An end of an era as Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has closed
After 87 years in business Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has officially closed.
The store sign came down Tuesday, Nov. 5, before the snow. Above the entryway is now the old West Bend Pilot sign. That’s expected to be restored.
Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald Sager took over the business from is father in 1970. Scott Sager and his sister Sara ran the business until it closed.
Sager’s Men’s Apparel, Inc. has been in the men’s clothing business since 1932. We specialize in tuxedo sales and rental, men’s suits, sport coats, and dress slacks. We distribute tuxedos from Nedrebo’s and DuBois formalwear, and carry an extensive selection of our own in-stock formalwear. Our Store is in downtown West Bend.
Below are some reactionary comments to Sager’s announcement posted on social media:
Kenneth Wendland – I remember that store when I was a kid growing up on Parkfield Drive. Said to see it go.
Alex Gaeth – Well that sucks, it was a great place, great customer service, and I liked it that it was a small, family company.
Sandy Erdman – Best of luck to them! I remember when we repeated our wedding vows and I wore my wedding dress and Sager’ s decked my hubby out in white trousers and purple vest. Our colors. So handsome he was!!!!
Nicole Moederndorfer Nooo! They were phenomenal! Amazing service! No one will compare.
Jim Groh – Was a great store over the years
Cheryl-Sheri Hay – Sad day in West Bend. Sager’s was a family store that was committed to friendly customer service. Happy Retirement
Connie Thull – A West Bend landmark! Enjoy retirement!
John Steffan – Congratulations on your retirement you will be greatly missed got my 1st tuxedo from them
Van Kline – I bought a suit there when I got home from Viet Nam. Time goes on I guess.
Rich Zerillo – We so loved it when Sager’s would “donate” (let a couple of us guys borrow for the evening) a tuxedo, so we would look super-sharp @ Januli’s for Diva Night. Thanks for all you have done over the last 87 years as a small business in our great little city of West Bend!!
Jo Ann Taylor – Sager’s was the “Go to Place”, to dress my Husband! Doug Trusted the Mr. Don Sager’s opinion over His Mine! Happy Retirement!
Dianne Brisingamen – Congrats on retirement, but man, you will be very missed!
Tim Stern – Thank you to Scott and family, Sagers was a staple in the West Bend community and downtown, I certainly hope you are able to enjoy retirement Scott!
Shirley McDaniel Schwartz – Sager’s was always an anchor store in downtown West Bend. They will be missed! Enjoy the hunting and fishing Scott!
Lisa Brown – So sad! They actually knew how to fit a ‘husky’ man. Other competitors just assume the ‘skinny’ fit works on everyone. Enjoy your retirement!!
Heidi Belger Schulz Many well-dressed men have walked out of those doors! They will be missed!
Angela Bins – Thank you for making my wedding day great with your rentals and for helping my dad purchase his father of the bride suit. You’ll be greatly missed.
Susie Janel – End of an era for sure! Your business will be missed but enjoy retirement.
Karen Liepert – Best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy your outdoor activities. Thank you for your commitment to the community.
Michael Sterr – Congrats to the Sager’s! Not many businesses can last that long. They will be missed in downtown
Cyndi Seefeldt – 87 years!!!!!! That’s impressive! Sad to see a family business go!
Suzanne Weinert Tennies – Wonderful, generous, community minded family. Appreciated your community involvement. Best wishes in the future. Hope your retirement is filled with many blessings.
Josh McCutcheon – Wish the Sagers the best. Scott was awesome and went out of his way many times for my developmentally disabled clients. All my business suits came from there. Happy retirement…you will be missed!!
George Prescott inducted into Wisconsin State Hall of Fame Boys & Girls Club
Local philanthropist and former grocery and restaurant owner George Prescott has been elected to the inaugural class of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.
Prescott, 72, said he’s busy these days with about a dozen grandkids was honored to receive the award. said
“Working with Jay and feeling the success that comes out of this entity is just beyond believe,” he said.
Dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater and sneakers Prescott was soft spoken and humbled by the award.
According to Jay Fisher, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, there were 22 people nominated for the award and six were selected.
“The standards for the award were for people who served on different committees and boards and really stood out in the community,” he said.
The Boys and Girls Club is West Bend is 21 years old and has served about 60,000 kids.
“We’re so lucky and what makes it happen is connections,” said Prescott. “We call on the people to make it happen and they outperform.”
Prescott was inducted with others including former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and philanthropist Marty Stein.
“This award is so big it makes me feel little,” said Prescott. “We just did what we had to do to make this happen; I feel proud.”
The initial Hall of Fame Award was presented over the summer in Madison. Prescott was out of town at the time, so Fisher said the Boys & Girls Club Board presented Prescott with the award in July.
“Obviously George has spent time here,” said Fisher. “He’s donated a lot of dollars; his name is on the building and he really helped get the Boys and Girls Club started with Sharon Ziegler and this wouldn’t be possible without George.”
Prescott is still part of the Board of trustees.
“He’s done more for the Boys and Girls Club in this community as anyone has in the state of Wisconsin,” said Fisher.
The Boys and Girls Club opening in West Bend in 1998. A gym was added in 2003 and an addition with an art room, kitchen and technology center was completed in 2016.
In 2001 when Prescott owned the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend a customer, Janice Weninger spent $1 on the Megabucks lottery and won part of the $20.3 million jackpot.
The store owners also received some money from the Wisconsin Lottery for selling the ticket. Prescott spread the wealth to his employees and even donated to the Boys & Girls Club.
Below is a story about George Prescott and the Boys & Girls Club in 2010
George Prescott presents lessons in Parkinson’s Around the Bend May 29, 2010
George Prescott made a guest appearance at the Boys & Girls Club last Friday to give kids an education on Parkinson’s disease.
The children at the club hosted a nickel carnival and all proceeds were donated to a Parkinson’s charity in honor of Prescott.
The former owner and chief executive officer of Prescott Supermarkets, Inc. and current owner of Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake is a strong supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club.
Prescott spoke for about 15 minutes, talking about when he first received the diagnosis in 2001.
“My wife would bug me because my left arm had no control. I initially blamed it all on an old motorcycle accident but then the doctor told me I had Parkinson’s,” said Prescott.
Children at the Club, who ranged in age from 7 to 11, asked a variety of questions and Prescott’s answers were simple but direct. “I take 15 to 20 pills a day,” he said, “some supplements, others medication.”
Prescott talked about exercising and getting down on the ground with a foam roller. “It’s mostly on my left side and I’m right-handed, but I can tell it’s starting to affect my penmanship.”
Prescott spoke briefly about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Few youngsters in the room were familiar with Fox. Prescott mentioned how Fox’s tremors were so bad his children would call him ‘shaky daddy.’
Other questions ranged from ‘does it hurt’ to ‘do you tilt?’ One little girl asked his name, to which Prescott responded confidently, “I’m George. George the grocer.”
Another asked how old he was. “I’m 62 and going to be 63 in September. How old are you and when is your birthday?” he asked the little girl.
Then about 80 hands went into the air; everybody wanted to tell Prescott their birthday.
A couple of final questions had students naming other people afflicted with Parkinson’s. One little boy said Hitler, another mentioned Johnny Cash and then proceeded to sing Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry” in about as deep of a baritone as a 7-year-old boy can muster.
Then a final question, “Are you rich?” said a little voice from the back of the room. Prescott played it cool and said he was wealthier than average and “yes I have a bit of money.”
After receiving dim stares, he humbly said he was a millionaire. A boy in the back of the room shouted in wry fashion and with an innocence of youth, “Oh yeah, RIGHT!”
Prescott, who arrived without an entourage, earring or body art – some of the standards held by trendy, higher profile millionaires – took the comment in stride.
He then opened his wallet and donated a crisp $100 bill to the nickel carnival.
After the Q&A, club director Jay Fisher joked with Prescott.
“We start ‘em young here at the Boys & Girls Club, George – ‘How old are you and how much are you worth.’”
Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor files non-candidacy papers
Washington County District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist, 82, has filed non-candidacy papers. Kist said he will not be running for election to the County Board in April 2020. He indicated he wanted to file early “to give others the opportunity to consider filing papers.”
Kist has been a member of the Washington County Board since April 2016.
Kist is also alderman in District 8 in West Bend. He said his current term on the council ends in 2021. Kist did not discuss his seat on the council other than to say he has been asked by several people if he’s going to run for mayor.
Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since. In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost; however, he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.
Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.
Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.
Kist has been active in politics and parks his entire life; he’s been dedicated to making Washington County a better place.
Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.
Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor.
“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”
Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”
Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.
West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.
Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”
Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”
Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park. “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county. Great job Roger.”
Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”
Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.
West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community. “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”
Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”
Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.
On a side note: In 2017 I hosted an evening at Music on Main. It was right before the school year was to get underway and I challenged readers of WashingtonCountyInsider.com to bring their school picture to the event and I’d treat them to a beverage of their choice. Roger Kist was the first attendee to respond. I told him I thought he looked a lot like Dennis the Menace.
Special blessing for Eagle Scout project in Barton
An Eagle Scout project completed by Simon Weinandt, 18, with Scout Troop No. 762 in West Bend received a special blessing in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.
Reverend Andrew Infanger led a small procession across the lawn following 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.
Following a reading from the First Letter of the Apostle Peter, Rev. Infanger prayed a blessing over the Stations of the Cross.
“Oh God, your son was delivered up to death and raised from the dead in order that we might die to sin and live lives of holiness. By the favor of Your blessing draw near with mercy to Your faithful people who devoutly recall the mysteries of Christ’s passion. Grant that those who follow His footsteps and bearing their cross patiently may receive as their reward the vision of Christ in His glory. For He lives and reins with You for ever and ever.”
Rev. Infanger then blessed the Stations with holy water and incense.
After the ceremony Weinandt received compliments about the “beauty of the completed project” and “this is quite an Eagle Scout project, you should be proud.”
“I built the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. The 14 Stations each feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.”
“The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used as soon.”
Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier; it’s a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.
Washington County leasing space for Solar Now Program
There are about 12 acres on the southwest corner of River Road and Creek Road in West Bend that will soon be home to solar energy panels.
The project is starting to take shape as a field of beams are being driven into the ground.
According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger the county is leasing property to We Energies. “The county is not responsible for any of the capital required to build or maintain the solar generation,” he said. “Washington County will not own the solar generation.”
It was June 2019 when Washington County Supervisors voted on a resolution approving the Solar Now Pilot Program.
“The Solar Now program, as approved by the Public Service Commission, is for governments to lease land for this purpose,” said Hollenberger. “We are receiving a lease payment based on the generation of the site. Next year, it is just over $98,000.”
“This is a great program for County as it allows us to continue to invest in budget areas the public believes are priorities such as public safety,” Hollenberger said.
Saukville and New Berlin are a couple of the other communities also investing in the Solar Now Program. Waukesha County is also exploring the opportunity. The County anticipates energy generation to begin in 2020.
Two supervisors file non-candidacy on Washington County Board
As of 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 there were two Washington County Supervisors who filed certificate of non-candidacy paperwork.
District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist filed his papers on Friday, Nov. 1 announcing he would not seek another term. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Dist. 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins filed a certificate of non-candidacy.
Chris Jenkins is with his son filing paperwork at the Washington County Clerk’s office.
“I did so now, as Roger did, to allow adequate time for someone to consider running in my place,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins was first elected to the Washington County Board in April 2018. He said he will serve out the remainder of his term which ends following the election in April 2020 when the new candidate is sworn in.
“Over this term, the County Board and how it currently operates was not my cup of tea,” said Jenkins. “I hope the efforts to shrink the size of the Board, and change how the policy-making process occurs, improves things. I am optimistic that a county executive will produce the strong leader the county-level of government sorely needs.”
Jenkins also serves as District 4 alderman in the City of West Bend. “I will take this added time to better focus on my roles and responsibilities at the city level,” he said.
Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020. Candidates who are running may begin circulating papers to collect signatures on December 1, 2019. Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.
Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.
For the city council, aldermen need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.
On a side note: Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.
It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.
Paving of Eighth Avenue in West Bend complete
Dump trucks hauling hot, black asphalt came and went on a regular cycle Monday, Nov. 4 as two layers were put down on a section of Eighth Avenue in West Bend. The four-block stretch between Highway 33 and Walnut Street had been under construction since May when the Holy Angels Festival was underway.
The costs of the reconstruction project was $1.35 million and it took a little more than five months to complete. The general contractor for the project was Wood Sewer & Excavating, Inc. from New London, Wisconsin.
There were several subcontractors working at various times which included sanitary sewer installation, water main installation, storm sewer installation, roadway excavation, curb and gutter installation, curb ramp replacement, roadway reconstruction and restoration of disturbed areas.
There was a strong smell of rich asphalt in the air along with a consistent hum of heavy equipment as dump trucks unloaded a sea of asphalt into the pavers. In their wake a series of steel wheel rollers chased up and down the road, packing the pavement and removing any visible seems. By mid-day contractors were skeptical they would finish the project but by 4:45 p.m. they were just wrapping up the second layer. Landscaping around the curbs and pavement markings should be completed in the coming weeks.
West Bend Common Council to honor veterans tonight including one of their own
Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is teaming with the West Bend Common Council in an annual tribute tonight, Monday, Nov. 4 to honor local veterans.
All veterans will be recognized including District 1 alderman John Butschlick, 72, who served in Vietnam and is taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.
Butschlick was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Army. A 1965 graduate of Campbellsport High School, Butschlick had played trumpet in Mr. Jacobs class for four years.
“I wanted to play in the band so I would NOT go to Vietnam,” he said.
Butschlick’s dad was diagnosed with a bad heart they sold the family farm in Campbellsport and moved to Kewaskum.
“I worked at Regal Ware for about a year and then enlisted,” he said. Basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
After eight weeks of basic, Butschlick’s name was mixed up with someone else and he went on as a clerk typist and remained at Fort Leonard Wood.
“But I got my orders in December 1967 and that said I was going to San Francisco and then onto Vietnam,” he said. “Needless to say, my recruiter was not my best friend and my plan did not work.”
Butschlick said Vietnam was horrible from the start. “The stench,” he said. “There was nothing sanitary there; all feces were burned, and it was warm and humid.”
Butschlick was assigned to an artillery group as a fuel administrator. “My first six months I couldn’t believe I was even in a war zone,” he said. “We played volleyball, we had hot meals, our sergeant was a fantastic cook and it wasn’t bad at all.”
In August, Butschlick reup for six more months in the military; he also signed up for leave over Christmas however his new captain denied the leave in December and pushed it off another month.
While dropping off paperwork a warrant officer changed Butschlick’s leave but the captain caught up with him and that brief favor cost Butschlick his assignment.
“I got back from leave and I was sent on the first chopper out; I was on a gunner,” he said. “I lost my field position.”
Nervous, Butschlick met with a pastor and within a couple weeks he was transferred and assigned to headquarters as a commanding officer jeep driver. “This was during the Tet Offensive and I thought I was lucky to be a driver, but my buddies said the snipers would pick off a driver first and then go after the captain,” he said.
“My second tour was scarier than hell.”
Butschlick credits his mother for helping keep him safe. “I didn’t know it at the time but she said a prayer every day and in that prayer she was always asking God to protect me while I was in Vietnam and I firmly believe my mom’s faith brought me back safely,” he said.
Butschlick has kept the copy of his mother’s prayer. It’s on a weary index card, the print is from an old-school typewriter and there are pencil marks where Rose Butschlick wrote in cursive the correct pronoun.
“My faith is what got me through this whole thing… and my mom’s,” he said. “When I got out of the service my mom gave me the prayer cards.”
Butschlick was discharged in 1969 when he was 22 years old.
When he returned to the states he stayed in Chicago and worked at First National Bank as a margins clerk. “Life was actually moving too fast for me over the next three years and then I moved back home and worked at Fleet Farm before I bought the Tastee Freeze and turned it into Little John’s Drive in,” he said. “John Heisdorf worked at the restaurant with me; we called him Big John and I was Little John.”
Little John’s was located on Highway 33 in West Bend in the lot behind the Fleet Farm; that building was there in there in the 1970’s. Alice Kohlman was the cook at Little John’s. “Alice was the best and I loved working with the people,” he said.
The restaurant eventually closed and Butschlick sold it in 1980. “That was when Pizza Hut was across the street, along with Dick’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Red Owl was next door to the east,” he said.
Butschlick returned to work at Fleet Farm before taking a job with the City of West Bend.
In April 2014, Butschlick was elected Dist. 1 alderman in West Bend. He won reelection in 2016 and 2018. Butschlick is up for election in April 2020.
Join the Common Council for tonight’s recognition of veterans. Other council members who served include Dist. 2 alderman Mark Allen was in the Coast Guard 1971 – 1984 and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.
West Bend Common Council votes on how to fill mayoral vacancy
West Bend Common Council has unanimously voted to appoint Council President Steve Hoogester as acting mayor until the April 7, 2020 election. According to City Attorney Ian Prust, said Hoogester can still retain his seat as District 6 alderman and he does not have to run for council again just by taking this post.
Prust said, should there be a tie vote on an issue, Hoogester has to notify the council ahead of time that he will abstain as alderman to make a vote as mayor. City administrator Jay Shambeau and Prust said a tie situation would be extremely rare as a council member would need to be absent to create a situation for a tie vote to occur.
The mayoral seat became vacant Oct. 21 following the resignation of Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who cited a conflict between his private business and his elected position with the City. The decision to have Hoogester serve in the interim took about 25 minutes.
On a side note:
District 2 alderman Mark Allen was in favor of selecting a citizen from the community to fill the post. He noted, that would avoid creating a situation with a district not being represented for the next five months.
District 8 alderman Roger Kist said he ran for mayor twice during his career and would be interested in being appointed mayor.
Former Dist. 7 alderwoman Deb Anderson was in the audience at the special meeting and had inquired about serving as a citizen mayor until the 2020 April election.
Updates & tidbits:
-Interfaith Caregiver’s Kindness Crews will be rolling out a group volunteer opportunity starting in December. Kindness Crews are a group opportunity for individual volunteers to help a number of clients in one day with services. Volunteer by yourself, a friend, or bring a whole group! Kindness Crews will go out on the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us after percolate on December 6 at 9:00 am for a short information meeting to learn more.
–There will be 21 veterans from Washington County on the Nov. 9 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Veterans include: Vietnam Army Ralph Charette of Germantown, four veterans from Hartford including Vietnam Air Force Jeffrey Lauenstein, Korea Army Edgar Loomis, Vietnam Air Force Jeffery Hoppens, and Vietnam Army Jerrold Green. Two veterans from Kewaskum including Vietnam Army Ronald Amerling Kewaskum and Vietnam Air Force James Dorn. Vietnam Army William Schneider Richfield Vietnam Army Donald Thies Slinger
-Senior Citizen Activities, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Walk & Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at 2378 W. Washington St. Suite A, West Bend.
In order to do justice to the Sager family, below is the obituary that ran in 2005 for Fred Sager.
Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather “Bumpa” of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.
Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father’s side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.
Donald’s father, Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked alongside his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager’s Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager’s Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men’s clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he’d size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was “We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren’t really our customers, they’re our friends.” His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father’s hand and ask “What time should I return your daughter, sir?” He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, “I’m sorry, honey.”
Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph’s Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long-standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens’ Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, “That if you take your kid hunting, you’ll never have to go hunting for your kid!”
Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10-penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.
He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.
Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that “our kids are our greatest gift.”
The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.