STANLEY — Richard H. Shilts, 94, of Stanley passed away peacefully at home Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
He was born Oct. 20, 1924, in Boyd, to the late Richard and Matilda (Flynn) Shilts. Dick grew up in the Stanley area, where he attended the Stanley School District and was later drafted into the U.S. Army. Pvt. Richard “Sonny” Shilts was inducted in June of 1943. He received basic training at Camp Walters, Texas and Fort Benning, Ga. Overseas he participated in the Normandy invasion and served with his unit in England, France, Belgium and Germany. He was an infantryman in the First Army, 9th Division. Dick suffered from wounds three times, the last time March 10, 1945, when his unit was nine miles north of the Rhine. His left arm was wounded by shrapnel. Pvt. Shilts was awarded a Presidential Citation, the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Bronze Star, for his service in the European theater. He was the longest living member of the Wisconsin American Legion.
After being discharged, he returned home and married the love of his life, Beatrice Bratz May 29, 1948. They were a perfect match and their love story lasted over 67 years! Richard always put his family before himself and was the most loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Dick worked for the Stanley-Boyd School District, driving bus and also as a janitor for many years. He truly enjoyed his work, especially his interaction with the students. Dick was a diehard Packers/Brewers fan and was not shy to share his political opinion with anyone willing to listen.
He is survived by his children, Richard (Karen) Shilts of Stoughton, Wis., Lee Shilts of Ormond Beach, Fla., Debra (Mike) Savina and Steve Shilts both of Stanley; five grandchildren, Joshua (Falyn), Jacob and Nikolas Shilts, Matthew (Gretchen) Savina and Megan (Dennis) LaMarche; four great-grandchildren, Jordon, Zachary, Sydney and Brea; his brother, Gilbert Shilts of St. Francis, Wis.; sisters-in-law, Adeline Bratz and Ruth (Fred) Noah; and brother-in-law, Bob (Dorothy) Huhn; and many nieces and nephews. Dick is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Bede; a daughter-in-law, Margaret Shilts; his sister, Ardetta McQuillian; and brother-in-law, Don Bratz.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 1, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Stanley, with Pastor Kenneth Schmidt officiating. Burial will follow with full military honors in the Oakland Cemetery, Stanley. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Plombon Funeral Home and one hour prior to services Friday at the church. Feel free to wear your favorite Packers attire to the visitation. Memorials are appreciated to the Stanley Historical Society or Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Stanley.