South Milwaukee’s most famous native son just got one step closer to achieving the kind of immortal greatness often reserved for war generals.
Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home on Thursday donated $10,000 to an initiative dedicated to erecting a statue of Hall of Fame professional wrestler Reggie Lisowski, better known as The Crusher.
The blond-haired, blued-eye buff Polish athlete worked from the 1940s until the 1980s, and was admired by tens of thousands of fans around the country and in Canada. However, none were more supportive than the place from which he came.
Lisowski grew up and made his home in South Milwaukee, and his wrestling persona lionized the blue-collar worker. He died in 2005 at the age of 79, but he is in no way forgotten. Proudly, his funeral services were performed by Molthen-Bell & Son.
Fans still flock to his grave at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Cudahy. However, one fan, Chris Smith, a 39-year-old lawyer, thinks Lisowski deserves a more fitting tribute – a bronze statue of “Da Crusher” on Milwaukee Avenue.
“We knew Da Crusher, grew up with him in this community, and he made us proud,” said John Klein, general manager of Molthen-Bell Funeral Home. “We’re never going to forget him, and the statue will be a reminder of the come-uppance of the common man.”
Smith, who seems too young to be a fan, added in his own gravelly imitation, “Stereotypical Milwaukee guy, a factory worker, a bricklayer. I'm strong. I'm tough. I'm blue collar. I drink beer. I do the polka.”
Klein immediately liked the idea and put his company’s support behind it. The $40,000 funding goal for the statue is now on track, with municipal regulatory hurdles and design considerations up next.
Molthen-Bell has family and business roots that span more than a century in South Milwaukee. As a pillar of the community, the funeral home often looks for ways to work with local organizations, charities and families to make life better for area residents.
For more info, please call (414) 762-0154. We serve South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Cudahy, St. Francis and Wind Point.