Towne, Garth Oscar
Wild Rose - 1933-2020
Garth Oscar Towne, 86, of Wild Rose, passed away suddenly Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at home, fulfilling his wish that he would live out his days on the farm he loved.
Born in Wild Rose, WI, on May 26, 1933, he was the son of the late Earl and Mary (Eserhut) Towne.
Garth began farming behind horses on his father’s farm in the Town of Belmont, Portage County, before moving to Springwater Township, shortly after he was married, where he farmed for over 60 years. In the early 1970s, Garth gave up the goal of designing the perfect feeder pig barn to become a dairy farmer. He was proud of his high producing herd of Holstein cows that he often serenaded and petted. Garth gained notoriety for one of his calves born in 2007. The calf, the seventh birth of the season and born on July 7, was distinguished by a big seven on its head. Garth named the calf “Lucky Number 7.”
Garth attended freshman year at Wild Rose High School and then transferred to Waupaca High School for the agriculture curriculum. He was active in student organizations there including the Future Farmers of America, Historical Society, and Intramurals. Although a good student, after school was out for the day, Garth also spent time in the pool halls of Waupaca, where he became known as the “Milky Way Kid,” because he collected his winnings in Milky Way bars.
After graduating from Waupaca High School, Garth played baseball for a Town of Belmont community baseball team. A natural athlete, but right-handed, Garth taught himself to bat left-handed and batted clean-up. Garth, who played first base, was once scouted by the majors, but a chance to play professional baseball just couldn’t compete with farming.
He also enjoyed spending time in the outdoors and was a bow hunter for many years, always known for getting his buck. As a young man, he won a trap shooting contest, winning the prize of a turkey for the family table. Garth took up running in his 50s, entering some road races and winning his age group.
When his children were in school, Garth served on the PTA, and later PTO, for the Wild Rose School District. He was on the committee overseeing the construction of a new school building in the 1970s. At a time when the school district was considering consolidating with another district, he was a vocal supporter of keeping a high school in Wild Rose. He was proud to have been able to see all six of his children graduate from college, the first generation in the family to do so.
He was a supervisor in Springwater Township for over 30 years. As township supervisor, he spearheaded the construction of the Springwater Volunteer Covered Bridge which was built in 1997. The bridge, which carries traffic over Pine River, has become the focal point of Springwater Township’s Covered Bridge Park.
Garth was an armchair historian, a teller of stories, a lover of chocolate, a merciless checker player, a bridge-builder, and a proud father and grandfather.
His wisdom and singing voice will be deeply missed by his wife, Wilma (Bauer) Towne; their six children, Rachelle Towne, Wild Rose, her companion Bruce Harrison, Poy Sippi, her former husband and friend David Bleskacek, IL, and their son, Austin Bleskacek (companion Jackie Schulz), Madison; Tammie Rau (Ron), Almond; Chari Towne (Jay Gregg), PA; Garnet Towne (companion Loren Lemke), MN; Ursula Towne (Brett Moore), IL, and her son, Vantine Moyer (companion Paige Bohannon), IL; and Trenton Towne (Rebecca), and their sons, Atticus, Solomon, Asher, and Elias, Waupaca; and one sister, Elaine Junkens (Ron), Almond, as well as nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Leighton Towne and Leland Towne, one sister, Beth Johnson, and one grandson, Samuel Orion Moyer.
A celebration of Garth’s life will take place on May 24, 2020, at the Covered Bridge Park.
Final commitment will be private with the family. Arrangements by the Maple Crest Funeral Home, Waupaca, WI.
On-line condolences may be made at https://www.maplecrestfh.com/notices/Garth-Towne
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