Walter Elsner(1919 - 2013)

Alfred Walter Elsner

Alfred Walter Elsner, age 93, of Plymouth, passed away Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Rocky Knoll Health Care Facility.

Alfred was born May 18, 1919 Kolen-Bickendorf in Germany to Werner and Katherine Elsner. The family came to America and settled in Plymouth, Wisconsin in 1926. Alfred graduated from Plymouth High School in 1937. He joined the United States Army Air Corp in 1941 and served in WWII in the Pacific and Philippines.

Though his life he was a very humble man, while serving time in WWII he held the rank of Warrant Officer Junior Grade and received the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with three bronze stars, Philippine Liberation with two bronze stars and an American theater victory medal. On October 13, 1941 he was united in marriage to Laura Jane Kohls in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She preceded him in death on January 6, 2000.

After his return from the military, he furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan and Lakeshore Technical College. Alfred worked with his father as a contractor and thoroughly enjoyed building things with wood. He eventually went to work at Kohler Company in 1956 in their engine department as a designer and later transferred to the product engineering department and retired from the company in 1984.

Alfred also was a small business owner in Viking Electronics where he would repaired televisions and put in television antenna systems in homes and businesses. He also was instrumental in starting Elsner Aquarium with his son Allen.

Alfred started flying lessons in 1966 and in 1968 he acquired his private pilot license and became a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He had a passion and a love for flying.

After his retirement, he volunteered at AirVenture for many summers and at Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida every spring. If someone would bring up the topic of building an aircraft or flying, he was in all of his glory. Also during his retirement years, he enjoyed traveling with his family. They traveled throughout the states but was always most intrigued with Hawaii and returned frequently.

Alfred is survived by his sons Allen (special friend Cindy Frank) of Plymouth and Wayne (Penny) of Sheboygan; grandson Jeffrey Elsner of Kohler and granddaughter Susan (Pedro) Navarro of Green Bay. He is preceded in death by his wife, Laura, mother Katherine and father Werner.

Funeral services to celebrate Alfred's life will be held at the Schneider Funeral Home in Plymouth at 7 PM on Thursday, January 10, 2013 with the Rev. John Schultz, Associate Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church officiating. Burial will take place Friday morning in the Plymouth Woodlawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday from 5 PM until the time of service.

Online condolences may be sent through


Funeral Home

Schneider Funeral Home
123 South Street Plymouth, WI 53073

Published in Sheboygan Press on Jan. 8, 2013