Milton Edward Bliss

Milton Edward Bliss, 100, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010.

He was born on Jan. 21, 1910, in the township of Ashippun, Dodge County, the son of William E. and Carrie Marie (nee Christenson) Bliss. Milton graduated from Hartford Union High School, class of 1926 and the Dodge County Teachers College, Mayville, class of 1927.

Following graduation he taught in the rural schools of Dodge County for four years. He then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from which he graduated with honors in June 1935. Immediately following graduation, he joined the University faculty to direct the Universityís farm radio service over state-owned stations WHA Madison and WLBL Stevens Point and to teach resident classes in agricultural journalism.

In 1950, Milton moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as an information specialist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Two years later he was employed by the National Broadcasting Co. to serve as a producer of the National Farm and Home Hour radio program. Following its discontinuation in 1960, he was employed by station WFIL-AM-FM and TV, Philadelphia, to direct that stationís farm radio and television programs.

Returning to the Midwest in 1961, Milton served as an information specialist in Milwaukee with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service from which he resigned four years later when the agency moved its office to Lincoln, Neb.

Miltonís professional career was then capped by four assignments with the United Nationís Food and Agriculture Organization headquartered in Rome, Italy. The assignments included serving as a lecturer at a National Farm Broadcasting Seminar in Campinas, Brazil, as a consultant at FAOís headquarters in Rome, as an information specialist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and as an extension materials specialist in a farmers training and functional literacy project headquartered in New Delhi, India. After completing those assignments, Milton returned to his home near Hartford where he operated his farm.

Besides maintaining his 160-acre farm, Milton has until recently enjoyed driving for the Shorehavenís Meals On Wheels program, being involved in a variety of activities at his church, St. Olaf Lutheran, and volunteering at Ashippun Firemenís functions. He was a volunteer for 20 years at the Wisconsin Farm Center for the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and was a Farm Mentor for Dodge County.

Milton married the former Ethel Judith Peterson on Oct. 15, 1940. He was a World War II veteran of front line combat in the European theater of operations, during which he was decorated with four battle stars and the Purple Heart for service in the Battle of the Bulge.

Milton was a longtime member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters and served as a committee chairman for that organization for many years. The association gave him its Meritorious Service Award in 1962, made him an honorary member in 1992 and named him to its Hall of Fame in 1994. He was a member of Delta Theta Sigma, Alpha Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi and Epsilon Signa Phi. Most recently, he was the recipient of the Hartford Union High School Distinguished Alumnus Award in June, 2009.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, in 1997 and by two sisters, Ruth Lucille (James) Richmond in 1959 and Leah Marie (Dale) Aebischer in 1993. He is survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and many good friends.

Visitation will be held Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, from noon to 2 p.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, W653 Roosevelt Road, Rubicon. Funeral Service will follow at 2 p.m. at the church. The Rev. Matthew Lee will officiate. Interment St. Olaf Cemetery.

Memorials to the University of Wisconsin Agriculture Department or St. Olaf Lutheran Church would be appreciated.

The Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home is serving the family.