SCHLABES, Walter 'Whitey' A.
February 9, 1927 - August 30, 2013
Whitey, 86, was born on February 9, 1927 to Andro and Leondina Friederich Schlabs in Kulm, North Dakota, growing up in Merricourt on the family farm. The family moved to Lodi, California in 1936.
He served in the United States Navy from 1945-1946 during World War II where he was a Fireman First Class on the USS Begor APT-127 where 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. Graduating with a degree in agriculture, he attended the University of California Davis from 1947-1950. From 1952-1954, during the Korean War, he served in the United States Marines Corp as a radiotelephone operator.
He married Patricia Chiles on September 2, 1951, making their home in Davis and raising 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 Environmental 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. But 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.
He 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 on Thursday, September 5, 2013 from 5-7 pm and a Celebration of Life at 9:30 am on Friday, September 6, 2013, both at Wiscombe Funeral Home, 116 D Street, Davis, CA. Interment will follow at Davis Cemetery, 820 Pole Line Road. A reception will follow immediately at Sudwerk Restaurant, 2001 2nd Street. 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, CO 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.
Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so at www.wiscombefuneral.com.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Sept. 4, 2013