Louis J. Wachter

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Louis J. Wachter, 91, of Woodman, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, March 18, 2022. 

He was born in Midland, S.D., on Aug. 23, 1930, the son of Herman and Mertie (Kaiser) Wachter, the second youngest of 15 children. When Louie was 9 years old, his family moved to the Millville area. He helped on the family farm growing up and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, until he was wounded on Heartbreak Ridge and ultimately honorably discharged. He was awarded the Purple Heart and various other medals, and he was proud of his military service. He was very active in the Grey-Wachter-Murphy American Legion Post 229 in Mt. Hope, serving as commander and being a huge part of the annual fish fry, selling raffle tickets to everyone he knew and didn’t know. 

Louis married Patricia Reukauf on Feb. 19, 1955, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Prairie du Chien. Together, they farmed and raised their family of 7 in the Millville area, just down the road from his family’s farm. Pat and Louis operated Pat and Louie’s Place in Mt. Hope for several years, where he became an expert at making malts and pouring the perfect tap beer. Louis enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially his yearly trips to Balsam Lake with family and friends. In his later years, he took up pickle-making as a hobby, and became famous for his bucket of dill pickles. He also enjoyed a good game of euchre or cribbage, as long as he was on the winning team. 

He is survived by his children, Clifford (Trudy), Wendy, Susie (Bill) Mergen, Lisa, Tom (Cindy), and Tim; daughter-in-law, Denise Wachter; his grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Doris Ann Wachter. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Pat; his son, Brad; a grandson, Nate; a great-grandson, Kage; and his 14 siblings.

Motto to live by:

Life should not be a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, whiskey in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, “Woo-hoo, what a ride!” 

Funeral services will be Friday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at the Mt. Hope United Methodist Church, Pastor Lance Wetter officiating. Interment will be in the Hermitage Cemetery in Mt. Hope. Friends may call on Thursday, March 24, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Garrity Funeral Home in Prairie du Chien and at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of services. 

Memorials are preferred to either The Freedom Honor Flight in La Crosse, Mt. Hope Legion Post 229, or the Mt. Hope United Methodist Church. 

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