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0641, 15 Oct 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pat’s Jiffy Stop to close

One of the last corner groceries in West Bend is closing as Pat’s Jiffy Stop, 111 E. Decorah Road, shuts its doors.

“I gave December 1 as notice but I think Nov. 18 is going to be my last day,” said Pat LaBuda, president of Pat’s Jiffy Stop Inc.

The store on Decorah Road and Indiana Avenue has been part of the fabric of the community in West Bend since 1982. “I remember WBKV Radio used to be across the street on the top of the hill,” said LaBuda. “On Indiana was Serigraph and then Serigraph used to be next door too but that changed over the years with Flock Graphics and then Best Embroidery.”

When Jiffy Stop started there were four gas pumps. In 2011 property owner Jacobus Energy Inc. shut down the pumps rather than pay an expensive upgrade required by new federal regulations.

LaBuda took a kick in the shorts financially. “I lost revenue right off the bat,’ she said. But LaBuda regrouped and added more food selections; she was also granted a liquor license.

Over the past few years LaBuda found herself the key outlet to the community with neighbors coming in for food and drink from Arbor Trace and the West Bend High Schools. When Walgreens closed on Decorah and Main she became even more of a go-to as the nearest store with grocery items was Pick n’ Save south or Piggly Wiggly.

“A lot of my customers walk,” said LaBuda. “They don’t drive…. So now they’ll have to walk to Pick n’ Save.”

Looking to retire at age 66, LaBuda made plans last year to lease the store however Jacobus stepped in and nixed the deal.

“Well then I decided not to retire,” she said defiantly. “What was nice was my employees kept their jobs and the neighborhood kept the store and I didn’t have to put a going-out-of-business sale.”

Now, a year later, LaBuda said it’s too much and she’s realized the only way to retire is to close the store.

“This is very difficult,” she said. “But I have health issues and I want to enjoy the last years of my life and the only way to do that is retire and close the store.

“I know the neighborhood is upset; as they find out they’re really upset and I don’t blame them.”

Reaction to the story’s debut on was fast and sympathetic. Patti Hamlin-Repinski wrote, “Sorry to see you go. When I was a kid I would walk there every day to buy a Pepsi and Snickers bar.

Jessica Schweiger wrote, “Have a great retirement, thank you for being there for all of my late night Gobstopper and soda needs as a teen!”

LaBuda said the Jiffy Stop space is going to be leased to the karate business next door.

“I am upset,” said LaBuda feeling low. “My friend says when I die they’re going to spread my ashes over Jiffy Land.”

New Kwik Trip to open Oct. 27

Kwik Trip will officially open for business Oct. 27 and a grand opening will be held Oct. 31. The new 7,000-square-foot Kwik Trip gas station/convenience store is located in the 1700 block of S. Silverbrook Drive in West Bend.  The service station will feature 26 gas pumps on five islands and a car wash. There will be 62 employees at the store, which will be open 24/7.

Construction underway for expanded BP gas station

The old Mad Max/BP gas station, 1200 block of S. Main St. in West Bend, was razed this week. Plans call for reconfiguring the lot, replacing the existing canopy and pumps, building a new convenience store and drive-thru and adding a total of 29 parking stalls. The former Clothes Clinic will also be razed.

Trick or treat in Washington County this Halloween

Trick-or-Treat is: Saturday October 29: Downtown Hartford Trick-or-Treat – 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Richfield – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Newburg – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and no bonfire, West Bend – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Erin – 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Farmington – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fillmore –  4 p.m. -7 p.m., Trenton – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hartford – 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Kewaskum – 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Slinger – 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 30 – Village of Jackson – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Village of Thiensville – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Village of Saukville – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Village of Merton – 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Town of Addison – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31 – Germantown – 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

The landscape is going to look a little different at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Walnut Street as the steeple has been removed from Kettle Moraine Bible Church. According to the book ‘City of West Bend’ by Janean Mollet-Van Beckum, the church was the German Methodist Episcopal Church and parsonage in 1916. Services were held in German.

-A groundbreaking will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19 as construction of a new Just Like Home Adult Day Center will be built in the Jackson Business Park.

-The 2016 Women of Christ Conference is Nov. 5 at the Washington County Fair Park. This year’s theme is: Mercy, God’s love in action.

– The U.S. Post Office in Jackson closed Friday after the Jackson Fire Department was called to the building on Cedar Park Court on Thursday afternoon for an odd chemical smell that was causing headaches for staff. The Post Office was closed Friday although mail was delivered. The Jackson Fire Chief said a lab in Madison is trying to determine the odor. No injuries were reported following the incident.

-The Allenton and St. Lawrence Fire Department Fire Prevention Open House and Pancake Breakfast is Sunday, Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. – noon.

– Construction is underway for a new dialysis clinic in Slinger. Village building inspector Greg Darga said the 6,413-square-foot facility is run by Fresenius Medical Care. The clinic is located north of Burger King at 631 Lous Way, just to the west of Dove Plaza and next to O’Reilly Auto Parts. The clinic will open in early 2017.

– Leaf collection begins in West Bend on Monday, Oct. 17. Neighbors are reminded to place leaves in the street gutter area. Bags of leaves will not be collected and crews will not remove leaves from the area.

-There will be homemade pies galore at the Harvest Moon Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Barton. Enter your pie today and come for the music, food, dancing and fun!  Pie drop off is 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Judging at 6:30 p.m.

– Some of the best pumpkins in the Washington County area are on sale now at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm, 2970 Mile View Road, West Bend. The Haunted Cornfield is also in full swing.

-The 4th annual Downtown Dash 5k run/walk through historic Downtown West Bend is Sunday, Oct. 16. Professionally chip-timed run and a Bloody Mary bar at the finish for participants 21 years old and over. Register a team of 4 online before Oct. 10 and 1 person’s entry is free.

-A ceremony to recognize all Veterans will be held Monday, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. at Green Tree Elementary School in West Bend. Anyone who needs a ride can call Mayor Sadownikow’s office at 262-335-5123. Refreshments will follow. The event is put on by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County.

-Brodey Laverenz and his sister Kiera won a fire truck ride to school as part of a drawing held during the Boltonville Fire Department Open House. The kids were taken to school by firemen Dennis Fechter and Bill Kohlwey.

-The Diva – West Bend Specialty Shops is hosting Harvest Around the Bend on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the downtown shopping district. There will be seasonal specials and a free pumpkin decorating for kids from noon – 3 p.m. at All in Books,

Korean War vet Claude “Stick” Duernberger of West Bend

On Saturday, there will be a dozen veterans from Washington County taking part in the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

One of the Korean War veterans is Claude “Stick” Duernberger of West Bend.

“I was 18 years old, West Bend High School class of 1951,” said Duernberger. “I enlisted in April 1952 and I remember the day well because we went to Chicago from Milwaukee and right away they gave you a blood test.”

Duernberger, 81, hasn’t changed much since his days of youth. Wiry and fit, he makes fun of the cowlick that frustrated his mother in all his photos.

During service Duernberger had nine weeks in basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. “We spent a lot of time on the grinder,” he said. “That was the asphalt; we marched and marched and marched.”

A former meat cutter at the A&P in West Bend, Duernberger worked in the commissary at Great Lakes while awaiting orders.

“I got up at 3 a.m. for mess cooking and then cleaned up and got ready for dinner,” he said. “You had to go through inspection, have a white t-shirt and hold your hands out to make sure you were clean.”

Duernberger was miserable. “Remember that saying, ‘Join the Navy and see the world?’ I thought I would come out of boot camp and I’d be out there seeing some of the country.

“For three weeks my orders never came up and I was just beside myself – the hours at the mess hall were tearing me down and I was on the phone with my mother and said ‘I’m going over the hill.’”

With a real calm voice Duernberger’s mother settled him down and a week later orders came in and he was off to Guam. Duernberger spent 18 months in Guam and then was assigned to a ship in Hawaii, the U.S.S. Arequipa. “It was a refrigerator ship and we loaded food. We were out to sea for 27 days and come back to Pearl Harbor and load the ship for three days and then head back and unload the food for the islands.”

Duernberger had vivid memories of the diesel fuel exhaust from the ship. “I got seasick,” he said. “The only experience I had on water was a row boat on Wallace Lake. My folks had a tavern and dance hall on Wallace Lake called ‘Stick and Aggie’s Lakeside Inn.'”  Following his first 12 month tour of duty, Duernberger was again reassigned to an ammunition ship originally located in Port Chicago in San Francisco and he took off to go overseas.

“We visited Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines,” he said. “When my tour of duty was up and I was discharged I made reservations on TWA airlines to bring me home.”

Looking back at his tour Duernberger said, “I went from a boy to a man in four years.” His fondest memory was of a flower in Hawaii. “If you came in from Wake Island and you came into the berthing area you could smell that ginger flower in the air and everybody would be up on deck just waiting and they smelled that perfume,” he said.

Over the years the aroma was commercialized. “A gal I worked with at the phone company ended up taking a trip to Hawaii and I asked her to look up a white ginger perfume and bring me back a bottle and by golly she did,” he said.

Returning to the states, Duernberger put his skills in radio school to good use and got a job with Wisconsin Bell, the telephone company on Sixth Avenue and Chestnut.

After retirement Duernberger started his own business with Venture Communications Inc. and he ran that for 15 years.  Duernberger has not been to Washington D.C.  He said he’s excited to see the Korean War Memorial and the White House. His son Michael will be his guardian.

WWII Army clerk Donald Vosen

World War II Army clerk Donald Vosen of Germantown will be taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.   Vosen, 88, was 17 years old when he enlisted in the Army. “It was June 1945 and I was still in high school in Sauk City,” he said. “I enrolled in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program and I went to school for about 10 months at the University of Illinois.”

That next summer, April 1946, Vosen was headed to basic training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in Little Rock Arkansas.  “Shortly thereafter they shipped us to the Philippines,” he said. While in service Vosen served as a clerk. “I was in charge of all the records of returning soldiers,” he said. “I had to box them up and put them on a ship and take them to Manila Bay.”

Station in Paranaque, about 10 miles outside Manila Bay, PFC Vosen said he remembers one day in particular when they got to the dock late because of an accident on the road. “The ship was already taking off and we had to get the records on it,” he said. Tracking down the local Coast Guard, Vosen relayed his plight and the Coast Guard ordered the ship to stop. “My crew of five men loaded these big wooden boxes onto a little PT boat and we went out to the ship,” he said.

The cumbersome boxes were about 5-feet long. Cables were lowered and the boxes lifted onto the ship. “Two of them got away from us and landed in the ocean,” Vosen said. “They were floating and the waves were high. We finally fished them out and I had to go on the ship and find the Lieutenant in charge so he could sign off on them.”

The Lieutenant questioned Vosen. “He said, were those the same records floating around the ocean? I said, ‘Yes sir.’” Vosen said the Lieutenant signed off on it anyway.

In April 1947, a year after entering service Vosen was discharged. He returned to the states and worked at a manufacturing plant in Illinois, a tannery in Milwaukee and later spent 34 years working for the Wisconsin Telephone Company.

This will be Vosen’s first visit to Washington D.C.  “I’m looking forward to the whole day,” he said. “I especially want to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial because those guys didn’t get any credit when they came home.” Vosen’s son Philip will be his guardian on Saturday’s flight.

Kewaskum vet Allen Schoofs fought on the front line

Korean War Veteran Allen Schoofs, 85, of Kewaskum will be one of more than a dozen veterans from Washington County on Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

“I was 21 years old when I was drafted,” said Schoofs, his deep, gravelly voice sounding loud yet somber while he talked at the kitchen table at his home on Prospect Street.

“I was living on the farm on Highway 28,” he said. “I got drafted in 1951; you had no choice.”

Schoofs went to Fort Riley Kansas for Army infantry basic training; it lasted 16 weeks. “I learned all the different weapons,” said Schoofs. “Then they sent us to Korea – actually we went to Japan first and then to Korea. It took 17 days by ship and we hit two storms on the way over.”

Once in Korea, Schoofs was put on the front lines.  The year was 1952. “There were three of us guys who took basic training together who were in the same unit in Korea,” Schoofs said.

“We were in King Company; 22nd Division, 23rd Regimen.”

Schoofs recalled he didn’t get into any hand-to-hand contact with the enemy but they were pinned down twice. Schoofs said he was trained in the 60mm mortar. “That was a gun with a 2-inch barrel and you had to drop the round down the barrel,” he said.

The next 10-and-a-half months Schoofs spent in Korea. “We had a couple close calls,” he said. “We were supposed to take this one hill and when we came walking down around this hill on the road the enemy spotted us and they started dropping shells. There was a ravine ahead of us and there were some trees ahead of us and we ducked in there and waited for two hours until our own tanks came along.”

“They supposedly blew the enemy out of the bunker and then they called us back,” he said.

Discharged in March 1953, Schoofs returned to the farm in Kewaskum.  “I was 23 years old and I worked the farm for my mother,” he said.

Married in 1955, Schoofs purchased the farm in 1961. “I had 80 acres but it wasn’t big enough; it was hard to make an income so I got a job on the assembly line at the Gehl Company.” Working at the Gehls from 1965 – 1982, Schoofs family grew to seven kids; he held down a number of other jobs at the same time including school bus driver and milk man.

Schoofs was laid off from Gehl in 1982. He was unemployed for 15 months before getting a job in the industrial park in Germantown. “It was a tool and die shop and I ran press for 18 years,” he said.

This Saturday Schoofs is looking forward to returning to Washington D.C.  He wants to see the Korean War Memorial in particular. “I lost a couple buddies over there and I’d like to find their names,” he said.

Schoofs guardian is his daughter Debbie Keller.

Others on the Honor Flight include: Roger Demeritt, Germantown, WWII Navy aviation radio technician, John Kuster, West Bend, Korean War Army infantry (stationed in Frankfurt), Steve Matanaer, West Bend, Korean War Army cook, Benjamin Thorn, Hartford, Korean War Navy storekeeper, John Waskiewicz, West Bend, Korean War Navy, Rita Gantenbein, West Bend, Korean War Army nurse,  Herman Tetzlaff, West Bend, Korean War Army ambulance driver, John Zink, West Bend, Korean War Army engineer.

History photo is of Korean War vet Allen Schoofs from Kewaskum.



0641, 15 October 2016


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