Vet’s life brings him full circle to his hometown

November 7, 2018

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U.S. Navy veteran Willie Oltmans, formerly of Lake Benton.

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

Long-time Lake Ben­ton resident Willie Olt­mans has traveled a long and winding road in his life, which took him from his youth in Luverne to businesses in Tyler and Slayton, then on to Lake Benton. He now resides at the Minnesota Veterans Home in his hometown of Luverne. His walls and shelves are peppered with memories. The first thing that catches the eye is the big black and white sign that says Private Park­ing—Walleye Fisherman Only. Beneath that is a Certificate of Continuous Service for 70 years with the American Legion. He received the recognition three years ago. Below that is a Plank Owner’s Certificate dated 16 Oct. 1945 from the U.S.S. Point Cruz. There are pictures of his children and a wedding day picture of him and his wife of 53 years, Elsie.
He was excited to share a Halloween card he re­ceived from the Belview American Legion, and said he would love to hear from his friends in the Lake Benton and Tyler Legions.

For the full story, read this week’s Tyler Tribute.