2001 Arvo Britten  Lifetime Service  Merrill.gifArvo Britten did not wrestle as a student at Wausau High School, Wausau, Wisconsin. He played in the 1955 state basketball tournament. Graduating in 1955, he went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Britten graduated in 1960 with a degree in physical education.
While a student at Stevens Point, Britten played basketball and football for one year. During his last 2 years, he went out for wrestling. In 1959, he placed 2nd in the WSUC Conference tournament. In 1960, Britten placed 2nd in the State AAU tournament.
Merrill Public Schools hired Britten as a junior high physical education instructor. In 1964, Britten became a member of the Merrill wrestling coaching staff. Britten accepted the junior high wrestling coach position. In 1964, he started the freshman wrestling program in Merrill. Since that time he has never had a season with more than 2 losses. He accumulated a record of 207-17-0. All seven state champions from Merrill have had Britten as their freshman wrestling coach. He stressed acquiring the fundamentals. He has set high educational standards and expectations of his wrestlers.
While teaching and coaching, Britten decided to become a wrestling official. Little did he know that he would eventually become on of the top officials in Wisconsin. As an official, Britten would set standards by which others may be measured. Britten is a professional on and off the mat.
Britten has always conducted himself as a professional and a gentleman. He has been in high demand to officiate any match and any meet. Coaches and wrestlers alike, respect his judgement. He is concise, knowledgeable and authoritative in his official's judgements. Britten has developed a reputation statewide. Britten has officiated regional and sectionals every year that he has been registered and dating back to 1965. Doug Chickering, WIAA Executive Director, states, "Arvo (Britten) is a master official. He brings to any contest a level of knowledge, competence and experience that very few can claim."
What Britten has done is direct the course of wrestling not only in the Merrill area, but also the state of Wisconsin. He has been a contributing influence for wrestling for over 25 years. He was concerned about the direction wrestling took and will continue to do so. Not only has Britten conducted WIAA wrestling rules interpretation meetings, but he has been called upon by WIAA administration to help interpret rules. As recent as 1989, Britten was the Head Official at the annual WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. As stated by Don Hermann, WIAA Assistant Director, "Arvo is the "coaches' official", the "Officials' official", the "consummate official."
Britten officiated at all levels. He has been called upon to officiate at the collegiate level which included two national collegiate tournaments.


Arvo Robert Britten
1936 - 2017 Obituary 
Arvo Robert Britten Obituary
Britten, Arvo Robert

Arvo Robert Britten, 81, of Wausau passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017, after a battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Arvo was born in Durand, Wisconsin on September 10, 1936 to the late Robert and Lila (DeMarce) Britten. He graduated from Wausau High in 1955, where he played varsity football, basketball and baseball. He was captain of Wausau High's 1955 state basketball team and played second base on the baseball team.

Arvo attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and graduated in 1960 with a degree in Physical Education. During his years at the university, Arvo played football and baseball, eventually making wrestling his sport of choice for his last two years there. As a wrestler, he placed 2nd in the WSUC Conference Tournament (1959) and 2nd in the State AAU tournament (1960).

Arvo joined the United States Army in 1960 and served until 1963, during which time he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal as well as a badge for Sharpshooter in both rifle and carbine. During his time in the service he played for the baseball and softball team as catcher and was a member of the Southeast Asian championship team in 1962.

After leaving the Army, Arvo was hired by Merrill Public Schools as a junior high social studies instructor, later becoming a physical education instructor. Throughout his career, he coached football and track but found his greatest success in the wrestling program where he accumulated a record of 207-17-0, never losing more than two matches in any one season. He also found time to umpire baseball and softball and officiate wrestling matches, a dedication that would continue for over 50 years and result in him being inducted into the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame (1990) and given the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Contribution (2001) - the first wrestling official to ever be given this award. The many friendships he made supporting the sports he loved were an integral part of who he was.

In his spare time Arvo enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially his trips to Wyoming and Canada with friends who shared his enthusiasm for the outdoors. He loved tending to his rose bushes and proudly showed them off when given a chance. He loved to bake and cook as well as watch the Badgers and Packers. He passed along his love of fishing - teaching all of his grandchildren how to fish.

Arvo is survived by his life companion of the last 24 years, Nelda Hettinga; his children, Marc Britten of Woodbury, Minnesota, Andrea Britten (Stephen Mobley) of McLean, Virginia, Dana Britten of St. Paul, Minnesota, Carrie (Spiro) Avouris of Melbourne, Australia, and step-daughter Marie (Chris) Peterson of Merrill, Wisconsin. His grandchildren include Jordann Britten, Maxwell and Henry Mobley, Lila Avouris, a baby girl expected in February, and step-grandchildren Greta and Garik Peterson. He is also survived by his brother Martin (Cindy) Britten of Indiana.

A memorial service will take place at 5:30 pm on Friday, November 17, 2017 at Brainard Funeral Home- Wausau Chapel, 522 Adam Street, Wausau. Bill Metter will lead the celebration and offer stories of Arvo's life. Visitation will take place from 3:00 pm until the time of the service.

The family also wishes to thank the staff at Garden Side Crossing for their compassionate care during his brief stay with them.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the charity of your choice n Arvo's name.

Online condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Nov. 13, 2017