Walt Roelse, age 94, a resident at Cedar Bay, in Elkhart Lake, died peacefully and went to be with his Lord and his loving wife Lois Marie, Saturday morning, Aug. 22, 2009, at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice where he had been a patient for two days.

He was born March 4, 1915 in Cedar Grove, Wis., a son of the late John and Annie (Simmelink) Roelse. He attended Lakeshore Technical College and the University of Wisconsin receiving his education in fire science and teaching.

On Oct. 21, 1939, he married the love of his life, Lois Marie Johnson. They made their home in Sheboygan most of their married life.

He joined the Sheboygan Fire Department in 1942.

He then joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 1943 and then served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 having served in the Asiatic Theater of War.

Following the war, he continued his career with the Sheboygan Fire Department and was promoted to lieutenant in 1953, became captain in 1961, battalion chief in 1969 and fire chief in 1977. He retired March 1, 1981, after 39 years of service.

Walt not only lived his career, but taught as a circuit instructor in fire science in eastern Wisconsin. Walt taught fire fighting, rescue, first aid, radiation hazards and fire department officers training for many years.

He was a past member of the Fire Fighters local union 483 in Sheboygan, past state president of the Wisconsin Paid Firemen’s Association, a member of the Sheboygan County, Fox Valley, state of Wisconsin and International Fire Chiefs associations and a member of the International Fire Service Instructors Association, and has been a member of the Retired Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin.

Walt enjoyed flower gardening and operated a tree farm in the town of Rhine for many years.

Walt enjoyed playing cards with family and friends and in his spare time loved reading as well as traveling and camping with his family through the years. In retirement Walt and Lois moved to the town of Rhine and spent their winters in Florida. Lois preceded him in death Oct. 30, 2008.

Walt was a man who put others in front of his own needs. He will certainly be remembered as a man who loved life and having fun. Walt’s passion for his profession ran deep, as well as the love he shared for his wife and family and the many friends he cared about.

Survivors include three daughters, Barbara (Denis) Calvert and Carol (John) Muehlbauer, both of Ocala, Fla., and Audrey (Don) Sager of the town of Rhine and one son, David (Darlene) Roelse of the town of Rhine; 13 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

He was also preceded in death by one granddaughter, Sarah Roelse; his stepmother, Cornelia; and two stepbrothers, William and Cornilius Roelse.

Following cremation, a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, at the Christian Life Assembly of God Church in Plymouth with the Rev. Richard York, pastor of the church, officiating.

Friends may call at the church from 3 p.m. Monday until the hour of service.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established in Walt’s name. The Wittkopp-Schneider Funeral Service in Plymouth is serving the family. Online condolences may be sent to www.wittkopp schneider.com.

The family wishes to thank the staff and many friends Walt made at Cedar Bay, for the love and care that made Walt’s life full during the time he was there.

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