Friends may call at Malcore Funeral Home Monday June 12, from 4 PM until 8 PM. Parish wake service at the funeral home at 7 PM. Visitation will continue Tuesday at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral 140 S Monroe, from 12:30 PM until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 2 PM with Rev. Joseph Dorner officiating. Entombment will be in the Allouez Chapel Mausoleum at a later date.
The family would like to thank the ER, ICU and PCU staff, also Dr. Farhad Sepahpanah and his team, all the nurses and staff in the Spinal Cord Injury Center, his buddy Michelle in PT and all his home health caregivers for all the care and support given to Niles and his family during this very difficult time. We also want to thank Fred and Kathie Gerondale for their love and friendship.
Spec4 let’s raise that arm one last time…Salute. Thanks for the memories we will miss you.
In lieu of flowers please direct donations to Clement J. Zablocki Spinal Cord Injury center in Niles' name.