Norbert Harvey Dettmann
Norbert Harvey Dettmann, 97, was led to his eternal home in the silent early hours of Christmas morning.
Norbert (Norbie) was born on November 20, 1923 in the town of Farmington, the son of the late Harvey and Emma (Torke) Dettmann. He graduated from West Bend High School in 1941 and the UW College of Agriculture farm short course in 1946. His legacy covered a considerable span of history of the Boltonville village and the Farmington Township area in which he resided for most of his life.
He grew up as a farm boy during the Great Depression and the “dust bowl” days of the 1930s. This made a lasting impression on his life.
On September 24, 1960, Norbert married Louella Brott at Grace United Church of Christ, Kohler, WI. After their marriage, they moved from the farm and lived in Boltonville.
Norbert’s love for his Farmington community had been foremost in his life. He was a lifelong member of St. John’s United Church of Christ of Boltonville, now known as New Horizon UCC, where he was a member of the choir, served on the church council, and taught Sunday School. He also served on the Wisconsin conference United Church of Christ Board of directors from 1995-2000.
Norbert was active in local, county, state, and national civic affairs. Norbert was chairman of the Town of Farmington from 1963-1973. He was the president of the Wisconsin Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts from 1970-1975. He also served on the National Association of Conservation Districts. He was a member of the Washington County Landmark Commission and was an officer of the Boltonville Union Cemetery Association. He was a member of the Boltonville Sportsman Club and the Boltonville Fire Department where he helped to organize the annual Rain Days Picnics and Parades. He was a member of the Washington County Board of Supervisors from 1963-1986.
Norbert valued education. He was on the planning committee responsible for building a brand new elementary school in the Kewaskum School District. They found the perfect land to purchase, they hired just the right contractor, and in 1966, Farmington Elementary School was built. In dad’s eyes, FES was the perfect school for his children to attend. In addition, as a county board member, Norbert had a dream that every young person should have the opportunity to attain local access to a college education. He was on the first advisory council in 1971 when UWWC (University of Wisconsin Washington County) was organized, and he served as one of their first commissioners. He was recently named an honorary UWWC Ambassador.
Norbert was a charter and general leader of the first 4-H Club in Boltonville. He later became the president of the Washington County Leaders Association. He was a member of the Washington County Fair board for 23 years.
Norbert and his wife had operated a local insurance agency. He had seen his company, American Family Insurance, grow from a two-person office on the capitol square in Madison, WI, to one of the largest insurance companies in the nation. Norbert had been an agent since 1949, retiring in 2010. He was recognized by the company for being an agent for 61 years, longer than any other agent in the company.
Survivors include his children, John Dettmann (Keith Jones) of Davenport, Florida, Julie (Mark) Wenzlaff of West Bend and Edgardo (Angela) Carranza of Payson, Arizona; 10 grandchildren, Lindsay (nee Wenzlaff) Lohnhardt, Jaymes Wenzlaff, Amanda (nee Carranza) Ballew, Esperanza (nee Carranza) Clingan, Alicia, Josue, Eliseo, Samuel Carranza , Parker Jewell and Perry Jewell; two great-grandchildren, Benjamin Ballew and Hadassah Clingan; many nieces and nephews.
As the family patriarch, Norbie will be missed, but his stories will live on.
A private family service will be held on Saturday, January 2, at New Horizon UCC in Boltonville at 1 p.m. The service will be recorded and posted on the funeral home website afterward.
Community members, family and friends are invited to join Norbert’s procession from the church through Boltonville, past his former home, to his final resting place at Boltonville Union Cemetery. All relatives, friends and community members are welcome to join the family for Norbert’s burial service at the cemetery.
Family will greet relatives and friends at the Boltonville Fire Department for a reception and fellowship following the burial. Masks and social distancing will be required for the safety of all guests.
The family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the staff at New Perspective Senior Living for providing Norbert with comfort and care for the past seven years and to Heartland Hospice for the special care and support they gave in guiding Norbert to his eternal home. A special thank you to Pastor Christine Wilke for officiating the funeral.
Contributions in memory of Norbert are sincerely appreciated to the following: New Horizon United Church of Christ, Boltonville Union Cemetery, or KEYS, Inc (Kewaskum Youth Scholarships).
The Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home has been entrusted with Norbert’s arrangements. Additional information and guestbook may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com