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2021, 14 Nov 15

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Wash. Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Mary Woerner moves on

After 23 years as a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department Mary Woerner is moving on to a job in the private sector.

“Friday was my last day with the Sheriff’s and I go to work Monday at The Manor as a clinical coach,” she said. “It’s a new luxurious drug rehab center by Big Cedar Lake. I’m still involved in drug prevention but I’ll be dealing directly with addicts and trying to get them back on their feet.”

Woerner, 44, graduated Slinger High School in 1989. She started with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in 1993 as a special deputy when Robert Schulteis was sheriff. In March 1997 Woerner was hired full time and three years later she took over the DARE program.

She said the changes through the years have been incredible.

“We’ve gone from hand-written tickets to having laptops in the squad and we have tasers,” Woerner said. Neighbors recognize Woerner as the familiar face at the law-enforcement booth at the Washington County Fair. She was also involved in public presentations on drug/alcohol abuse, internet safety, Every 15 Minutes Program, and coordinating Shop with a Cop.

“When Brian Rahn was Sheriff he approached me about doing a Shop with a Cop program; it was something he had seen in Fond du Lac,” she said. “I think he came with the request in October and by that December we had one together.”

Shop with a Cop has grown tremendously through the years. Woerner said it helps build a bridge between the community and local law enforcement. “The Moose Lodge let us use their hall, Johnson Bus provided transportation and every time I asked the community was there to support it,” she said.

Over the years Woerner was able to raise $8,000 each year to take children shopping.

Woerner said the decision to leave law enforcement was difficult. “I’ve never looked for a job outside of law enforcement but something told me to zip a resume off to The Manor. I’ve been intrigued ever since I heard about it and it seemed like it would be a good fit and I heard from them instantly and I this is just my next calling.”

Woerner starts her new gig Monday. “I’ll get my laundry done this weekend and just knowing I won’t have to put on my brown polyester pants on Monday morning – I’ll be doing a little dance,” she said.

Aside from working with Sheriff’s Schulteis and Rahn, she also was deputy during the era of Sheriff’s Jack Theusch and current Sheriff Dale Schmidt.

“Deputy Woerner has been a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office during her 23 years of service,” Schmidt said.  “Deputy Woerner was instrumental in keeping the Sheriff’s Department connected to the Washington County community which is very important to maintain trust between the citizens and the department.  Deputy Woerner’s dedication and positive influence in will be greatly missed.”

Woerner will still be involved with Shop with a Cop which will be held Dec. 9 at the Washington County Fair Park.

Chamber awards

The West Bend Chamber of Commerce handed out its annual awards this week. Winners included: Small Business of the Year – (tie) Koehn & Koehn Jewelers and Horicon Bank, Medium Business of the Year – ComForCare Home Care in Jackson, Large Business of the Year – Cedar Community, Community Agency of the Year – Friends of Abused Family, Chamber Volunteer of the Year – Amy Schmoldt from the Kettle Moraine YMCA, New Member of the Year – Keith Novotny from Cousin’s Subs on Paradise Dr., and Directors award to Bob Fremder.

WCHS Annual Meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 17

The Washington County Historical Society hosts its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. On display will be the traveling photo exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Working Warriors. Life beyond Combat explores non-combat roles of military service personnel, including work as military police, dentists, mechanics and photographers. After the viewing, John Spartz will speak about the Neptune, West Bend’s first fire engine.  The business meeting and election of Board of Directors and Washington County Historical Society Foundation members will follow. Board Nominees for 2016 are: Frank Carr, Mike Christian, Robert Engel, Patricia Geidel, Matt Lison and Susan Selle. The Foundation nominee is Marcia Theusch.

Book on Timmer’s Resort released

George Prescott’s office on W. Washington Street was teeming with excitement this week during the delivery of Barbara Johnson’s new book ‘Timmer’s Resort at Big Cedar Lake…A Journey Through Time.’ “Just like when you see a baby I saw it (the book) and it was beautiful,” Johnson said.

A little flustered by a delay in delivery, Johnson beamed as the hardcover book made its way around the room. “We got so many nice quotes and anecdotes from people,” she said. “There was so much love that went into writing this, not only from the Timmer family or George and Judi to all the photos that were submitted it just all stemmed from a love of this place.”

The 125-page book is rich with history, nostalgic black-and-white photos and stories that hearken to the day of kerosene lamps, chambermaids, and carefree summer afternoons spent on Big Cedar Lake.

The most exciting discovery, according to Johnson, was the actual sale/purchase of the property.

“The land that Timmer’s Resort originally bought was the first parcel of land ever sold in the Town of West Bend,” she said. “The land speculator realized the potential of that area but the fact that was the first piece of land and then it stuck in that family for 150 years is amazing.”

This is Johnson’s second book. Her first, Big Cedar Lake- A Guide to Her Past and Present, was published in 2007. “This book, with Timmer’s Bay and the outlet area, was like a coming home with the spiritual curiosity I always had about the place,” she said.

It took Johnson a year to complete the book. During her research she made contact with about 150 people. Her daughter, Katherine Paulin, helped with layout and design and the printing was completed by Briggs & Stratton Graphic Services.

Johnson ordered 1,500 in her first printing. “I really think I should have ordered more,” she said. “Just because there’s so much family connection with Big Cedar Lake and Timmers and when people get the book for themselves they want it for their children and grandchildren as well.”

‘Timmer’s Resort at Big Cedar Lake…A Journey Through Time’ can be purchased at GPMS, 2412 W. Washington St., West Bend (cash or check). Also at Timmer’s Resort or email Barbara Johnson at The book sells for $28.40 + tax for an even $30.

Doug Gonring inducted into Old Time Ballplayers’ Hall of Fame

Kewaskum’s Doug Gonring was inducted last Sunday into the Old Time Ballplayers’ Association Hall of Fame. “On behalf of the Old Time Ballplayers’ Association and the Hall of Fame committee, congratulations on being chosen to join the OTBA Hall of Fame for your long and successful baseball career,” wrote Greg Ebbert, executive director of OTBA. Gonring was honored at the Hall of Fame dinner at Serb Hall. Next year his name will be added to the OTBA HOF plaque permanently displayed down the right field concourse at Miller Park.

Teacher tribute to Rick Riehl by WBHS English teacher Eric Beltmann

I’ve thought a lot about Rick Riehl since 2003, because that’s when he retired from teaching and I moved my desk into S95, his old classroom at West Bend East High School. At that time I had been a member of the East English department for only three years, and looked at Rick as a mentor, a friend, and a legend. After all, I also attended WBHS—’92 grad here—and back then everyone knew Mr. Riehl was one of the greats. Everyone still knows it.

Right now I’m surrounded by Mr. Riehl. I’m writing this in S95, where my desk still sits, and in front of me is the chalkboard where he would list the characters from “Romeo and Juliet,” right before adding the Riehl flair to each performance. Under my feet is the orange carpeting that Rick and I used to joke about—although the ‘70s wood paneling to my right provided better laughs. To my left is a three-piece cabinet (the envy of the department), and inside are several books that Mr. Riehl once waved about the classroom. Behind me is an old, ugly cushioned chair, with the word “Riehl” permanently scratched into it, just to make sure it didn’t disappear over summer.

I’ve been in this room for 13 years, and I still think of it as “Riehl’s room.” I hope to someday match Rick’s legacy, but let me tell you—as long as I’m here, that ugly chair stays.

Eric Beltmann  English Teacher, East High

Rick Riehl is currently at the Kathy Hospice. He was diagnosed in October with Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease.

Updates & tidbits    

This week Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki presented Holy Angels Deacon Mark Jansen and his wife Jane with the Vatican II award for service to families.‪

Four non-profit organizations from Washington County will receive funding as part of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s 2015 charity program known as “Heart of Canal Street.” Recipients include the Family Center of Washington County, The Threshold Inc., Casa Guadalupe Education Center Inc., and Riveredge Nature Center.

-All in Books, 136 N. Main St. in West Bend is celebrating its 2nd anniversary next week with bargains, sales, and cake. The store opens Monday at 10 a.m.

– Officers from North Washington County Thrivent Financial Chapter delivered 60 turkeys to the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend, 50 to the Jackson Food Pantry and 38 to the food pantry in Kewaskum. The turkeys were purchased at cost from Geidel’s Piggly Wiggly.

– The West Bend High School Key Club will meet with over 30 veterans today, Saturday, Nov. 14, at The Lighthouse in West Bend. Students will deliver letters of appreciation.

-The Wings over Wisconsin bird seed sale and brat fry is today from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Geidel’s Piggly Wiggly in Kewaskum. Two 25-pound bags for $15.

En Fuego Fitness is hosting a Shred for Socks charity event Thanksgiving morning, 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Socks will be collected for a local ministry; Mr. Bobs Under the Bridge serves the homeless in Milwaukee.

The Kettle Moraine Symphony concert “Home for the Holidays” is Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1044 S. Silverbrook Drive, West Bend. Music Director Paul Thorgaard will conduct the 60-member orchestra in a performance of seasonal favorites, including “Sleigh Ride” and music from “Frozen.” Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students available at Horicon Bank, West Bend; White House of Music, West Bend and Germantown; West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce; and Hartford Music Center.

-Eugene Presta, 79, passed away Friday, Nov. 6. Presta shared his love of food and his Italian heritage through his restaurant Presto Italiano, 3100 W. Washington St. in West Bend.

– Clipping Campbell’s soup labels and submitting Box Tops for Education has paid off as St. John’s Lutheran School in West Bend won $10,000. St. John’s said the money will be used in educational ministries. A special thank you to Sonia Taylor who volunteers countless hours to count and submit those for the contests.  Story courtesy Heather Dunn

Former WB City Hall featured in 2015 Husar’s holiday ornament

Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds is unveiling its hand-painted ornament for the holiday season. This year’s design features the former City Hall building on Sixth Avenue and Hickory Street. Built in 1902 the building on the northwest corner also housed the public library and the fire department. After a fire, hoses were hung to dry in the tower at the rear of the building.

Back in the day Carl Kuester lived to the north of the fire department. He was a teamster and his horses were used to pull the fire engine. Kuester’s horses were so well trained that when the fire alarm sounded he would open their stalls and they would walk directly to the fire wagon and wait to be hitched up.

Today, the building is home to Time Investment Company LLC, a direct sales finance company run by the Hafeman family. Some of the Husar ornaments from the past featured the warming house at Regner Park, the old West Bend Aluminum Co., the Old Courthouse Museum and jail, the front of the Husar building with the West Bend Theatre marquee next door, and the Amity building.

“These are West Bend ornaments,” said Mike Husar. “We have a lot of families come in picking up ornaments for children who have moved out of the community.” The ornaments sell for $15.95.

Strong history to shop local in West Bend

Coming up in a couple of weeks it is Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28), a nationwide attempt to drive shoppers to local businesses.

Neighbors in West Bend are reflecting on the effort, saying they always used to shop local.

It was an era before Mayfair Mall and the Bay Shore Town Center. It was even before the Westfair Mall and the West Bend Outlet Mall which included stores like The Cookie Jar, Knit Pikker Factory Outlet, Uncle Wonderful’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Rainbow Fashions.

“We shopped downtown because there wasn’t anything on Paradise,” said Jerry Wolf during an interview in 2013. “The city ended by Badger, which was the high school at the time.”

Wolf was about 10 years old in 1945; he recalled there were three grocery stores downtown including a Red Owl, 138 N. Main St. – the current location of Ooh La La.

“Jeklin’s Shoes was on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets and just south of that was a hardware store called Gambles and I bought my first bicycle there, I think it was a Hiawatha,” said Wolf.

Cherrie Ziegler Catlin remembered the F.W. Woolworths downtown. “It was a haven for all sorts of trinkets that kept kids busy spending their allowance each week,” she said.

Bonnie Brown Rock remembered Carbon’s IGA grocery on Main Street as well as Naab’s Food & Locker Service. “My parents bought sides of beef which were kept in a freezer at Naab’s store,” said Brown. The business was at 432 S. Main St.; the current location of Lori’s Costume Shop. “Dad also went there to get ice cream cake roll on Sundays as our refrigerator didn’t have a freezer,” she said.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller remembered Saturday nights were for shopping in West Bend. “That was in the late 1930s and early 1940s,” said Miller. “J.C. Penny’s was one of the stops for dry goods and the unique thing about the early Penny’s was the cashier was upstairs in a loft. The clerk would put money in a kind of cup, attach it to a ‘trolley’ affair and pull the handle sending the trolley, cup and money to the cashier who in turn would put the change in the apparatus and send it back.”

Parking, recalled Miller, was a problem. Main Street was originally Highway 45 and shoppers parked parallel to the curb, not at an angle as it is today. “Tight quarters meant shoppers would double park, that meant side by side,” said Miller. “This caused some problems but was later accepted. I believe there was a time limit as to how long one could double park.”

Other unique downtown shopping standards, according to Miller, were grocery stores did not have aisles and display racks, because the grocer got the items from behind the counter. Almost all transactions were in cash as credit cards were none existent and checks were few.

“On rare occasions after shopping we would pick up my grandpa and go to Sam Moser’s tavern (currently Muggles) for chili, maybe a hamburger and a small glass of beer,” said Miller. “Yes, beer was OK for kids as soda was not good for you.”

During high school, Miller said Dewey’s Drug Store was the popular hangout. “It was known for its cherry Coke and the Colonial Restaurant for hamburgers,” he said. Brown Rock also remembered Dewey’s. “They had booths and Mr. Dewey didn’t like the kids to get too loud,” she said. “I don’t remember spending much time there however I had many after school hot-fudge sundaes at the Parkette.”

Todd Tennies, of Tennies Ace Hardware, said the impact the memories people have of shopping 50 years ago in downtown West Bend is still a big part of the community today. “Locally-owned businesses employ people that live in our community and the staff is well trained in product knowledge and customer service,” said Tennies. “Shop Small Saturday is a golden opportunity to be recognized and supported.”  Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28.  History photo: Remember the ‘Talking tree’ in downtown West Bend?  Photo courtesy Todd Tennies.



2021, 14 November 2015


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