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William Wayne Schuelke

BARNEVELD – William Wayne Schuelke, age 96, passed away peacefully at his home in Barneveld, Wis., on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

William Wayne Schuelke

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BARNEVELD – William Wayne Schuelke, age 96, passed away peacefully at his home in Barneveld, Wis., on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

Wayne was born Feb. 12, 1924, at the family’s cheese factory in Barneveld, to William and Florence (Eveland) Schuelke.

He learned to hunt for ‘everything’ at an early age and often brought home unique things for dinner, which his mother cooked and served.

Because of his love of music and a natural ability to create and play by ear, his father bought him a saxophone at the age of six. Wayne began taking lessons and subsequently earned numerous awards including at the national level. This led to joining a band and working gigs most weekends as a teenager. He continued to play his saxophone up until the last two months of his life.

At 14, Wayne learned to fly. He worked hard to earn enough money to buy his first plane.

He was called to serve his country in World War II, but prior to going overseas he was called home to work in his family’s cheese factory in Ridgeway. He passed the love of ‘tasty aged cheese’ to his children.

Wayne met Phyllis (Sandy) Melland at a dance which she attended with her many sisters in Drummond, Wis. He was in northern Wisconsin to hunt deer but found his ‘dear’ instead. They married July 17, 1946, and made their home at the Ridgeway Cheese Factory and then on the farm in Barneveld. Owning and running a dairy farm was hard work, but they built their life together, started a family, and eventually created Hidden Valley Sports, a snowmobile and recreational business. Phyllis was Wayne’s right hand woman!

Wayne raced snowmobiles throughout Wisconsin and eventually at the National Contest in New York.

Wayne and Phyllis worked tirelessly to build a farm with conservation in mind. They received many awards for their efforts, including a nomination to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.

Wayne and Phyllis planted thousands of trees with assistance from their children and grandchildren who planted sometimes by light from the family car. Wayne raised pheasants and with help from his grandchildren, set them free. They helped Grandpa make waterway improvements to the land. The land produced rare plants which…

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