Walter 'Whitey' A. Schlabes
Feb. 9, 1927 – Aug. 30, 2013
Walter "Whitey" A. Schlabes, 86, passed away on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. He was born on Feb. 9, 1927 to Andro and Leondina Friederich Schlabs in Kulm, N.D. Whitey grew up on the family farm in Merricourt until the family moved to Lodi in 1936. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946 during World War II where he was a fireman first class on the USS Begor APT-127 and he participated in the testing of the atom bomb on Bikini Island. Then he worked for Runyon, Dorsey and Wheeler Pear Growers and Buckley Trucking in Courtland. He graduated from UC Davis with a degree in agriculture, attending the school from 1947-1950. From 1952-1954, during the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Marines Corps as a radiotelephone operator.
Whitey married Patricia Chiles on Sept. 2, 1951. They made their home in Davis where they raised their family. He farmed for his father-in-law, Earl Chiles, in Davis from 1954-1965. He then worked for FMC Corporation, Martin Bros. Fertilizer Company, owned his own company, Yolano Ag. Products, and worked as an ag consultant and evironmental assessor for Bank of America. During his retirement years he enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing in Alaska and playing cribbage and poker. He was a scout master in Davis and a member of the VFW and Yolo County Farm Bureau. Most of all he loved working in his yard and garden and sharing his fruits and vegetables with family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Whitey is survived by his daughter Nancy Douglas and her husband Marc of Davis and their daughter Jennifer; sons Jim and his wife Coleen of Ohio and their daughter Jasmine, Bill and his daughters Crystal (Kent), Anna, and Corrine; and one great-granddaughter Sophia. He is also survived by his sisters and brother, Linda, Art, Vivian, Marylin and Rosemary. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 57 years, Patricia Chiles Schlabes in October 2008, his parents and his sisters Sarah, LaVerne and brother Max.
A viewing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5. A celebration of life is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, both at Wiscombe Funeral Home, 116 D St., Davis. Interment will follow at the Davis Cemetery, 820 Pole Line Road. A reception will follow the Interment at Sudwerk Restaurant, 2001 2nd St., Davis. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Walter "Whitey" Schlabes memory to the Veterans to Farmers, c/o Buck Adams, 2515 Lawrence St., Denver, Colo., 80205. Veterans to Farmers is an organization that embodies Whitey's pride for military service and his passion for farming. The organization helps Veterans recover from their physical and psychological injuries by mastering the trade of farming and utilizing the skills learned to become productive members of their local farming communities. In memory of Whitey, Veterans to Farmers is naming one of their growing houses after him. Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so atwww.wiscombefuneral.com.
Published in Daily Democrat from Sept. 5 to Sept. 25, 2013