Walter C. Schlaugat Jr.

A prominent Prairie du Chien businessman, Walter C. Schlaugat Jr., 86, passed away on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, at Dove Healthcare in Eau Claire.

Walt was born June 25, 1922, in Milwaukee, the son of Walter and Mildred (nee Thorkildsen) Schlaugat. He was a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and later trained as an airman in radio use at Truax Field in Madison. He served in the Merchant Marines during WWII in the European Theatre as a First Mate radio operator. He worked as a station engineer for WEMP/WNOV and WFOX, both in Milwaukee and later for WBKV in West Bend as a station engineer and board controller. In 1952, he established WPRE Radio in Prairie du Chien, which he owned and operated for 45 years until his retirement in 1997.

He married Mary Ellen Kieckhafer on Dec. 8, 1951, in West Bend. She later preceded him in death on May 10, 1999.

Walt was a founding member of the Prairie du Chien Country Club. He belonged to the Prairie du Chien Masonic Lodge, the Kiawanis Club, the Eagles Club and the Chamber of Commerce. His hobby and passion was ham radio, holding the call sign W9SD. Walt was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He is survived by two sons: Allan (Donna) Schlaugat of Eau Claire and Jim (Laura) Schlaugat of Mt. Ida; two daughters: Sandra Schlaugat of New Berlin and Mary Ann (Jeff) Klongland of Verona; a sister Margaret Rose of Tucson, Ariz.; two sisters in law; Pat Schlaugat of Waukesha and Anne (Bob) Becker of West Bend; a brother-in-law Allen Kieckhafer of West Bend; and with seven grandchildren: Jamie and Jeremy Schlaugat, Jeffrey and David Klongland, Veronica, Renee and Thomas Schlaugat.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; a son, David, and a brother, Warren Schlaugat.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 5, 2009, at the United Methodist Church in Prairie du Chien, with the Rev. Stuart Allen officiating. Military Rites will be accorded by the Prairie du Chien Honor Guard. Interment will be at 1 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2009, at the West Bend Cemetery in West Bend. Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2009, at the Garrity Funeral Home in Prairie du Chien, where there will be a Masonic service at 6:30 p.m., and at the church on Thursday, March 5, 2009, from 10 a.m. until the time of services.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff and doctors of St. Joseph’s Hospice and Dove Healthcare for their excellent care during Walt’s stay there.

Garrity Funeral Home is serving the family. www.garrityfuneralhome.com.