Amos Wallace Kingsley Jr. was born on May 1, 1940 to Amos Wallace Kingsley Sr., and Dorothy Decorah(Greengrass). He was born in the Indian Mission in the town of Komensky. At a young age, with his sister Betty and Nettie, they moved to Cranmoor to live with his Aunt Mabel and uncle Ed Lincoln. As a young child in Cranmoor he spent his days fishing, swimming, climbing trees, building snow forts, playing Army, and anything else that kept him outdoors. He was taught the value of helping his neighbors. He would talk about spending his summers splitting wood to give away to neighbors who needed it in the winter. He remembered the smiles on peoples faces when they would arrive with their wagon full of wood. He would say that their smiles made all the hot, summer days splitting wood worth it. Ed Lincoln and Bill Mike were the two main influences that gave him the work ethic that guided him his entire career.
While going to school in Port Edwards, Amos loved sports. He joined the wrestling team and the football team. At home he would be trusted to pick teams for weekend baseball games with all the neighbor kids. Snowball fights were organized, with him picking the sides. Betty recalled that all the kids would just listen and follow his lead, trusting his judgement without question. Even at a young age he had a gift as a leader.
By the time he was 15 he decided it was time to earn money. His uncle Ed got him a job working on a cranberry marsh after school. With the wages he made, he would treat his sisters and help with things around the house.
Amos left school early to join the Navy where he excelled. On July 28th, 1957 he enlisted in the US Navy, completing basic training at the RTC-Great Lakes. After basic he was trained in military repair, electronics, and finished his schooling learning underwater demolition at AMPHIBPAC in Coronado, CA. Amos served on several ships, starting on the USS Jason, then the USS St. Paul. He was selected by Admiral Shae, the commander of the Seventh Fleet to work for him directly. Amos would go on to serve in Sasabo, Japan and aboard the USS Providence, as well as many others. As a radioman Amos sent and received sensitive communications which required top security clearance. Throughout his years he maintained his duty, keeping the Navy’s information secret, never to speak of it. His service to his nation was the proudest achievement of his life.
After completing his Navy service Amos returned and began his career as a commercial truck driver doing long and short haul jobs. He married his first wife Lorraine and lived in northern Minnesota, working and making a home for his family helping Lorraine raise Preston and Avis. He called Minnesota home until he moved back to Wisconsin in the 90’s where he got work in construction. He started working as a mason tender, and doing roofing around Jackson County so he could be near his mother Dorothy. Soon after returning to Black River Falls he met Judith Dahl, and married her. Amos settled back into life in Jackson County, making a home and helping raise his stepchildren Jason, Tammy, Amanda and Greg.
Throughout his life Amos believed in helping others and working hard. Early on, before moving back to Jackson County, he saw an opportunity to get a Food Distribution Center built in the Mission. He worked on this project, seeing it through from an idea to an operating building. He spent his latter years working and volunteering for the Ho-Chunk Nation. Over the years he worked for the Nation is different jobs, he loved working for the Nation’s Natural Resources Department and enjoyed the time with his co-workers. Through the Ho-Chunk Nation he taught Ho-Chunk language classes to headstart students. He attended training and was certified as a Lay Advocate for the Ho-Chunk Nation Court system, to help tribal members navigate the tribal legal system. With his experience in construction Amos also served on the Nation’s Housing oversight committee.
From his beloved granddaughter Nadine Little:
My grandfather Amos was a great man. He raised me from the time I was 6 months old. He taught me how to be the strong-minded person I am today. He always talked with his hands. He lived a life of taking care of his kids and doing what he wanted and liked to do in his life. He is my grandfather, but I called him Dad. A few years back Amos took care of his great-grandson Wesley Nathaniel Little for a few years of his life. He taught Wesley to be a good man, and how to stay that way. I’m a daddies girl and he was the greatest dad ever. He will be missed by all of us.
All I know is he will is not hurting or suffering anymore, and he’ll be watching over us until we see him again. I would like to thank all the family and friends that watched over him until he went home. I would like to give a special thank you to my brother Dave who took care of him and was there for him these last few years of his life.
He loved us and will still love us in his own way. We love you Dad and will miss you. Tell everyone, when you get there, we all said Hi!
Our family would like to recognize his stepdaughters Tammy Taylor and Amanda Cottone Bowe. As his health waned Tammy and Amanda put aside their personal lives to help their dad. Through his illnesses and hospitalization they saw to his every need. His last days were spent in respite care, and eventually hospice. He had no wants or needs, he was cared for and loved. Tammy and Amanda stayed with Betty in Amos’ room on his last day, all staying overnight until he drew his last breath. Their self-sacrifice will be remembered by the entire family. God bless you both, may He guide you and protect you both and bless all your days.
He is survived by his son Jason Sellrede; daughters, Tammy (Chris) Taylor and Amanda (Gavin) Bowe; brother, Rishie Brown; sisters, Betty Kingsley, Nettie Kingsley, Jo Vita Orosco, La Verda Richer; grandchildren, Nadine Little and David Little, and numerous great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
Amos is preceded in death by his parents; step children, Prescott Little, Avis Nadine Little, Greg Cottone; siblings, Philip Williams, Walter Williams, Wanda Mar Rase, Jay Jay Greengrass, William O’Brian, and infant sister Patricia Kingsley.
Services for Amos will be at the Buswell Funeral home at 11:00 AM. Lot Smith will be officiating. Friends and family are welcome to visitation from 9:00 AM until time of services. With burial immediately following.
The Buswell Funeral home is assisting the family with arrangements.