West Bend WWII veteran Dorthy Bein on Sunday Honor Flight
A big weekend ahead for Dorothy Bein, 96, of West Bend as she will be one of only two women who served during WWII on this Sunday’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
“I am delighted,” said Bein. “My son Dan Eggerding has done most of the arranging and I think he’s more than I am.”
Sitting in her apartment at Cedar Bay West on a rainy afternoon Bein spoke about how she enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard when she was 22 years old.
“I was a teacher and I was working in northern Wisconsin,” she said. “One of the teachers on staff came across an advertisement looking for a person who was a mathematician and I applied for it and strangely enough I got it.”
The year was 1945 and Bein went to Atlanta, Georgia and trained Navy pilots to “fly” in flight trainers or a Link Trainer. “I went for three months where I got training in math and equipment,” she said. “I was an Instrument Flight Instructor; my rank was Specialist T and the ‘T’ stood for teacher.”
The Link Trainers simulated flight instruction for pilots. One of the main reasons the U.S. won the war against Japan was because pilots could be trained quickly and efficiently. Once the very experienced, very well trained Japanese pilots died when their carriers sank, there were no real replacements. Bein was a part of that effort.
According to her son Dan, his mom actually landed on an aircraft carrier in a two-seater fighter to experience what it was like as a pilot. ” I remember her telling me about it when I was young,” he said. “It was very advanced for its time.”
After training, Bein was transferred to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. “It was the largest Coast Guard air base at the time,” she said.
For the next three years Bein taught pilots on the Link Trainer. “We’d put a hood over the cockpit so the pilots couldn’t see – almost like they were flying blind,” she said.
The simulator could be made to bank and maneuver. “At times we would put in rough weather,” she said. “There was some digital equipment that tracked the flight plan and we’d send signals via Morse code with dots and dashes and with that they’d find their way to the airbase.”
Bein recalled how her mother discouraged her from entering the Coast Guard. “I thought it was excellent being a woman in the military,” said Bein. “I was thrilled to be able to do it.”
Bein was 25 years old when she met and married Milferd Eggerding, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. The couple moved to Chicago and had two boys. Milferd was tragically killed in an auto accident after he was struck by a train at a blind crossing.
Bein raised the two boys for 15 years by herself. She later remarried. Bein is looking forward to seeing the monuments in D.C. Her son Dan will be her guardian.
Robert Schotzko on Sunday Honor Flight By Ann Marie Craig
As he sat at his kitchen table, Robert Schotzko of West Bend thumbed through the yellowed and well-worn War Department Technical Manual TM10-412, a leftover from WWII, but useful even today. It is one of Robert’s prized possessions and one that he used frequently when serving during the Korean War. He was an Army cook in Darmstadt, Germany, and this was his Army Recipes cookbook.
Robert is now 85 and is one of the veterans participating in the upcoming May 21 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington DC. Originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he joined the Army right after high school, inspired because of the loss of his best friend who served in the US Army on Korean soil. He began Basic Training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and was transferred to Darmstadt, Germany with the 816th FA Battalion for further training.
“Shortly after my arrival in Germany,” he tells the story, “I was riding in a half-track and a jeep pulled up alongside.” “Can anybody in here cook?” came the shout from the jeep.” Robert paused for a moment in the telling with a twinkle in his eye. “I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he said. “I just answered, ‘I can!’”
“We served meals in two shifts of more than 100 personnel at each sitting and had to make sure there were enough leftovers for anyone who came late.
There were five cooks on duty at all times and they rotated through the kitchen at various stations; one day I would prepare all the meats, another day I would work on vegetables or desserts.
We took turns. I can still remember the first time a General came through the line – he was first in line – but he ate the same regular breakfast as everyone else.”
Holiday meals were a bit more special. Tablecloths would adorn the tables and a special menu would be prepared.
One Thanksgiving Dinner included fresh shrimp cocktail, roast tom turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, sweet potatoes, lima beans, salads, hot rolls, pies, coffee, fruit, candies, and nuts.
Cooking in the field was different than cooking at the base and could be intense if supplies were low.
Robert remembered a certain mashed potato incident where kitchen magic, which will remain a secret, saved the day.
He remained in Darmstadt as a cook for the extent of his service, but was able to travel a bit in Germany and Holland and France. He found the rebuilding of Darmstadt, which was flattened by English bombs during WWII, fascinating. “I paid close attention to the placement of cobblestones and learned a bit about masonry as I watched them rebuild the city,” he said.
After his tour of duty, Robert returned to Eau Claire to help his father on the farm. He married Marie and moved to the Milwaukee area to work at American Motors. One day he saw a pamphlet that mentioned West Bend and he was intrigued. He and his wife decided to move here and they raised seven children together in West Bend. He found work at Simplicity in Port Washington and worked there until his retirement.
Robert is excited to have the opportunity to look around Washington DC, where he has never been before. His son Skip, of Eau Claire will be his guardian. His daughter Jane, of West Bend, is also going as the guardian of one of Robert’s closest friends.
Other Washington County veterans on Sunday’s flight include Don Gloede of West Bend a vehicle driver in the Army during the Korean War, Ron Zarling of West Bend, a record keeper in the Army during the Korean War, Ken Matheny of Hartford an MP in the Army during the Korean War, and Richard Schuetz who served in the Navy during the Korean War.
Former Packer Donald Driver in Hartford on Monday
Students at Hartford’s Central Middle School will have their green and gold on this Monday as former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver will be paying them a visit. This past April students in Hartford donated 164,170 items during the Goodwill Pack’er Up Donation Challenge. Hartford students competed against 717 schools and won a visit from the Super Bowl Champ. Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak will present the “key to the city” to Driver during the all-school assembly.
New signs for Pick ‘n Save
A rather interesting scenario of events on Tuesday as the new Meijer store opened on S. Main Street in West Bend. There was quite a bit of fanfare with a ribbon cutting and donations to the West Bend School District and the West Bend Parks Department.
While that was going on there was some activity to the north as Pick ‘n Save put up its new signage. The Kroger Co. took over Roundy’s last year and the two stores in West Bend are undergoing a major remodel. The sign change is part of the process along with revamping the interior.
Neighbors have noticed the floral department has been moved to the front of the store near the produce. There’s new shelving and signage and a brighter look to the entrance of the store, new self-check machines at the checkout and the pharmacy area and facade for the liquor department have been revamped.
New T-Mobile opening in West Bend
A new T-Mobile store is going to open next month in the West Bend Shopping Center. T-Mobile is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services. There are a bunch of T-Mobile stores in the Milwaukee area. The new store in West Bend will be in the strip mall space to the north of Papa Murphy’s Pizza. It’s expected to open in June.
Town of Kewaskum approves a shelter for vulnerable men
There was quite a bit of debate Monday night at the Town of Kewaskum board meeting as members of the Plan Commission reviewed a conditional use permit for development of a Community Living Arrangement at 4265 County Highway H.
A public hearing before the Town Board started with a statement from Russ Wanta, executive director with Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties. Wanta talked about using the teachings of Jesus Christ to help rehabilitate men who may have strayed off a productive path in life.
Wanta and Kettlebrook pastor Troy Loether are the ones behind the Kairos Ranch; a property owned by Roger and Ann Neumann, is described as a “Community Living Arrangement consisting of a self-sustaining, self-funding Christian boarding house/transitional living ranch to reconcile vulnerable men to God.”
There were a number of people who spoke against the proposal as neighbors expressed concerns about safety, a drop in property values, and a lack of information on how the program would operate.
During the Town Board discussion Sandy Pasbrig brought up a number of issues including what the term “vulnerable man” actually meant.
There were also questions about the level of violent criminal past of some of the residents, how to screen potential residents with background checks, qualified staffing issues, neighborhood safety, how long a resident would be at the facility, and how contact with law enforcement would be measured.
After two hours of discussion the Plan Commission added several stipulations to the original proposal and then voted 6 – 1 to allow the proposal to move forward. Pasbrig was the only dissenting vote. The Town Board voted 3 – 0 and passed the proposal.
After the meeting Rick Martens, who lives next to the property, spoke about his displeasure. “Ultimately from day one they hung ‘religion’ on it and at that point the board’s hands were tied,” he said. “I’m dead set against it … but it is what it is. They’re going to bring in the felons and just at the end of the day this was pushed down our throats.”
Bonnie Will lives adjacent to the property on Highway H. She said she wished she had been notified about the proposal. “I would just like to know more about it,” she said. “We’ve been neighbors with Neumanns forever and I just feel hurt they couldn’t explain or stop in and just stay something to us to let us know what’s happening.”
After the meeting Loether said he is excited but he also wants to do right by the community. “We want to address any concerns people have,” he said. “They expressed valid concerns tonight and we want to make sure we have our team ready to go and work hard toward that end.”
Loether said the home needs some rehab and this will take some time just to get things going.
Cedar Lake Yacht Club
A large gathering at Cedar Lake Yacht Club on Saturday for the dedication of a 1941 Wooden Palmer C Scow that now hangs in the foyer of the club. Bruce Rosenheimer and Hugh Wakefield relayed details about the restored wood sea boat that belonged to the Wrigley family. The boat had been in storage 70 years and was rescued by Wakefield, restored and sold to Rosenheimer who donated it to the club. Olympic gold medal winner and National Sailing Hall of Famer Harry “Buddy” Melges, Jr. was the guest speaker at the dedication.
West Bend Memorial Day details
The Memorial Day parade in West Bend will step off at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29 and head north from South Main Street and Oak Street to Hickory Street and back down Sixth Avenue to Poplar Street. A ceremony will follow in the old Courthouse Square. That program begins at 11 a.m. and will feature World War II veteran Allan Kieckhafer as master of ceremonies. Other tributes will include a tribute to the American flag, Preamble of the Constitution, Gettysburg Address, a reading of the poem “In Flanders Field” and performances by the West Bend High School Band and the River City Irregulars. In case of inclement weather the ceremony will move into the second floor chambers at the Old County Courthouse.
Staffing firm to open in former Ole’ Time Cleaners
Alliances Services, Inc. is moving from the Industrial Park in Jackson into the former Ol Tyme Cleaners, 910 S. Main Street in West Bend.
“We’re a health care staffing firm,” said owner and director of nursing Georgianna Dee. “We staff .long term facilities including Cedar Community, Lasata, The Pavilion at Glacier Valley in Slinger and major hospitals in Wisconsin including Aurora, Ascension and University of Wisconsin Hospital.”
Alliance Services, Inc. has been in business 17 years. Dee said they have between 100 active staff and over 300 in their data base. “I used to live in West Bend and when I saw there was a building available I got excited because I like the community, especially the restaurants,” said Dee. Watch for new signage to go up shortly at Alliances Services, Inc.
Teens arrested for vandalism to Downtown West Bend Theatre
West Bend Police have taken four teens into custody in connection with a storyWashingtonCountyInsider.com reported on Tuesday about vandalism to the downtown West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main Street.
On Tuesday May 16 2017 at 8:45 a.m., a City of West Bend employee found the rear door to the downtown West Bend Theatre unlocked. Police checked the building and observed thousands of old movie tickets scattered throughout the building and found numerous shattered light bulbs on the floor. Investigators identified four suspects; an 18-year-old male, a 15-year-old male, and two 14-year-old males.
On Wednesday, May 17, West Bend Police took the four suspects into custody for Entry to Locked Building and Criminal Damage to Property. A request for charges against the adult was sent to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office and the three juveniles were referred to Juvenile Authorities.
Updates & tidbits
-There is a ribbon cutting May 31 at the new Delta Defense headquarters on Freedom Way. The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. with a building blessing by Rev. Nathan Reesman followed by comments from USCCA’s Tim Schmidt, Mayor Kraig Sadownikow and Senator Ron Johnson.
– The Richfield Historical Society invites you to “Never Curse the Rain” by Jerry Apps, on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m., at the Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 State Road 175. Admission is free and open to the Richfield Historical Society Members.
-Steve Wietor from Roffler Styling sold his property, 403 S. Seventh Avenue, to Kand’E Shop LLC for $147,000. The assessed value is $147,900.
-There are 59 new units being added in Phase II construction at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend. Phase II is officially over 25% pre-leased. Cast Iron is located in the former West Bend Company building. An opening celebration of Phase II is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It will feature a pig roast with live entertainment.
-The annual Dancing for a Difference was last Friday at the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford. The fundraiser for Citizen Advocates of Washington County featured Christophe Jenkins, Abbey Boehm, Mary Beth Emmer, Austin Luedtke, Amy Zimmer, Scott Bicknell, Amy Pingel Schultz, Sue Bietsch, Bonnie Heshelman and a performance by special ‘mystery dancer’ Scott Lopas. The winner of the Popular Vote Trophy was Amy Zimmer and Scott Bicknell had a perfect 30 and was the winner of the Technical Trophy.