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Feb. 9, 1955

WILFERD Owen Klotz, 85 - affectionately known to the Mt. Vernon community, as "W. O. Klotz" a retired school teacher who for 46 years taught Christian living as well as the contents of text books to hundreds of boys and girls, died unexpectedly early last night at his home at 407 W. Fifth street.


He rose on horseback to the first school he taught in his native Point township in 1896.  He retired in 1942 after 36 years as a grade school teacher and principal in Mt. Vernon.


Heart disease was fatal.


Active and alert far beyond the proverbial three score years and ten - a circumstance he always attributed to outdoor exercise and total abstinence from liquor and tobacco - Mr. Klotz suffered a slight stroke of paralysis last August and his remarkable physique began a slow but noticeable deterioration.  Three weeks ago he had a light attack of heart disease.  A second minor attack followed.  Early last night he suffered the third and fatal attach and died 30 minutes later.


The body is at the Weisinger Funeral Home.  Funeral services for the representative of two prominent South Posey county families have been set tentatively for Friday afternoon, pending word from relatives at a distance.  Tentative plans are for the service at 2 p.m. Friday in First Methodist Church with burial following in Bellefontaine cemetery.  Rev. J. Kenneth Forbes, First Methodist Church minister, will officiate.  The body will remain at the funeral home until noon of the day of the service when it will be taken to the church to lie in state until the funeral hour.


Surviving are the wife, nee Helen C. Bowman of Evansville; two daughters, Mrs. Jay Blackburn, Evansville, and Mrs. Henry D. Hargrove, Henderson, Ky; three sons, Wayne D. Evansville, Wilferd E., Jackson, Mich and Oscar H., Santa Rosa Calif; 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. G. Edward Behrens, Mt. Vernon and a brother, Sampson G. Klotz, at present residing in the Behrens home.


The late deceased had been a Methodist for 65 years, joining the former Greathouse church in Posey township at the age of 20 and later transferring his membership to First Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon, where he was for 14 years President of the Men's Bible Class


He was a member of Mt. Vernon lodge, No. 49, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and had been an Odd Fellow for 51 years.  He joined Beulah Lodge,No. 578, Free & Accepted Masons in 1918.  He also was a member of Sunbeam chapter, No. 1, Order of Eastern Star.


He was born in a log house in Point township, the original Klotz homestead located at the junction of Hasting lane and the Uniontown road, moved to the later Klotz home at the age of six years, graduated from Point township schools, attended Indiana University and Central Normal College at Danville and in 1896 launched his long successful career as a public school teacher.


The deceased taught in Point township schools for 10 years before coming to Mt. Vernon's school system.  From 1906 until his retirement in 1942 he was successively a grade teacher and principal at Old Central and Main Street ( Grammar) schools.


Since his retirement he had busied himself about his home enjoying his hobby of gardening, continuing his love-filled associations with children of the neighborhood and city and maintaining his interest in all that transpired from local to world levels.


Mt. Vernon knew and respected him as a useful, honorable man who cheerful outlook on life and sympathetic appreciation of the problems of others earned him the friendship of hundreds, of his fellow citizens.


Originally submitted by Betty Sellers