Elmer Buchheit

Thursday, March 21, 2024 5:05 am

Elmer Buchheit, age 85, of Ossian, died Tuesday, March 19, 2024, surrounded by family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, March 25, at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Festina, with Rev. Henry Huber officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, March 24, at the Festina Parish Center in Festina. Helms Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Elmer was born on the family farm near Festina. He attended St Mary’s school in Festina from 1st-10th grade and two years at Calmar High School.

He married Jeanette Ann Hackman on May 2, 1963, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in St. Lucas. They honeymooned at Wisconsin Dells. Together they had six sons and two daughters. Their family continued to grow, and they now have 18 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren with another expected in May.

Elmer farmed his entire life in Winneshiek County milking cows and running a farrow to finish hog operation. He grew corn, hay and later soybeans on two farms plus rented several other farms to support the livestock. He bought his first new tractor, an 856 International in 1970. In 2001, he retired from farming. He continued to work at the Hay Auction in Fort Atkinson until his 80th birthday. Elmer helped with the restoration of his tractor in 2022 and enjoyed showing it off at local parades.

Square dancing was a hobby they started early in their marriage after the Ossian Centennial Celebration in 1976. He played the accordion since he and his sisters each received one at a young age.  He enjoyed it later in his years playing with his niece Jo at a Christmas celebration.

Elmer served on the South Winneshiek School Board, Our Lady of Seven Dolors Parish Council and a Township Trustee.

He looked forward to the holidays and events with the family. He especially loved the 4th of July and hosting an annual party with fireworks for the whole neighborhood to view. Yearly family camping trips were a must for him to attend – he even joined in on bags competitions, beating his grandsons in arm wrestling, drinking games, bumper car races, and boat rides.

He also loved attending stock car races in West Union, Decorah, Cresco and several other locations. This was enjoyed with his young family and especially later in life with Leon and Marvin. Longer day trips to tractor pulls and tractor museums were relished.

In their fifties, Elmer and Jeanette started taking yearly trips by car to several locations across the country. Later they took bus tours instead of driving to see more of the country and made many friends along the way. They also traveled to Portugal and Spain with a large church group from the area.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Jeanette; eight children: Steve (Rachele Steffens) Buchheit of Castalia, Ken (Karla) Buchheit of Ossian, Leon (Beth Nielsen) Buchheit of St. Lucas, Marvin Buchheit of Monona, Vicki (Bill) Zweibohmer of Nora Springs, Mike (Sarah) Buchheit of Pella, Carol (Jim) Carroll of Waterloo, and Scott (Mindy) Buchheit of Monona; 18 grandchildren: Ryan (Krissy) Buchheit of Onalaska, Wis., Darin (Jemma) Buchheit of St. Joseph, Wis., Kasey (Michelle) Buchheit of Winona, Minn., Nathan (Erin) Buchheit of Olympia, Wash., Tyler Buchheit of Monona, Tasha Buchheit of Prairie du Chien, Wis., Derek (Karina Billings) of Beloit, Wis., Zach (Claire Rowlands) Buchheit of Ankeny, Kayla (Marshall Wagner) Buchheit of West Union, Alyssa (Charlie Branson) Christopher of Charlotte NC, Nick Buchheit of Festina, Hanna  (Mitch Bruggers) Christopher of Crystal, Minn., Tanner Buchheit of Monona, Ciara (Nathan) Ward of Pella, Cassidy Christopher of Cedar Falls, Taylor (Josh) Lensing of Spillville, Amara Buchheit of Monona and Addison Buchheit of Monona; six great-grandchildren: Madelyn and Nolan of Onalaska, Wis., Kayley and Peyton of St. Joseph, Wis., Kaison and Quinn of Olympia, Wash., plus #7 baby boy Buchheit of Winona, Minn.; sisters: Helen Halstead of West Union, Mildred (Charles) Langreck of West Union, and sisters-in-law Alberta Bouska of Lawler and MaryAnn Hackman of Decorah.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Verena Buchheit, and in-laws Carl and Matilda Hackman. Brothers and sisters-in-law: George Halstead, Ann Hackman, Clifford and Arlene Bouska, Verne Bouska, George Hackman, Howard and Clarabelle Taylor.

Elmer’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the teams at Gundersen Health System, WinnMed, extended family, and friends that helped him throughout his cancer battle. We appreciate all of the thoughts, prayers and acts of kindness during this difficult time.

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