The family of Wayne Lee Staufenbeil describe him as a devoted family man who also loved doing puzzles and NASCAR.

Staufenbeil died Saturday after he choked on a piece of meat at the annual Greek Fest at Kimissis Tis Theotokou Church, 1335 S Green Bay Road. He will be laid to rest Friday at 2 p.m. with full military honors at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 21731 Spring Street, Union Grove. There will be visitation and a service starting at 11 a.m. at Sturino Funeral Home, 3014 Northwestern Avenue. The service begins at 12:30 p.m.

“(He) put down his pen and crossword puzzle for the last time on Saturday, June 25, 2016,” his obituary on the Sturino website reads. “Taken from us suddenly at the age of 73, the world has lost one of the greatest NASCAR fans.”

Staufenbeil is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his children – Dwayne, Jeffrey, Michelle Pendergast and Bradly – as well as his brother, David, and his sister Diane Nolte. He and Patricia were married for 53 years and have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Staufenbeil was an avid gardener, enjoyed his dogs and had a soft spot for the birds that nest in his garage. He was also a Marine and a 38-year veteran of AT&T who was never without his crossword puzzles or Sudoku. .

“He never owned a cell phone, and he never connected to the internet,” his family wrote. “He loved all things NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt was his favorite driver. Never schedule anything during a race!”

And while his family is grieving deeply over Staufenbeil’s death, they very much appreciate the strangers who rushed to his aid and the medical teams that worked so hard to save him. They said Staufenbeil would have been amused at making the news.

Family and friends are asked to write a memory or bring a photo of Staufenbeil to the service to be displayed as a keepsake for his family.

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