Harry Martin Studebaker, 76, of Milton, WI, passed away on Oct 12, 2014, at home. He had been in St Francis Trauma Center, Peoria, IL, following a traffic accident in Pontiac, IL, on Sept 23, 2014. Harry was born Aug. 8, 1938, in Pontiac, Livingston Co., IL, the second child of Martin Francis and Reba Laverne (Myer) Studebaker.
He attended schools in Pontiac, and moved with his parents and siblings to Milton, WI, about 1958, when they decided to buy a dairy farm on Six Corner Road. Helping on the farm, he also worked for the neighbors in the area and did other odd jobs. He joined the US Air Force and was honorably discharged in August 1961. He went to work for Nottingham Roofing. He took lessons and became a Certified Scuba Diver Instructor. He was always a hard worker who loved to talk and enjoyed talking to older people and hearing their stories.
On June 23, 1962, he married Carol Rose Brown at the Milton Congregational Church and they enjoyed 52 years together before his death. Harry and Carol took up square dancing and always went to the monthly dances at the Catholic Church. They enjoyed camping at their land in Big Flats and many other places. His favorite trip was one the entire family took to Cozumel, Mexico.
Harry joined the Milton Fire Department when it was in the big old building right behind Sayre's garage. They had to pull the fire truck to get it started when there was a fire call. When the cities merged he joined the Township Fire Department on Crandall Street, and then helped build the present fire hall. Harry helped out with ambulance calls when all the city had was a station wagon. He was a Special Policeman for the City of Milton. He loved parades and has been in nearly every 4th of July parade since he moved here. Harry was a hunter. Their farm was right on a flyway for geese and there were lots of deer. He hunted in town for rabbits for rabbit feeds at the American Legion - along the railroad tracks, in people's back yards, in the cemeteries and sometimes hunting out of the police car with a flashlight taped on his gun. He hunted deer up north, in the Dakotas, in Wyoming, and one year in Canada. Every year he came home with at least one deer and a thousand stories. He and his friends had many turtle and fish frys which were held at the American Legion with all the fish and turtles they caught. Harry hired on at Allied Mills in the early 60's, making animal feed, many times running the night shift all alone. A few years later Harry went to work at Lukas Hardware and began his plumbing apprenticeship under Don Lukas. In time he bought Lukas Plumbing and worked as Studebaker Plumbing while he finished his schooling and became a Master Plumber. He began installing septic systems and was a Certified Soil Tester. He went into a partnership with Glenn Getchel forming Studebaker-Getchel Pumps installing pumps in homes and farms. Harry hired on at General Motors as a Pipe Fitter and worked there for nearly 20 years, still doing his own businesses on the side. He was forced into retirement after an aneurism and a couple of strokes. While he was at GM, he was instrumental in getting the General Motors fire truck for the Rock River Thresheree. He became more involved in the Thresheree where he had been a member since 1967. He enjoyed being out there with the kids working on their steam engines and driving his tractors. He had collected a dozen or so tractors in addition to gas engines. His favorite tractors were John Deere. He was part of the Water Wagon Committee for the next ten years with John and Kay Stock and George Gamsby until the pain from his back surgeries forced him to stop. Harry helped Steve Agnew and Jerry Fredrick out with their farm work by driving tractors for them. He had a mini-farm in the back yard, keeping emus, goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese, guinea hens, and pot-bellied pigs and always had dogs and cats around. He liked helping his daughter with her horse, Jack. He had a way with animals and they all loved him. Harry met a lot of people and made friends everywhere he went. He got into a lot of places and situations that most people never do. He was a collector of odd and unusual things and found a certain beauty in things that most people would overlook. He recognized things from the past that most people today wouldn't have the vaguest idea of what they were looking at. He brought this stuff home and displayed it in the yard and there was almost always a story that went with each piece. It didn't take much persuasion to get him to tell you about his stuff and how he came to own it. He enjoyed making sculptures out of his odds and ends of rusty metal and enjoyed talking with all the people that would come to the house to walk around the yard, look and take pictures. Several magazine articles were written about his collection.
Harry is survived by his wife, Carol; his son, Harry Jr.; his daughter, Jackie (Eric Walczak) Studebaker; two grandsons, Aaron and Cole Studebaker; his sisters, Mary (Carl) Schultz, and Teresa (Bill) Maas; a brother-in-law, Mark (Rita) Brown; his sisters-in-law, Kathy Studebaker and Marcia Snyder; three nieces: Amy (Kevin) Asleson, Samantha (Oscar) Escalante and Erin Brown; seven nephews: Robert Schultz, Cory Maas, Chris Maas, Dale Studebaker, Tim Studebaker, Todd Snyder and Chad Brown; 5 great-nephews: Ryan Fisher, Jordan Studebaker, Dillon Salter, Kaleb Schultz and Lincoln Bates; three great nieces: Stefanie Fisher, Savannah Studebaker and Addison Brown; one aunt, Carol Studebaker; many cousins; special cousin, Donnie (Sandy) Studebaker; and life long friends, Donnie (Linda) Hurt and George (Virginia) Gamsby. He is also survived by his beloved dog, Maverick; and his cats, Annie and Snickers. Predeceasing him were his mother and father, Martin and Laverne Studebaker; his mother and father-in-law, Jack and Edwina Brown; a brother, Gale; a great nephew, Keegan Studebaker; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. at the MILTON CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, with Pastor Herb Saunders officiating. Burial will be in the Milton Cemetery. Visitation will be at ALBRECHT FUNERAL HOMES & CREMATION SERVICES, Milton, from 4 until 8 p.m. on Friday and from 12 Noon until time of services Saturday at the CHURCH.
God has you in his arms,