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0807, 05 Sep 15

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

80 year West Bend High School reunion

There was an 80 year West Bend High School class reunion Friday. It was a rather intimate affair as two ladies, Lillian Moritz Oelhafen and Frieda Kaehny Hauser, from the class of 1935 got together for breakfast.

“We’re both 98 and we both walked down the aisle together at graduation,” said Lillian Oelhafen.

The ladies arrived with daughters in tow.  Judy Etta chauffeured her mother Lillian. “Both Frieda and my mother also worked at the Ziegler Company and Frieda held a hanky bridal shower for my mother,” Etta said. “Everybody brought hankies to the shower for the bride instead of other gifts and my mother used that hanky for her wedding and she still has it today.”

In 1935 the President of the United States was Franklin D. Roosevelt. The principal at the West Bend High School was D. E. McLane. The top hit on the billboard charts was Fred Astaire and ‘Cheek to Cheek.’ The Homecoming at West Bend High School was Roger O’Meara and the makeup of businesses across from the school on Main Street included Amity Leather Company and the Schmidt family farm.

The entire class of 1935 fit in the corner at Perkins Restaurant. Two silver helium balloons that read ‘Congratulations’ floated above the table. Frieda and Lillian wore special red-and-white corsages (the school colors) from Bits n’ Pieces floral. The flowers were finished off with a red ribbon that had ‘Class of 1935’ stamped in gold.

The reminiscing drifted back to an era that included things like earning certificates for shorthand, courses of typing and bookkeeping, and commercial teacher and guidance Chairman Miss Gertrude Forrester. “She was an old maid,” said Lillian. “She had long hair and a coil and she always had a handkerchief up in that coil.”

The Class of 35 laughed and teased a lot. “Both of us were on the Honor Roll but Lillian was a smarty,” said Frieda downplaying her own class status. Lillian graduated third in her class and Frieda, according to Lillian’s recollection, was 10th.

Both were hired after school to work at the B.C. Ziegler Company. “I got 25 cents an hour and had to run from school to the office downtown because I wanted to get another hour in,” said Lillian. The Ziegler Company, at the time, was located by First National Bank. “I worked for D.J. Kenny and Arnold Miller and they were the guys that worked on the prospectus,” she said.

Frieda was a bookkeeper and worked for a ‘tough guy’ named Leonard Thorson. “At least we had a job,” she said. “It was very hard for a woman to get a job in those days and we had to have a certain grade point or they wouldn’t have hired us.”

Both women were extremely sharp and grateful recalling how fortunate they were to even go to high school. Lillian, whose parents were in Kohlsville, lived with her grandparents on Highway 33, also known as Cedar Street. Frieda lived several miles out of town at Gumm’s Corner, in the home where she resides today.

“I was involved in everything, all the sports,” said Frieda. “I don’t recall having uniforms; we had them for gym but we wore our regular shoes.”

According to the class yearbook Frieda Kaehny was involved in basketball, baseball, track, volleyball, band staff, prom committee, home economics club and Dust Pan Staff.

Lillian was involved in the Dust Pan too. “It was our school newspaper,” she said. “Actually, it was a newsletter that came out once a month.” The rest of Lillian’s high school participation included things like operetta, glee club, guidance chairman, prom committee and honor roll.

A waitress from Perkins stopped by the table to inquire about the celebration. “Is it a birthday,” she asked. “This is our 80th class reunion,” said Lillian. “Ooh awesome. I love it,” said the waitress. “You’re awesome. That is too cool; I just had to be nosey and come check it out.”

Frieda and Lillian were then encouraged to launch into their school song (sung to the tune of On Wisconsin).

The 80 year reunion was organized by Etta. “You know how you always say, ‘Oh yes, we have to do something’ but then it doesn’t happen in our busy lives,” she said. “But this is an occasion and we can’t let it go by without having them together… and they’re both alive. We’re very blessed.”

Kettlebrook Church moves ahead with development


Kettlebrook Church confirmed plans this week to lease 24,500 square feet from the Threshold in the Lawrence and Vivian Stockhausen Center.


Paul Fisher, Kettlebrook Elder Chair, distributed this note to parishioners. He said they will begin renovation in October with occupancy targeted for April 2016.


Below is the note to parishioners.


At Sunday’s Annual Business Meeting, the Membership of Kettlebrook Church unanimously approved both the FY16 budget and the request to proceed with contract negotiations and construction of the Kettlebrook Community Center.


The Elders thank each of you for your patience, your questions, and your support of this project so far, and continue to covet your prayers as the next phase of bringing this vision to reality begins.


While the Kettlebrook Community Center project is now officially approved, please do not begin making contributions against your pledge at this time.


Once the contracts are signed and we know that no major obstacles remain in our path, each giving unit will receive a pledge statement from the church office. Included with this statement will be information on how to begin making your contributions.


To help you with your financial planning, we anticipate contributions can begin October 1, 2015.


For those who have pledged in the “one-time, up-front” category, we ask that you fulfill your pledge by November 30, 2015. The pledges made in the “five year” category will run through September 30, 2020, but we encourage early fulfillment of your pledge if you are blessed with that opportunity. Thank you again for your support, and God’s blessings to each of you.


Respectfully, Paul Fischer Kettlebrook Elder Chair

Prayer vigil Monday for Kewaskum’s Max Hardy

Prayer vigil Monday for Max Hardy in Kewaskum: There is going to be a prayer vigil Monday, Sept. 7 for Max Hardy of Kewaskum. Hardy is a graduate of Kewaskum High School and last weekend was injured following a fall while hiking the cliffs in the Upper Peninsula.

Hardy’s condition has been improving but he still needs prayers. The vigil starts at 7 p.m. at Kewaskum Kiwanis Park and will be led by Pastor Mike from Kettlebrook Church. Neighbors are welcome to bring a candle to light during the vigil.

Local prayer service held to show support for law enforcement

Nice turnout for public prayer service at Washington County Sheriff’s Department: Nearly 50 people bowed their heads and offered a prayer this afternoon to help raise awareness for the safety of law enforcement locally and across the country.

“We’re concerned about the welfare and safety of our law enforcement officers in this country,” Tina Beres, wife of Washington County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chad Beres said. “There are horrible things going on and we want people to step up and say we support you.”

Neighbors gathered for the prayer service outside the memorial to fallen Deputy John Schmitt.

Pastor Jeff Dorth with St. John’s Lutheran Church led the service with a few words and a prayer.

“Your mercy and protection and have depended upon Your comfort in times of distress and loss and this day, Lord God, we join our voices with people around this land and we ask You to have mercy to give wisdom to the leaders of this nation and the leaders of nations around the world so that justice might be lived out, so that people might respond in peacefulness.

“We pray on this day for loved ones who have given up their life in the protection of communities, citizens and families. We pray for understanding for we are frail and we do not understand and we are broken and we ask for You to have mercy on us,” prayed Pastor Dorth.

Kelli Dexter’s husband is with local law enforcement. “Police officers aren’t just people with a badge, they’re husbands and have wives and children,” she said. “We all have families that we come home to but we all don’t have jobs where we have targets on our back.” These are men and women who are portrayed to be the bad guys and unfortunately we don’t have a government that’s supporting them now and we need to be the force behind them.”

Several wives of officers organized the event to show support as stories are cropping up weekly regarding officers attacked, shot or killed in the line of duty.

Motocross results

Unofficial results of the Motocross race last Sunday at Washington County Fair Park show the winning team consisted of Ben Carlson and Glenn Curtiss on the No. 11 Fuel Powersports Yamaha YZ450F.  Forty teams competed and kudos to an excellent volunteer staff from Chix 4 a Cause, Kettle Moraine Sport Riders, Kettle Moraine ATV Club, Aztalan Cycle Club and Moto Ice LLC.  Local business support included Duquaine Concrete, West Bend Elevator, Wollner Excavating, Ralph Schmidt, Fuel Powersports, and West Bend Harley. Proceeds benefitted Chix 4 a Cause to help cancer victims in southeastern Wisconsin.

Delta Defense site plan moves forward

Solid backing from the West Bend Plan Commission this week as the new site plan for Delta Defense to construct a 65,000-square-foot corporate headquarters moved forward.

Company President and CEO Tim Schmidt purchased 35 acres on the east side of Corporate Center Drive. The two-story building will be just around the turn. “You’ll easily be able to see it from Highway 45,” Schmidt said. “We will not have an indoor firing range but we will have an indoor training facility, eventually, but it won’t have live fire. We feel very welcomed by West Bend and we’re excited to grow here.”

District 7 alderman Adam Williquette sits on the Plan Commission. He said the development of Delta Defense, as a local company, has been very exciting to watch in terms of economic development for the community.

“It seems like yesterday when Delta purchased the old art museum and since then their business has exploded and they are now looking to invest $13-$15 million into a new facility,” he said. “The new building means over 130 new jobs over the next several years. This is a great story, not only of development, but of monumental success of entrepreneurial spirit right here in our own town.”

Williquette said another reason this development is good for West Bend is because Tim and Tonnie Schmidt are great community servants. “From the Museum of Wisconsin Art to dozens of other non-profit fundraisers and benefits, Delta has been a major donor. I would like to thank Tim and Tonnie Schmidt for their support of West Bend.” Delta Defense plans to break ground and begin construction in mid-October.

The Plan Commission also approved an over sized LED electronic message on the monument sign for West Bend Furniture & Design, 1411 W. Washington St., reviewed a site plan for redevelopment of Old Settlers Park, south of the intersection of N. Sixth Avenue and N. Main Street and a site plan was approved to construct a 25’ x 98’ garage on the north side of The Threshold building, 2380 W. Washington Street.

Germanfest wrap up

A successful 30th anniversary of Germanfest is in the books. Putting a bow on some of the festivities here is a list of winners from several events. According to Sharon Stier there were 129 tables filled with players over the weekend for sheephead along with 1,935 hands of cards played. The overall winner was Gary Raleigh of West Bend; other daily winners included Donna Gudex Kamrath of Mayville and Willie Mueller of West Bend.  And a hat tip to Bits n’ Pieces Floral for the flowers and centerpieces at last week’s Germanfest.

Early Farm Days

The 41st Annual Kewaskum Early Farm Days is Sunday, Sept. 13. The event on the west side of River Hill Park is sponsored by The Kewaskum Historical Society. This year features The Wheelmen, a group of antique bicycling enthusiasts that will have high-wheeled bicycles on hand. Other attractions include old farm equipment, gas and steam engines, antique vehicles, and a working display of threshing. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be provided by Kettle Moraine Carriages and there will be refreshments along with homemade pies. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

The Fall Diva shopping event in downtown West Bend is Sept. 17.  Jump on the trolley or walk your way through West Bend’s finest specialty shops and restaurants during the annual Fall Diva Event. Specials, door prizes and goodies are all part of this fabulous event.

A hard-working group of Noon Rotarians got behind the business end of a paintbrush this week and put a new shine on the Casa Guadalupe building, 479 N. Main Street. The goodwill was initiated by Megan Roder and Justin Nothem with Modern Woodman. They had help from Rotarians Kellie Boone, Lora and John Buck, Mary and Steve Binkley, Richard Klumb, David Slindee, Arlene Norman, Fred Seefeldt, Ray Roskpf, Barb Justman and Pat Strachota.

– Meijer grocery is planning to start construction on its new store on S. Main Street behind Menard’s and the local Bike Friendly West Bend, a group designed to promote safe bicycling in the community, is contacting Meijer and the West Bend Plan Commission in attempts to lay out a safe bike route to the store. Bike Friendly also wants to make sure there are bicycle racks for parking. This week Jeff Puetz from Bike Friendly West Bend was at the BID Board meeting to lock in plans for new bike racks in the downtown business district. Two of the 10 bike racks on order will be installed this fall at Vest Park.

-Bargainmart, 325 Chestnut Street in West Bend, has Halloween items on sale and it looks like this will be the second year in a row Halloween Extreme/Discount Halloween does not open an outlet in West Bend. For the past few years the seasonal store was located at various places in West Bend including the old Toy Works on South Main Street or Grimm’s Dollar Express on Main and Butternut. Real estate agents said they had difficulty finding a location of 5,000 square feet or more. The closest Discount Halloween may be in Menomonee Falls.

– City of West Bend assistant engineer Fred Schaejbe retired this week after spending 24 years with the city. Schaejbe started as assistant city engineer on May 28, 1991.

The 20th annual Boltonville Fire Department Street Dance is Sept. 12 in Boltonville. Money raised will be used to purchase equipment for the Boltonville Fire Department. There will be live music starting at 8:30 p.m. by Rebel Grace.

– Monday, Sept. 14 is the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Charity Golf Outing and Dinner at the West Bend Country Club. The goal is to provide financial support for KML and the KML Foundation.

-The roundabout at Highway G and NN is complete. The roads are paved, the lines have been drawn and for the most part the project is done.

– Schauer Center Youth String Orchestra (SYSO) is holding auditions Wednesday, Sept. 9. The SYSO’s new orchestra director is Lisa Kitzke. More information is available at 262-670-0560.

– The Washington County Transportation Committee confirmed this week that resurfacing work on WI-175 from WI-60 north to the Dodge County line will begin on Sept. 14.

-Starting Sept. 23 UW-Washington County will roll out its Community Lecture Series. This year it will have German flare.

-The inaugural Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County Golf Marathon fundraiser is Friday, Sept. 18 at Kettle Hills Golf Course. Golf 100 holes in one day and invite your family, friends, fans and supporters to “Party on the Patio” and cheer the golfers on to the finish.

-Roots and Branches in West Bend rescheduled its plant removal operation to Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. because it was too hot and humid this week.  Plants are being removed as a major remodel will begin shortly at the triangle corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Street.

Photo of the WBHS class of 1935

Today’s history photo is of the West Bend High School class of 1935. The original photos and today’s pictures of Lillian Moritz Oelhafen and Frieda Kaehny Hauser.



0807, 05 September 2015


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