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Businessman Loses Battle Against Mesothelioma After 20 Months

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Irvin Vincent, 71, Luxemburg, died Saturday, September 06, 2003, after a courageous 20 month battle with Mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Irvin was born to the late Eli and Mary (Nellis) Vincent on January 1, 1932. Irvin is survived by his wife Nancy (Frisque); two sons; Vern and Jennifer (Gregorich) Vincent, Atlanta, GA; Lynie (Lonnie) and Michelle (Jubert) Vincent, New Franken; three grandchildren ; Andrew, Jakob, and Madison; two sisters Rosie (Myron) Janik of Lena; and Grace (Raymond) Kassner of Green Bay; sister-in-law Rosella (Adams) Vincent of Casco. His brother Edsel preceded him in death in 2001. Irvin was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Luxemburg and the American Legion Ralph Kline Post 262 Luxemburg.

Irvin was a very active man all of his life. He graduated from Luxemburg High School in 1950. He joined the Air Force during the Korean War and served most of his duty in Europe after being trained in crypto analysis in the United States. Irvin was a key player in breaking a very important foreign code while stationed overseas, and reported to the NSA. When he returned from Europe in 1955, he met Nancy Frisque and they were married June 14, 1958. Irvin and Nancy celebrated 45 years of marriage this year.

Upon his honorable discharge as SSGT from the Air Force, Irvin worked his way through Badger Business College to become a cost accountant. He held two different accounting jobs before starting his pride and joy, N.E.W. Plastics Corp. in 1968. He and Nancy continued to grow and nurture this business until his illness took him away for medical reasons in January of 2002. N.E.W. Plastics has grown to include three plants and employs over 220 people.

In the early 1970's Irvin, a true entrepreneur, had the brainstorm of recycling plastic milk containers and making plastic lumber out of the reclaimed material. Irvin spawned a complete new industry and many new markets with this new process of making Plastic Lumber. Renew Plastics has grown substantially since its inception, and continues its growth and market leadership in this highly vibrant industry.

Along the way Irvin became involved with The Bank of Luxemburg, and was voted onto the bank board of directors in January 1976. He was the bank's President from October 1990 until January 1994. He became the Chairman of the Board of the bank in January 1986, and still held this position at the time of his death. He continued to attend board meetings thru July 2003. Irvin was instrumental in the growth of the bank as well as keeping the bank locally owned and operated in times of massive bank consolidation. This allowed the bank to better serve and understand the local clientele needs within the community.

Irvin was also involved in East Shore Industries in Algoma, WI. He truly believed in helping people through this organization, and was very involved with fund raising activities for the benefit of East Shore's handicapped and underprivileged people. Irvin was involved in many other businesses, advisory boards, committees, board of directors, Luxemburg and Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce as well as many charities.

Irvin was also recognized many times during his life by state and local organizations. He recently received the Green Bay Press Gazette's "Everyday Hero" award for 2002. He has been recognized and awarded citations by Senators and Representatives for his continued devotion to improving the environment through his recycling efforts. The Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce also named him "Man of the Year" in 1984 for his continued community involvement in Luxemburg and he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Luxemburg-Casco High School. Irvin was also an American Legion Firing Squad member, an advisor to the WI Job Training Partnership Act, a founding member of the Luxemburg area Ducks Unlimited as well as a founding member of North Brook Country Club in Luxemburg.

Irvin also liked to spend time with his family and grandchildren, as well as golfing, attending Packer Games, fishing, hunting, playing cards, going to their cottage, bowling, and spending time with his favorite fish in his pond at his residence.

Visitation will be held at McMahon Funeral Home, 530 Main Street, Luxemburg, from 2 to 8 PM, Tuesday, September 9 th. American Legion service at 6:15PM Tuesday, and Parish Wake service at 6:30 PM. Visitation will continue at 9:45 AM September 10, at St Mary's Catholic Church, 1412 Main St., Luxemburg, WI, where a funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM with Rev. Milton M. Suess, officiating. Military Rites will follow the funeral service at the church. Entombment in the Shrine of the Good Shepherd Mausoleum, Bay Settlement Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a memorial fund in Irvin's name at the Bank of Luxemburg to be used for Irvin's favorite charities, projects and organizations. The Bank of Luxemburg's address is 630 Main Street, PO Box 440, Luxemburg, WI 54217-0440. Phone 920-845-2345.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of the family, friends, and co-workers that were so supportive and helpful throughout Irvin's sickness. A very special thank you also goes out to the wonderful ninth floor staff at St. Vincent's Hospital, Dr. Bayer and staff at Green Bay Oncology, and Unity Hospice for doing such a great job during a very difficult time. Also thanks go out to Dr. Volgelzang and his staff at the University of Chicago Hospital for their continued work and hopeful success on finding a cure for Mesothelioma.

Irvin will be missed greatly by all of the people that he has touched. It is not often that an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and a devoted Family man as busy as he was, always had time to help out just one more person. He was truly, one of a kind.

May God Bless you on your journey!

In December of 2001, Irvin developed a cold that he could not shake. He went to his primary physician, who had a chest film taken. The film indicated there was fluid on the lung. The doctor believed that Irvin had an infection and prescribed antibiotics and sent him home

When Irvin's symptoms did not improve, a second chest film was taken, which revealed the amount of fluid seemed to have increased. He was referred to another physician and underwent a thoracentesis. Approximately one pint of fluid was removed. A second thoracentesis later yielded approximately one liter of fluid.

On January 24, 2002, Irvin underwent an open lung biopsy at the Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. Some of the lower right lobe and pulmonary ligament node were removed, and during the procedure, spots on the diaphragm, lining and the entire right lung were observed. Through immunohistochemical staining, Irvin received the bad news with a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, epithelial type.

After a life of steadily climbing, Irvin refused to lay down. He traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he consulted with oncologist Dr. Randolph Marks, and thoracic surgeon, Dr. Claude Deschamps. Both physicians felt that Irvin was an excellent candidate for the most aggressive treatment available at Mayo - three cycles of chemotherapy to de-bulk the cancer, followed by surgery to remove all seen cancer, rounded out with a series of radiation treatments.