Congratulations to Marv and Bert Klitzke
2016 Syttende Mai King and Queen!
Marv and Bert Klitzke were both born and raised on dairy farms in Sauk County; Marv near Rock Springs and Bert near Ironton. They both graduated from Reedsburg High School and after working briefly on the farm, Marv spent two years in the Army during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. He says that he was fortunate because he was able to spend his time in Germany instead of Korea. After his military service Marv and Bert got married in Reedsburg on June 10, 1954. He worked on the farm again for a short period of time and also worked for Ed Kraemer & Sons from Plain, Wisconsin on their bridge crew. Marv relates a good story about his farm life. One day while he was pitching manure into the manure spreader, he made a vow to himself that someday he was going to get a job where he could wear a white shirt and tie.
Bert says, “Don’t forget the most important part of our lives.” After high school Bert attended Sauk County Normal School and waitressed at the Huntley Hotel in Reedsburg. During this time Marv was dating Bert’s twin sister. While he was in Germany, he received a “Dear John” letter from her sister. Bert says that she always had an eye on Marv so after he was discharged from the Army; she called him and asked him to take her to the Saturday night dance in Rock Springs. Marv was always bashful but he did
consent to taking Bert to the dance. The Queen says that he was a “keeper” and to prove it, they will celebrate their 62nd wedding anniversary in June. They raised a family of two daughters and two sons and now have 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
His goal to wear that white shirt and tie to work was achieved when he became an insurance agent with Farmer’s Mutual Insurance. Farmer’s Mutual Insurance later became American Family Insurance. Marv and Bert spent the next forty years in the insurance business. They spent four years in Seymour, six and a half years in central Illinois and they happily returned to Wisconsin in 1965 when Marv became the American Family Insurance
agent in Stoughton. Throughout this time in Stoughton, Bert was the office manager and kept his office in good order.
After retiring in 1995 both Marv and Bert have volunteered many hours for several organizations in Stoughton. Marv served on the Shillelagh Foundation Board of Directors for 24 years and was president for 17 years. He was awarded Shillelagh’s Citizen of the Year Award twice and Bert received this honor once for volunteering service to the Stoughton Community.
Marv is past president of the Stoughton Rotary Club where he has over fifty years of perfect attendance at weekly club meetings. He was in charge of building the Rotary float for the Syttende Mai parade for 35 years with lots of help from Bert.
He is a long time member of the Stoughton Sports Booster and the Wrestling Clubs. He was the public address announcer for the Stoughton High School dual meet wrestling matches for 34 years. He is a member of the Stoughton Honorary S Club and is currently acting treasurer. Marv was chairman of the committee that honored former Stoughton High School wrestling coach, Laverne Pieper, for his induction into the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He also arranged to have the Stoughton High School Wrestling team ride the Stoughton fire truck
through town each year they won the State Wrestling championship. Together Marv and Bert lead a committee to welcome Stoughton’s Russ Hellickson and Andy Rein home from the Olympic games where they both won Silver Metals for wrestling.
He served on the committee to raise funds for a Stoughton Hospital expansion and is presently serving on the fund raising committee for the next hospital expansion. Marv was the Cancer Crusade Chairman for the American Cancer Society for two consecutive years for the City of Stoughton and Southeast Dane County. Bert holds the honor of being the first female member of the Stoughton Fire and Police Commission and served as secretary for several years.
Both Marv and Bert are very active in their respective churches. At First Lutheran Church, Marv is chairman of the personnel committee, a member of the stewardship committee, has been an usher for several years, is a past member of the church council had has taught Sunday school for 6 years. For many years, Bert did the official recording of all church events for St. Ann’s Catholic Church and was in charge of all of their bulk mailings. She has also served as St Ann’s Secretary when needed.
Marv and Bert both love the game of golf. Bert has had two holes-in-one and Marv has had one. They enjoy spending their late winters in Arizona where they can relax and play golf as much as they like. Bert enjoys raising beautiful flowers in her gardens and they work together to produce lots of good vegetables in their home garden.
They cannot claim any known Norwegian heritage, but having lived in this city for the past 50 years, they do share the city’s pride of its Norwegian heritage. They are grateful for the honor of representing the City of Stoughton as royalty for Syttende Mai 2016.