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Arden August Buchholtz, age 92, of Hartford, WI, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 6, 2023, surrounded by family after a short and unexpected bout of pneumonia. Arden was born in Lind Township, Waupaca, WI on August 2, 1931, to the late William and Anna (Oehlke) Buchholtz. He was married to Beverly Domaika on December 21, 1957.
Arden grew up on the family farm, the youngest of 7 children who survived childhood. He graduated from Weyauwega High School in 1949. After graduation he contemplated a theology path and was enrolled at Concordia Seminary in Milwaukee, WI for a short time but decided it was not his calling. He then chose to enter the school of Agriculture at UW-River Falls. His college studies were interrupted for 2 years of service to his country in the US Army. Upon returning to college, he chose a career in education, met the love of his life, Beverly, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in 1956. He taught English and Drama for 2 years at Weyauwega High School before taking a job at Hartford Union High School where he taught English and directed numerous school musicals. He would later receive a Master’s in English from UW-Madison and continued to teach for 36 years before retiring in 1994. Arden and Bev raised their 4 children in Hartford and enjoyed 65 wonderful years together. Arden was a devoted husband, a loving father, and loyal friend to many.
Early life on the farm instilled a formidable work ethic in Arden. For many years, during the summer months when school was out, Arden would paint barns with his brother Ray as well as numerous homes in the Hartford area. He also mastered the art of wall papering. After retirement he and Bev enjoyed many trips together. Their travels took them to numerous countries including Norway, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Czechia, and Italy. During his retirement years he fostered various hobbies but foremost among these were gardening and wood carving. During the spring and summer months “Arden’s Garden” was the delight of the neighborhood. He would spend countless hours outside tending to his flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees and the grounds were always immaculate. Later he picked up the bug to carve. Arden poured his love into his wood carvings creating complete nativity sets for each child that were beautifully painted. These were complemented with untold numbers of hand painted Santa Clauses and other Christmas ornaments and special carvings for his family and friends. Among his many creations were bride-and-groom sets, peddlers, bakers, bankers, Uncle Sams, soldiers, sailors, cowboys, Vikings, hunters, farmers, golfers, hikers, leprechauns, gnomes, snowmen, teddy bears, penguins, Dala horses, chickens, and many, many others. Arden was always an early riser and in later years began his day at the kitchen table with coffee and a crossword puzzle. He enjoyed watching PBS Masterpiece, especially English mystery and detective series. Arden enjoyed playing games and especially card games including Sheep’s Head (known in the German language as Schafkopf) and Bridge. He had a love for the Arts including choral and classical music, books, and theater. He and Bev enjoyed many a performance at the Schauer Arts Center. He was a devout member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hartford and was active in his community working as a volunteer member of the Hartford Food Pantry. Arden also supported scouting and managed the Christmas wreath sales for Boy Scout Troop 795 for many years and during the holiday season the scent of a pine forest would emanate from the garage. He and Bev loved entertaining their friends and during his teaching years they always hosted a pre-Christmas Open House that was tremendous fun. Arden surely loved Christmas and each holiday season “Arden’s Garden” would transform into a winter wonderland of life size carolers flanked by a nativity he built from weathered barn boards with music playing in the yard. We would, of course, be remiss not to mention his love of beer, happy hours, and Friday night fish fries, also enjoyed by much of his family!
Survivors include his wife, Beverly, of Hartford; a daughter Lisa (Marlon), of Lino Lakes, MN; a son Tim (Julie) of Rochester, MN; a daughter Jenny (Steve) of League City, TX; and a daughter Polly (Mike) of Belleville, IL. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Matt, Lauren, Zach, Forrest, Logan, Sydney, Christian, Remy, and Fleur. Arden is also survived by beloved nephews, nieces, and many friends. Arden was preceded in death by his parents, William and Anna; his brothers, Arnie and Ray; and his sisters, Adeline, Glennie, Anita, Annie, and Milda (who died in infancy).
Arden’s family will receive relatives and friends on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 1pm until the time of the funeral service at 3pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church at 255 W. Lincoln Avenue, Hartford, WI.
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Aurora Health Center for the wonderful care and kindness they provided to Arden during his illness, walking these last steps of his journey along with his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates memorial donations to the Schauer Arts Center, 147 N. Rural Street, Hartford, WI or the Jack Russell Memorial Library, 100 Park Avenue, Hartford, WI.
The Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home-Hartford is serving the family.