Walter Mike Schwartz

    Walter Mike Schwartz passed away peacefully after completing his earthly journey on Jan. 3, 2011, surrounded by his loving family.

    He was born on April 5, 1926, in the log house on the Schwartz family farm in Rib Lake to Mike and Margaret (nee Frank) Schwartz. He received his primary education at Fawn Valley School in rural Rib Lake. The Schwartz family attended St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rib Lake, where Walter was confirmed. On Sept. 1, 1951, he married Bette Buksa at the parsonage of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Rib Lake.

For the first few years of their marriage, they farmed with his parents on the Schwartz farm east of Rib Lake. Leaving the farm in 1953, he initially found employment at Bucyrus Erie in South Milwaukee for the summer, moving his family to Milwaukee the following fall, and was employed by Wisconsin Bridge & Iron in Milwaukee for the next 29 years. The family lived in Milwaukee for eight years, and then they purchased a home two miles east of Jackson, where they resided for the next 44 years. This home is where they raised their four children, welcomed 10 grandchildren, and the first of their great-grandchildren. His last eight years of employment was at Server Products in Richfield, retiring in 1991. In 2005, they sold their Jackson home to a grandson and became condo dwellers in West Bend.

Walter loved hunting and fishing. He especially loved hunting grouse in the Rib Lake area in the fall and deer hunting in the same area in November. He passed on his guns and his love of hunting to the next generations of his family. He was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II, having been inducted in 1943. He served in the South Pacific and he received his honorable discharge in 1945. Walter was a paid for life member of the S/Sgt. Henry F. Gumm American Legion Post No. 486 in Jackson. In 2007, he was honored to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., a trip he really cherished. In the last 25 years, Walter and Bette enjoyed traveling; especially on their bus tours ... there is much beauty in our country.

Walter is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Bette; his dear children, Don (Myrna) Schwartz, Maureen (Lynn) Dyrcz, Gayle (Rick) Steiner and Diane (Jack) Mayer; his special grandchildren, Scott (Kelly) Dyrcz, Amy (Aaron) Haug, Lori Dyrcz, Andrea (Andrew) Kaehny, Robb (Chrissy) Steiner, Heidi (fiancé, Michael Prodoehl) Thomas, Michael (Sara) Schwartz, Marc Dyrcz and Melanie (Tim) Schwinn. He is also survived by his 10 precious great-grandchildren, Dylan and Jenna Dyrcz, Gavin, Maya and Malia Haug, Elsa and Anya Kaehny, Mackenna and Ryan Steiner and Josephine Schwartz; his brother-in-law, George Buksa; sister-in-law, JoAnn Buksa-Otto; other relatives and friends.

Walter is preceded in death by his parents; an infant son; a granddaughter, Katie Thomas; his parents in-law, George Buksa Sr. and Helen Buksa Decker; his sister, Florine Schwartz Buksa; his niece, Lynette Rau; and brothers-in-law, Richard and Michael Buksa.

A funeral service for Walter will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel, 1420 W. Paradise Dr., West Bend. Visitation will take place at the funeral home only on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 11 a.m. until time of service, with a military walk-thru at 1:30 p.m.

Memorials in Walter’s name may be made to the Threshold, West Bend Food Pantry or to a charity of your choice.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. www.phillipfuneralhome.com.

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Peter Cornelius for his care through the years and to Allay Hospice, especially Nurse Marsha, Chaplain Vicki and Father Chris who were so kind and helpful during Walter’s last days.