Harold was born on May 28, 1915 in a log house on a farm near Caroline. He was the son of the late Adolph and Anne (Westphal) Laatsch. Harold graduated from Marion High School in 1933 and graduated from UW Madison in 1937 with a BS Degree in Pharmacy. On June 20, 1937 he was united in marriage to Ruby Bowers at her family’s farm in Marion. Harold worked as a pharmacist in Wisconsin Dells and then Milwaukee in 1940 while he was enrolled at Marquette University in the Dental School Program. He graduated from dental school in 1943 and was commissioned to 1st Lieutenant in the US Army Dental Corp. Harold’s first assignment was at the Carlyle Barracks in Carlyle, PA. His next assignment was at Ft. Campbell, KY where he did routine dental work on his fellow soldiers. In August of 1945, Harold received the rank of Captain and was sent to Ft. Harrison in Indianapolis, IN. In 1946 he was assigned to Camp Atterbury, IN and was honorably discharged from the Army after nearly three and a half years on October 12, 1946 at Ft. Sheridan, IL. Harold and Ruby then moved to Clintonville where Harold served the community as a well known dentist for over 50 years.
Harold was a member of St. Martin Lutheran Church in Clintonville since 1946. He also became a member of Clintonville American Legion Post 63 in 1946 where he served as Post Commander in 1970 and was active with the honor guard up until recent years. In 2007 Harold proudly received his 60 year membership certificate from the American Legion. He was a past member of the Clintonville Rotary Club where he served as president in 1966 –’67, was awarded the Paul Harris Award in 1988, was Rotarian of the Year in 1993, and was awarded a plaque for 45 years of perfect attendance. Harold loved the game of golf and enjoyed over 60 years of membership at Clintonville Riverside Golf Course. Some of his other accomplishments include: Life Member of Wisconsin & American Dental Associations, Waupaca County Dental Society where he served as past president, associate member of the Chicago Dental Society, President of the Fox River Valley Dental Society in 1965, member of the Veteran’s Park Committee, member of the first Marion High School Band in 1932, member of the UW Madison Band in 1934, volunteer accordion player at local nursing homes for over 10 years, and was named male volunteer of the year at Greentree Health Care Center in 2001 and 2005. Ruby preceded her husband in death on December 29, 2006. If you knew Harold, then you knew of his wonderful upbeat personality which will be missed by many.
Survivors include his children: Randolph “Randy” (Nancy) Laatsch, Maryland Heights, MO; Pamela (friend Wayne Lager) Laatsch, Oshkosh; Virginia Hilley, Weyauwega; Richard Laatsch, Oshkosh; granddaughter, Rebecca Hilley; and numerous other relatives including his special grand niece, Beth Bowers. Harold was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ruby, four brothers: Herman, Edwin, Bernie, and Vilas Laatsch, and a sister Erlein Laatsch.
Harold’s funeral service will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Martin Lutheran Church in Clintonville with Rev. Christian Burg officiating. Interment will follow at Graceland Cemetery also in Clintonville with full military honors conducted by members of the Clintonville American Legion Post 63, VFW Post 664, and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 63. Memorials for Harold may be directed to the St. Martin Student Tuition Fund or to the American Legion Post 63 of Clintonville. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory of Clintonville is assisting his family. www.eberhardtstevenson.com