Herbert August John Sommerfeld, 98 of Gillett, WI passed away at a Green Bay nursing home suddenly, but peacefully Tuesday, Oct 13, 2020.
Herbert was born on August 1, 1922 in Gillett, WI to the late August & Hulda (Wendt) Sommerfeld. At a young age, his father died. Herb dropped out of 8th grade to help run the farm with his older brother Merlin, and his mom. He was fond of his school days. Took the horse & buggy to school about 3 miles, yes, uphill through the woods in deep snow with skis on the buggy in winter. He kept the horse in the little shed his dad built by the school. Lunch was in a metal pail with lid for his lard sandwiches. Herb and his brother were getting the cows for milking one evening, and their mom was in the barn and noticed a tornado coming. She yelled “There’s a tornado coming! Grab and hang on to a fence post.” The tornado went overhead, and they all stayed safe. Herb and Merlin would cut ice blocks from the Oconto River and sell them to the Gillett icehouse, their house was next to the Oconto River, so they also set trap lines to help their mom pay the bills. In his younger days, he loved to play baseball on area leagues as a catcher. He loved baseball his whole life. His favorite teams were the Detroit Tigers and the Milwaukee Brewers. When his daughter lived in Milwaukee, he went to a Brewer game every year. His favorite TV shows and movies were westerns, but also dance shows and polkas. When his wife, Elizabeth, moved back to Gillett from Cleveland OH, they met at a dance and fell in love. His brother told him they had to be married before deer hunting season started, so they married on November 17, 1945. Herb went to deer camp and he came home with the biggest deer he had ever shot. An 11 ½ point buck, that hunting continued until he was 93. Herb and Liz were happily married for 69 ½ years. Together they worked as farm hands until they were able to purchase their own farm on Sandy Corners Rd, on the Oconto River in the town of Gillett, next to the family farm where he had grown up. They farmed for 56 years and raised a family. Card games like sheepshead and schmear occupied an awful lot of time, either hosting at their house or going to other home card parties. Herb loved animals, his cows, horses, dogs, and cats. Even without seeing us, we would catch him playing with the cats and dogs like a small boy. He had a large garden, ¼ acre and a row of sweet corn in with the field corn. When he plowed and planted, his rows were perfectly straight (he had a secret). After he retired, he missed driving his tractor, so Herb could be found often mowing the lawn with his smaller garden tractor. Herb and Liz loved to travel during their retirement, taking bus trips around the country. When the Packers were on in the early years, the kids would go outside. Dad would yell at the coach, giving him plays like he could hear him. In his later years, he calmed down – but always a life-long Packer fan. He was on the Board of Directors for the Farmers Elevator Co-op of Green Valley for 11 Years. Volunteered on the Town of Gillett Fire Department for 30 years. He belonged to the Gillett Sportsmen’s Club and Trout, Ducks Unlimited, as well as trap shooting. He was an excellent bowler. His average was 280 and had to give it up because the bowling alley burned with his ball and shoes inside. Herb and Liz absolutely loved to dance together; they were so seamless that you would have thought that they were one. They were few that danced the Schottische in the area, everyone cleared the dance floor and were always dazzled. Herb loved to spend time with family and was always ready for a picnic, reunion, and gathering of friends. Everyone knew he loved to eat, Herb was a ‘Meat and Potatoes Guy’ and his favorite dessert was lemon meringue pie or chocolate chip cookie with a slice of cheddar cheese. Herb was a strong, proud, and good man. He loved his family, and when his grandchildren and great grandchildren visited, it made his day and put the twinkle back in his eyes. He is loved and will be missed by many.
Herb is survived by his children: Linda (Dick) Scapple, Steve, Gary, Debbie (Larry) Clay, and Kurt Krueger. Grandchildren: Kyle (Amy) Scapple, Jamie Scapple, Matthew (Jen Schwartz) Sommerfeld, Michael (Katie) Sommerfeld, Samantha Sommerfeld, John Clay, and Allison Clay. Great grandchildren: Katelynn Thompson-Scapple, Abagayle Scapple, Joseph Scapple, Elizabeth Sommerfeld, Macey Sommerfeld, Leland Sommerfeld, and Lennon Sommerfeld. And a sister Irene (Sommerfeld) Houck, Green Bay, WI.
Herb was proceeded in death by his wife Elizabeth, brother Merlin and his wife Marie Sommerfeld, Sister Elenora (Sommerfeld) and her husband Ralph Heaney, as well as many friends, neighbors and other family.
The family would like to thank Woodside Lutheran Home in Green Bay, WI for caring for Herb for a year-and-a-half, keeping him active, happy and content.
Kuehl Funeral Home is honored to assist the family. Services are scheduled for Wednesday, October 21,2020 at St. John’s Riverside Lutheran Church (5686 WI Hwy 32 South, Gillett, WI) with visitation from 9am – 11am, Service at 11am, Pastor Jim Athey officiating.