Jeffrey “Jeff” Liethen
Jeffrey John Liethen Colonel (Ret.)
October 26, 1958 – April 25 2019
Jeffrey “Jeff” Liethen passed away peacefully from cancer on Thursday, April 25th 2019 in his home surrounded by his loving family.
Jeff was born Oct 26, 1958, in Appleton, to John “Jack” and Betty (Baerwald) Liethen. On July 2, 2005, Jeff married Julia (Andreas) Liethen. Throughout their marriage, Jeff, Julia and Barnacle (their mouser) worked hard entertaining friends and family on their houseboat “The Huntress”. Jeff and Julia along with their family and friends have made many fond memories cruising on the Mississippi.
Jeff is survived by his wife, Julia Liethen; brothers and sisters, Brian (Linda) Liethen, Paul (Heather) Liethen, Christine (John) Clark, Patrick Liethen, and Jenifer (Bradford) Fry; nine nieces and nephews; Brent, Andrew, Jesse, Abby, Billy, Lexi, Dylan, Jenna, and Josie, and step mother, Bonnie Liethen. He is preceded in death by his parents, Betty Liethen and John “Jack” Liethen.
Jeff Liethen started his military career in 1977 when he joined the Army National Guard 273rd Engineer Company in Onalaska, WI. Rising through the enlisted ranks, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and assumed the role of Squad Leader. Col. Liethen later attended the Army Officer Candidate School and in 1983 was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant – Corps of Engineers.
Col. Liethen served as an officer in a variety of engineer command and staff assignments in Wisconsin and abroad, to include company, battalion, and brigade command positions. His combat zone deployments include service in support of Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), and Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo).
Col. Liethen is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (2), the Bronze Star Medal (2), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (4), and the Army Achievement Medal, among many others.
Col. Liethen was honorably discharged from the Army in 2013 with over 35 years of military service. He retired in the Coulee Region with his wife Julia, and near their family and good friends.
Jeff enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, music and fun with family and friends.
As special thanks to Mayo Health System Hospice staff; Mary his caring nurse, Gloria for the gentle bathes, Holly, Tuesday, Liz, Kristin, Steve, and Jason.
A celebration of his life with full military honors will take place on Friday, May 17th, 2019 from 1 pm to 3 pm, in the Prairie Room, at Coulee Region Cremation Group,133 Mason St. Onalaska, WI. A light lunch will follow at the Onalaska American Legion on 731 Sand lake Rd, Onalaska. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to a memorial bench for Jeff that will be placed at Lock and Dam 6 in Trempealeau.
To view Jeff’s memorial video, copy and paste the following link below into your web browser.