American Veteran 04

Merrill J. "Butch" Liesch

September 19, 1939 ~ April 26, 2022 (age 82)


Merrill J. “Butch” Liesch, age 82, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in his home in St. Nazianz.

He was born on September 19, 1939 in Green Bay, the son of Nic and Vi (Newhouse) Liesch. Butch grew up in Freedom, helping his dad run Nic’s Bar and where his love of Bartending began. After graduating high school, Butch entered the United States Army in 1957. He was pretty proud of the fact that he was promoted and demoted in the same day (if you knew Butch, no explanation is necessary). After serving two years he was honorably discharged, he began attending college in La Crosse, but had to quit suddenly to take over running Nic’s Bar when his father passed away. Following a brief stint as a meat inspector with Hillshire Farms, Butch returned to doing what he loved best, when he purchased his first bar, The White Eagle, in Oneida. Over the next 60 years, Butch owned or operated other taverns, to include the Freedom VFW, the Freedom Bowling Alley, Pigeon Lake Resort, Osman Oasis, with his last being Das Settlement Opera House in St. Nazianz, WI.

Throughout his life, Butch touched many hearts, no one was a stranger to him. You couldn’t go anywhere with him and not run into someone he knew. Butch loved life and was determined to live it to the fullest. He always had a wisecrack ready and a story to tell.

Butch is survived by Pam Liesch, the mother of his two sons and three daughters: Alan (Irma) Liesch, Hemet, CA; Cindy (Thomas) Drue, St Robert, MO; Jeffrey Liesch, Cavour, Tammy Liesch, South Milwaukee, Tracey (Keith) Wenning, Oak Creek, six grandchildren Andrew (Celeste) Liesch, Megan (James) McGowen, Ryan Liesch, Rachel (Trevor Brown) Drue, Aaron Liesch, and Emily Liesch; and five great grandchildren. He is further survived by one sister, Yvonne Burrows; sister-in-law Delores Liesch, numerous nieces and nephews, and the family of his long-time partner Nancy “Nanner” Schultz. Preceding him in death were his parents: Nic and Vi Liesch, Nanner Schultz, brothers and sister-in-law: Donald and Esther Liesch, Vernon Liesch, an infant sister, and nephew Tim Reed.

A Celebration of Life to honor Butch will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm at Meats Opera House, 204 S. 4th Ave. St. Nazianz. The Christiansen & Deja Funeral Home of Valders is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting

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Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Merrill J. "Butch"

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Celebration of Life
May 3, 2022

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Meats Opera House

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