Funeral Services for Willis R. Schlote, age 98, of Norfolk, will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 6, 2021 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Norfolk. Reverend Robert Wiest will officiate. Interment will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Home for Funerals Chapel, 708 Georgia Avenue. The Service will be livestreamed on the funeral home’s website. Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.
He passed away, Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Care Center in Norfolk.
Willis was born June 8, 1923 in rural Knox County. He was the middle child of Raymond and Alma (Gieselman) Schlote. He went to school through seventh grade and also passed his eighth-grade test that year. Times were tough, so instead of going on to high school, he put his focus on 4-H where he showed Herford and Angus cattle and Berkshire hogs. He was also a member of the demonstration teams and one year won a one-week trip to Chicago. Willis always said that he learned more from 4-H than he ever would have from high school.
On November 7, 1954, Willis married Norma Huetig of Laurel. The couple made their home in Bloomfield where three children were born. Willis purchased and ran the Red Wing Shoe Store until 1964, when he moved the family to Norfolk. Willis worked as a tractor mechanic at both Dinkel Implement and Lutz Implement. Willis’ love of 4-H re-surfaced and he organized the Wonder Workers 4-H Club. He served as a leader for many years, teaching many young boys about small engines.
Willis was always tinkering on cars and engines, and he took his little Red Rambler Ambassador to many car shows. Willis also loved gardening and achieved the status of Master Gardener. He often contributed gardening articles to the Norfolk Daily News. In 2006, he survived a serious case of West Nile, but he returned to gardening and won many open class ribbons for his flowers and vegetables.
He is survived by his children, Reverend Loy (Nancy) Schlote of Plainfield, IL, Lea (Larry) McKenna of Osmond, and Lyle (Mona) Schlote of Norfolk, grandchildren Will Baumer, Christy (John) Sharp, and Gandhi (Audrey) Schlote, great grandchildren Ella, Max, and Nathan, and many nieces and nephews.
Willis was preceded in death by his parents, wife, brother Vigil and sister Luella.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Nebraska Public Television.
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