Former Clintonville dentist celebrates 100th birthday

Photo by Grace Kirchner Retired Clintonville dentist Harold Laatsch recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He lives at Aster Retirement Community.

Dr. Harold Laatsch was born in a log house on a farm near Caroline on May 28, 100 years ago. The retired Clintonville dentist credits his longevity to taking good care of himself by eating right and staying in shape.

Some of his earliest exercise came by way of picking stones as a boy on the farm. He also recalls walking 6 miles to attend Marion High School.

“I didn’t mind walking because you were not alone,” Laatsch said. “There was always a half dozen others walking, too.”

After graduating from high school as co-valedictorian, he attend Oshkosh Teachers College for a year. He then transferred to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, graduating with a degree in pharmacy in 1937 — the same year he married Ruby Bowers, whom he met in high school but really got to know while attending UW.


Computers are not always time-savers

I can’t remember how long I have had a computer, but since I have written this column for 30 years, I am sure I have had some type of computer for more than 20 years.

My first one was DOS, not sure what that exactly means, but I know it took me days of hair-raising and pulling frustration before I was comfortable in using the thing. I still have some DOS software and books; yeah, I guess that means I am somewhat of a pack rat.

I was going to throw them away, but then someone told me that they could be sold on eBay. So I still save them, although I have never been on eBay and would have no idea how to go about selling anything on there.

Then something called Windows was invented. Suddenly, the web was open to more and easier surfing. Eventually, I purchased a computer that had Windows. Perhaps it allowed me to do more, but all I really wanted to do was get in my word processing software and write a column or other assignment.


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Members of the Navarino Merri Maids are, from left, seated, Pat Zuiches, Connie Harbath, Fern Echtner and Jen Erb; standing, Barb Erb, Phyllis Christianson, Joy Christianson and Ellie Borre. Missing is Mildred Pues.

At one time, the Navarino Merri Maids, organized in 1935, was one of the largest homemaker clubs in Shawano County. In 1994, they were named Club of the Year.

The club now has nine members who are very active in the community. They meet at members’ homes and have dessert after the meetings.

“I like the people in the club and the food,” said President Barb Erb, who has been a member for 54 years.

Each meeting features a lesson pertaining to food, health or subjects selected by the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

“The lessons are interesting,” said Pat Zuiches, a member for 35 years and the unofficial scrapbook recorder.

The members take day trips and make desserts for benefits. In 1955, they helped get signals at the railroad tracks in Navarino where several people lost their lives. During elections, they furnish food for the voters at the Navarino Town Hall.

“The voters look forward to the food and the fellowship,” Zuiches said.


Day trips off the farm

Whenever we get away for a bit, there is much planning to be done. Just recently we had the chance to leave the farm for a day, twice, within a couple of weeks. Unusual!

Even if it’s only one day away, the cows still have to be milked, and the heifers and calves still need tending. For the most part, they don’t care who does it, just as long as it gets handled. All the bases must be covered in our absence or the work has to be done before we take off.

Mid-May, our daughter was done with her first year at college; amazing in and of itself. One whole year under her belt already! She had asked us a while back if we’d be willing to drive to La Crosse to help her cart her stuff home, as she had accumulated a variety of necessities during this first year away. You might know.


Clintonville car show winners announced

The winners have been announced for the Northeast Wisconsin Beat the Heat Youth Program Clintonville chapter’s spring car show held May 15 in Clintonville.

There were 221 entries in the show. The winners include the following:

• Mayor’s Choice: 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle, Dan Anderson, Seymour.

• Chief’s Choice: 1955 Ford police car, Matt Bourassa, Appleton.

• Chamber’s Choice: 1930 Ford, Brian Young, Hortonville.

• Class A, Fins: first place, Larry Gast, Tilleda, 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury; runner-up, Dan O’onnell, Green Bay, 1960 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.

• Class B, Autos and Trucks 1900-1949: first place, John Brunner, Bowler, 1940 Ford Pickup; runner-up, Bill and Mary Schoenike, Shawano, 1948 Ford pickup.

• Class C, Autos from 1950-1963: first place, Bill Novak, Antigo, 1955 Mercury Montclaire, runner-up, Randy Ladwig, Shawano, 1955 Chevy BelAir.


Kids from Wisconsin show benefits ailing musician

Proceeds from the 18th annual performance of the Kids from Wisconsin in Shawano will help defray medical expenses for a young musician fighting an undiagnosed ailment.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. July 1 at the Shawano Community High School auditorium, 220 County Road B, Shawano. Tickets, which are $12 for general admission and $15 for reserved seating, go on sale June 2.

Ticket proceeds will benefit Brittany Sperberg, a Shawano Community High School graduate and a member of the Kids from Wisconsin band in 2012 and 2013. Sperberg, an energetic trombonist, has been dealing with medical issues since last fall. She reluctantly withdrew from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to attend to her medical needs. Her performing future is in doubt.


Musical could become a habit

Contributed Photo The zany Sisters of Hoboken give a cooking demonstration as part of the talent show to help bury their dearly departed sisters in a scene from “Nunsense” when it was performed in April. Shown are, from left, Sister Mary Amnesia, played by Karen Fuller; Sister Mary Regina, played by Brandon Byng; and Sister Mary Hubert, played by Kari Devine. The show is coming to Clintonville High School on May 31.

The Sisters of Hoboken have already taken one northeast Wisconsin community by storm, and now they are descending on Clintonville for one performance only.

Abrams Spotlight Productions is bringing the musical “Nunsense” to Clintonville High School on May 31 through an arrangement with the Clintonville Lions Club. The show was the group’s spring performance at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams, where eight different audiences laughed at things that nuns normally would not be doing.

This will be the first time that the Oconto County theater group will be taking a full production on the road, according to “Nunsense” director Brandon Byng. He said Abrams Spotlight Productions has previously done murder mystery nights at other locations, but never a full show.


Library has summer programs for all ages

Public libraries across Wisconsin are gearing up to offer summer reading programs. At Shawano City-County Library, the program begins June 1 and runs through Aug. 15 and is available to patrons of all ages.

The children’s program is for ages birth through fifth grade, teen program for ages sixth grade through 17, and adult program for those 18 and older. Stop at the library to register and pick up your reading log.

Many performers, crafts and activities also are planned at the library this summer.

The lineup for the children’s program, “Every Hero Has a Story,” includes Tales of Heroes and Others, 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. June 9; Jump Up Family Music, 10 a.m. June 16; Hands 2 Grow Puppet Show, 10 a.m. June 23; The Graham Crackers, 10 a.m. June 30; KG & The Ranger, 10 a.m. July 7; and Fred Turk, 10 a.m. July 14. No pre-registration is required.


Bonduel vet saw Japan after bombs were dropped

Photo by Carol Wagner Don Mueller, of Bonduel, served as a medic during World War II.

After 72 years, the memories are fading a bit as Don Mueller recalls his days in the Army during World War II.

“It didn’t bother me to go,” Mueller said. “Everybody else was going. I really wanted to go.”

He was drafted, entering the service on March 13, 1943, and went through training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Camp Gordon in Georgia, The Citadel in South Carolina, Camp Grant in Illinois and Fort Ord in California. He was assigned to a medical detachment of the 3rd Engineers Special Brigade.

Mueller had four months of intensive instruction in field medical aid, emergency operating technique and battle maneuvers. He was sent overseas on Dec. 22, 1943, to serve in the Pacific Theater in New Guinea and the Philippines, including the invasion of Luzon.


A hero's welcome

Photo by Carol Wagner Reuben Schaetzel, 92, helped liberate the town of Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, from Nazi Germany toward the end of World War II. He was given several medals during his visit there earlier this month.

Contributed Photo World War II veteran Reuben Schaetzel, of Shawano, receives an award from the mayor of Pilsen, in the Czech Republic, earlier this month during a celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the Allies liberating the city from Nazi Germany.

Reuben Schaetzel’s exemplary World War II service has been documented in several articles and a book. Recently the Shawano resident was honored on the 70th anniversary of helping to liberate the city of Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic.

“I told my daughters if I would die tomorrow, I would be a happy man,” Schaetzel said about the trip he took with his daughters.

Schaetzel was drafted into the Army in February 1943. After basic training, he was assigned to the military police and sent overseas. After a short time, Schaetzel was reassigned to the 701st Sherman Tank Battalion.

He was part of the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach and, after surviving that, went through many towns in Europe. He was in the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945.

In April 1945, he was part of the unit that liberated Pilsen from Nazi Germany. The war officially ended Sept. 2, 1945.


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