Delmar Charles Multhauf, the old professor, gave his last lecture and passed away February 20, 2012 peacefully at the age of 87 after struggling with health issues. He was born in Hartford, Wisconsin May 2, 1924 the only child of John A. and Marie (nee Pfragner) Multhauf.
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From his father he gained a love of the land. From his mother he gained a love of flower gardening and growing shrubs and trees. He lived and worked on the family farm, south east of Hartford, Wisconsin until the age of 16. In 1940, the family moved to the city of Hartford where he graduated from Hartford High School in 1942.
Like many other young men, he was drafted for service in WWII. He was sent to Europe. He served in the Army Air Corps. 30th Photographic Reconnaissance Group. The 30th was the first Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in the 9th Air Force; the 9th was new to this theatre it had to have pictures. The 30th had to get operational in record time. Del was part of that group. On his return from service, he went to college on the GI bill. He attended Oshkosh State Teachers College. He received his undergraduate degree of Geography in 1949. Following graduation he taught part-time at what is now the UW LaCrosse and UW
Whitewater while attending the University of Wisconsin -Madison. He received his Masters in Geography in 1953. In 1955, he went to New York City to further his education at Columbia University. He attained his Doctorate degree in 1958 after three years. He started his full-time teaching career in the fall of 1958 at Danbury State Teachers College Danbury, CN. In 1962, he began his move up the Academic ladder, transferring to Mankato State Teachers College, Mankato, MN. In 1964, he returned to Oshkosh, now UW Oshkosh. Then in 1966, one final transfer upward brought him to UW Stevens Point. Del remained at the UWSP until his retirement in 1989.
While at the UWSP, from the mid 1970's to the early 1980's Del served as his department's chairman and was active in the development of the new geography major options in cartography, urban/economic activities and physical environment.
Del's areas of expertise were Wisconsin, Canadian-U.S., political and physical geography.
In his studies on political aspects of his discipline, he concluded that town government in Wisconsin should be abolished. "It served grandpa well in house and buggy days, but it's now archaic," he said. Among other things, he said it is "tremendously in-efficient."
While at the University of Oshkosh he met Shirley L. Evert, and in 1953 when he received his Masters in Geography he married Shirley. They had two children, a son, Charles, and daughter, Michele. They later divorced.
With each move, he would acquire a house with a lot large enough for him to have an ever increasing variety of flowers, plants and bushes. His favorite flowers were roses. It didn't matter what the species, he LOVED flowers. He became a master at growing all sorts of roses, to the point of contributing articles to the American Rose Society's, magazine.
Also with each move, he studied and became familiar with the local and state climate and landforms so he could better relate the information to his students with firsthand knowledge, not just book facts. He amassed a large collection of photo slides taken on Sunday rides and vacations. These were used as his teaching aids for his Wisconsin landforms class. Weekend and vacations were always tied to collecting information for geographic dissemination.
His other great loves were his pets. He loved cats and kittens. Starting with Bootsie in 1958 and ending with Fluffy who survives him. There was always a cat around the house.
As he liked to drive, he always had a new car. In later years, he had a new car every year. He would say he liked the "new car smell". Later it became a family joke to see how long he would keep a particular vehicle.
Del, being extremely independent, continued to drive until his last illness prevented him from doing so. He also lived by himself, with his cats.
Following his wishes, his remains will be cremated and scattered. He wanted to return to the environment that he so enjoyed.
Del is survived by a son, Charles (Paulette) Multhauf, of Sheboygan Falls. Charles acquired the love of reading and of history from his father. His daughter, Michele (Fred) Abler, of Lake Delton, WI. acquired his love for flowers and the earth, and his beloved cat, Fluffy. He is further survived by his ex-wife, Shirley; sister-in-law, Freddie (Tony) Noordyke, Plymouth, WI, brother-in-law, Robert Engwall, Gainesville, FL; and nieces and nephews. He is also survived by a special friend, Bonnie Bonney, of St. George, Utah.
Del was preceded in death by his parents, and sister-in-law, JoAnne Engwall.
He was his own man. He loved us all in his own way. The seasons have changed. The winter of his discontent is over. Goodnight sweet prince. May you rest in peace.
Family and friends will gather on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at the Shuda Funeral Chapel, Stevens Point, WI. Visitation will be at 12:00pm until the time of service at 1:30pm.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com Shuda Funeral Chapel, 3200 Stanley St, Stevens Point, WI, 715-344-2113
The family is extremely grateful to the management and staff of Miller's Alternative Care Assisted Living Facility in Marshfield, WI. The family wants to thank them for the high level of care and compassion Del (Dad) received during his short residence there. Thank you especially to Jessie Klement, site manager, for treating him like one of her family. You became his "Lady Friend".
Published in Sheboygan Press on Feb. 22, 2012
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