Delbert Richard 'Del' Schreck

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Delbert Richard “Del” Schreck, 96, passed away on Monday, Oct. 1, surrounded by his loving family at the Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care in Viroqua.

Del was the second son, born March 17, 1922, to Charles and Katherine (Williams) Schreck in Merrill. The family moved from Merrill to the Steuben area in early 1928.

Del served in the Civilian Conservation Corp. from 1940-1941. While working in Rockford, Ill., Del was inducted into the U.S. Army, serving with the 265th Field Artillery Battalion Battery A, during World War II (1942-1946). Del served his country as a technical sergeant, which fought in the European Theater, starting in France and ending in Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge-Christmas 1944. During 1945, Del was promoted to acting first sergeant; he was awarded three Bronze Battle Stars. It was during the Battle of the Bulge Del decided he would never go hungry again and would become a farmer upon his discharge. Del was honorably discharged Jan. 18, 1946.

January 1947, Del began as the farm manager for the University of Wisconsin Farm at Seneca. With his brother Pat, they managed the farm until 1955, when they purchased it.

On June 4, 1955, Del was united in marriage to Wilma Jean Ertel. To this union, two children were born, Steven and Lois.

Del was an active member of the Seneca School Board, served on the Holstein Association Board, AMPI, and was a member of the Seneca Methodist Church Building Committee, building the new church.

Del and Wilma retired from the farm and moved to Mt. Sterling in 1988. He was elected to the Mt. Sterling Village Board and became president. One of his various duties was being involved with the Valley Ridge Clean Water Commission for Mt. Sterling, Seneca and Lynxville areas.

Education was always important to Del, so at the age of 67, he went back to school and earned his GED and also obtained his real estate broker license.

One of Del’s hobbies was to collect and restore Farmall tractors. Del and Wilma enjoyed various bus tours of the United States; winters in Arizona with his brother, Bob and sister-in-law, Marian; and serving as escort service for oversize loads for his son Steve’s job. Another highlight was attending Del’s WWII Army reunions held in various states for the last 30 years. In 2008, Del flew with the first Freedom Honor Flight out of La Crosse to view the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Del is survived by his son, Steven (Lynn) Schreck, of Seneca; daughter, Lois (Larry) Thompson, of Cameron; grandsons, Mark and Scott Schreck, of Seneca; step-grandchildren, Chad (Kris) Thompson, of Cameron, and Jill (Jacob Paullin) Hermann, of Beaver Dam; six step-great-grandchildren, Gabrielle, Isabelle and Ryker Thompson, and Max, Katie and Emma Hermann; sisters-in-law, Jeannine Schreck and Darlene Ertel; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Del was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Wilma; his parents, Charles and Katherine; three brothers, David (Gertie), Robert (Marian) and Charles Schreck; his father-in-law, William Ertel; mother-in-law, Clara Ertel; and brother-in-law, Ed Ertel.

Funeral services for Del will be held at the Prairie du Chien United Methodist Church, on Friday, Oct. 5, beginning at 11 a.m. with Pastors Lynn Schreck and Barb Cook co-officiating. Following the luncheon, burial with full military honors will be held at the Evergreen Cemetery in Utica Township. Visitation will be held at the Methodist church on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 4 to 8 p.m., and again on Friday, from 9 a.m. until the time of service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care, 705 Arena Dr., Viroqua, WI 54665, or to the Eastman Salem United Methodist Church Parking Lot Fund.

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