Arlen Clair Ortlieb of West Bend, WI took the walk to eternal life early on Tuesday morning, April 19th, at the age of 93. He was born to Nettie and Charles Ortlieb on November 9th, 1928 and had one older brother, Dewayne. Arlen was a proud veteran who served in the Navy during the Korean War and also in the Air Force Reserves. He worked as a carpenter (home builder) most of his life and was a very talented (self-taught) craftsman. He drew plans for and built scaled down versions of sailing ships from scratch, designed and built a Sandbagger Sail boat that he enjoyed sailing in himself, cut trees and made his own lumber from which he formed many different types of spinning wheels and various carved pieces. He also made personalized toy boxes for many of his great grandchildren. Working together with his son, Paul, he helped design and develop a competitive race boat. After 10 years of trials, they created a championship winning rig! Arlen very much enjoyed watching his grandsons (Justin and Brandon) race cars and boats. He also enjoyed playing Black Jack, which he made a point of experiencing again a few times during his last weeks of life.
Arlen was an extremely dedicated husband to Phyllis (Tell) Ortlieb, the mother of his five children. Cancer took Phyllis in October of 1983 at the age of 51. He later met and courted Maggie Pruess. Just two short months after they married, Maggie underwent heart surgery that she did not survive. Maggie’s son Kevin (Lisa) Pruess have been part of Arlen’s life ever since. A blind date introduced Arlen to his third wife, Hazel LaFontaine. After a stroke placed her in the care of the Kathy Hospice, Arlen stayed at her side in the hospice for 3 months. He was a faithful, one-woman man who endured great heartbreak and loss—three times. But that was not the end of his story. Arlen found love and companionship again with his special friend, Margaret Moser. They recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of their first date. Margaret stayed with Arlen every step of the way through his recent illness.
Arlen is survived by his children: Kathy Crandall, Sandy (Bob) Poenitsch, Paul Ortlieb, Susie Kelnhofer; 11 grandchildren: Wendy Meese, Charles Meyer, Nina Crandall, Justin (Laura) Poenitsch, Jacob Poenitsch, Andy Ortlieb, Ashley Horsch, Brandon Ortlieb, Nick Kelnhofer, Kimmi (Matt) Terry, Corie (Jay) Aiello; 14 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. He is also survived by his dear and loving friend, Margaret Moser. In addition to Phyllis, Maggie and Hazel, he was preceeded in death by an infant daughter, two grandsons: Joey Meese and Gerod Poenitsch, and a daughter: Chris Meyer.
Arlen was a special man who will be dearly missed by his loved ones. His children would like to thank Margaret, the physicians and staff who cared for him at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee, and Noemí Valentín and the Compassionate Care Hospice team who made it possible to care for him at home.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, April 23rd at Trinity Lutheran Church, 140 N. 7th Ave., West Bend, WI 53095. Pastor David Schoob. Arlen’s family will greet visitors from 10 am until the time of service.
The Myrhum – Patten Funeral and Cremation Service has been entrusted with Arlen’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myhrum-patten.com.
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