Erhardt I. Propst, age 98 of Beaver Dam, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Golden Living Center – Continental Manor in Randolph.
Erhardt Irwin Propst was born in the town of Beaver Dam on February 15, 1917 to Erhardt C. and Amelia (Kirkberg) Propst. He attended one-room country grade school, graduated from Beaver Dam High School, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He worked as a fieldsman for Dodge County Dairy Herd Improvement Association for a short time and as a Plant Manager for Carnation Milk Company in Minnesota for several years before moving back to Wisconsin. He then worked as a fieldsman for Dairyland Co-op and later for Purity Cheese Company in Mayville until 1955.
He then went into business for himself, starting Milk Producers Supply Company which he operated with his wife Phyllis. During this time, he distributed several lines of dairy equipment including the “sputnik” milk handling system. He installed the first bulk milk pipeline in this area that was approved by the Chicago Board of Health.
In 1972, he sold Milk Producers Supply and devoted himself fulltime to his hobby — raising Christmas trees. This developed into another business, Sky Line Tree Farm, which is now operated by his son, David.
He was a member of the Wisconsin Milk Sanitarians and served as the first Dairy Inspector for the city of Beaver Dam in 1945. He was chairman of the Town of Beaver Dam Planning and Development Committee for 25 years and was instrumental in writing the first zoning ordinances for the township. He was active in several trade associations over the years including the Wisconsin and National Christmas Tree Growers and Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. He enjoyed the fellowship of the Wisconsin Junior American Agricultrualist Association, which was a group of men who were in Lloyd Larsen’s agriculture class and who have gotten together several times a year since 1945. He was a life-long member of the Evangelical United Bretheran Church and later, Trinity Church – United Methodist in Beaver Dam.
He was united in marriage to Phyllis Denzin on October 6, 1940. They were married for 61 years. Their children are Carl, David and Mary Lou. He and Phyllis worked side-by-side and also enjoyed traveling. They took many trips throughout the United States and Europe.
He developed many deep friendships, which he valued greatly and hoped to be remembered as a true friend, loyal husband, and loving father.
He is survived by two sons E. Carl (Ramona) of Michigan, David (Laurie) of Beaver Dam and daughter Mary Lou (Henry) Dikkeboom of Milton, WI; grandchildren, Beth (Loren) Kelley, Philip (Amy) Propst, Becky (Layne) Qualm, Tiffany (Ron) Kane, Scott Propst, Amy L. Bostley, and Audrey (Marty) Dikkeboom Collins; great-grandchildren, Adison Propst, Anna and Henry Collins, Alexandria, Alyssa and Allison Bostley, Cole, Kyle and Craig Kelley, Cassandra, Justin, Holly and Hannah Qualm, Ben, Evan and Claire Propst, Lucas, Jacob and Sophia Kane; great-great-granddaughter, Mackenzie Kelley and further survived by other relatives and friends.
A Funeral Service for Erhardt will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd. in Beaver Dam with Rev. Jeffrey Nicholas officiating. Visitation will also be held on Tuesday at Cornerstone from 1:00 p.m. until the time of Service at 3:00 p.m. Burial will take place at Oakwood Cemetery, Beaver Dam, followed by a luncheon served back at Cornerstone.
The family would like to thank the staff at Golden Living Center – Continental Manor in Randolph and Hillside Hospice for their exceptional care, kindness and support you provided to our family.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com