Obit: Luchterhand, Emil A. (1908 - 1997)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Luchterhand, Ewert, Barrett, Seiler, Beasley, Kuhlmann, Grover
----Sources: Scrap book one: by Elsa Lange Hardrath & Dorthaleen Edwards Hardrath
Contributed by Halbert "Bud" Hardrath
Luchterhand, Emil A. (21 Dec. 1908 - 19 Jan. 1997)
Emil A. Luchterhand, 88, died Sunday, Jan. 19, 1997, in the room where he was born, at his home in the Town of Colby, Clark County.
Emil was born on Dec. 21, 1908, to Edd and Bertha (Ewert) Luchterhand. He attended Cloverdale School and graduated from Colby High School in 1923 at the age of 15. History and science were his early interests, and he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1927.
He gained employment with Chromium Plating Company of Chicago immediately after graduating from college and worked there for four years as an electro-plater. The company closed in 1930 and Emil was unemployed. While he was able to find employment after several months, the soup lines made up of thousands of unemployed workers with families to support convinced him to start working for adoption of the Worker’ Unemployment and Social Insurance Bill. In 1932 he was laid off his job as a research and analytical chemist and went to work in earnest for Work or Wages.
He was a candidate for Congress in 1934 and petitioned to get his name on the ballot for major of Chicago in 1935. In 1937, he returned home to help on the family farm located six miles west of Unity. He purchased the farm from his parents the following year. Edd and Emil worked together to help organize the Clark Electric Cooperative bringing electricity to the home farm on April 9, 1938.
Emil met his wife, Mary (Barrett) Luchterhand and married her in 1942. He was actively involved in all aspects of rural living and community organizing for his entire adult life. A great believer in cooperatives, Emil attended Clark Electric Coop annual meetings without fail, was an active member of the Farmers Union and served as a director for Harmony Cooperative. He was a founding member and officer in the Colby Southwest Telephone Company.
Always a firm believer in the power of education, he served as clerk on the school board for Cloverdale School for many years. In 1962, he was a strong advocate for consolidating into the Colby School District and in 1964, for consolidating the Colby and Abbotsford School Districts. He served two terms on the Colby School Board during the ‘80s and was proud to have actively endorsed building a new elementary school building.
He admonished people to never cross a picket line and gave meaning to his words by joining the National Farmers Organization Livestock and Milk Withholding Actions during the ‘60s. As a student of international affairs and a tireless worker for world peace, he participated in the University of Wisconsin Great Decision Debates and was a member and officer in the Marshfield Chapter of the United National Organizations.
During the ‘80s he operated an income tax service from his home, specializing in farm income taxes. He also served as assessor for several years in the Townships of Colby and Unity.
Emil is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, Kubet (Jean Seiler) Luchterhand of Ellison Bay, Kathy (John) Beasely of Lansing, Michigan, Debby (Walter) Kuhlmann of Cross Plains, and Bryce (Max) Luchterhand of Unity, and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Alma Luctherhand and Dorothy Grover, and two brothers, Ernest Luctherhand and Elmer (Pat) Luchterhand.
Memorial services will be held at the Maurina Funeral Home in Abbotsford on Friday, Jan. 31. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:30 with services starting at 1:30 p.m., followed by a lunch at the Fieldstone Restaurant in Abbotsford.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the Emil A. Luchterhand Scholarship Fund, in care of family members.
Emil Luchterhand saw hope when others despaired and was never deterred from his work and vision for world peace. He lived the words of Henry David Thoreau, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured and far away."
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