Stanley Odean Midtbo, Edgerton, WI (1925 - 2013)
May 10, 1925 - March 2, 2013
Stanley Odean Midtbo, 87, of Edgerton, WI, passed away Saturday, March 2, 2013, after a brief stay in the Edgerton Hospital. He was surrounded lovingly by close family and friends in his last hours, strong in faith and full of resolve until the very end. His was a life well lived, full of goodness and hard work, family and faith, struggle and success. Stanley touched so many that knew him and many others through his acts of kindness and the dedication he had to making the world around him a better place. He was born of humble beginnings on a farm outside of Stoughton, WI, on May 10, 1925. During World War II, Stanley joined the ROTC program in the US Navy, studied at Marquette University and was stationed on Sea going tugboat as ships electrician. During his time in Milwaukee, Stanley met his partner in life and greatest love, Marilyn Mae, to whom he was married for 66 years until her death just a few months ago.
Soon after they were married, the couple moved to Edgerton, WI, where they laid down their roots and became partners in founding IKI Manufacturing, which over the past 57 years has become one of the industries best respected companies, employing hundreds of local workers and packaging products for some of the most recognizable names in America. As they grew their company, they grew a small but tight knit family, giving birth within a few years to son, Lawrence “Larry”, and daughter, Sherry, both of whom have been close with Stanley throughout his life. Stanley believed that family was at the center of everything he did and was delighted by the coming of his grandchildren, Ryun and Megan, who loved him to the end and to whom he was like a father.
Somehow, Stanley found extra time, beyond the demands of family and business to participate in making a difference through his service to a multitude of organizations and causes. He believed in Giving, with a Capital “G”. Giving of his time, his talents, his wealth and his hands. Regardless of what it was he was doing, he was not afraid to roll up his sleeves, get right in there and get it done. In the Edgerton area, he has served on the Edgerton School Board, the Edgerton Water Commission, the Edgerton Industrial Development Board, the Tri-County Community Center Board (which he helped to establish), Board of Directors of the Rock County National Bank, the Edgerton Community Hospital Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Edgerton Community Memorial Hospital. In 1983, he was honored as the Edgerton Rotary Club's Citizen of the Year. His Faith and dedication to the church has played a major role in his life, with various terms on the church council at Central Lutheran, Edgerton, WI, Chairman and Co-Chairman for the Southern Wisconsin District of the American Lutheran Church, the A.L.C. Division for Mission and Inter-Church Relations (Minneapolis,MN), the Board of Directors of Augsburg-Fortress Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), and the Board of Trusties of Suomi College (Hancock, MI).
Stanley was not an all work and no play sort of guy. He traveled extensively through the United States, Great Britain, Europe, Africa, and South America. He also had many great friendships, which he maintained throughout his life. No story about the life of Stanley Midtbo would be complete without mention of his love of the outdoors and going Up-North. Stanley would always say that no matter how many things were on his mind, as soon as he got to Northern Wisconsin, and was able to take a walk in the woods, all of his worries disappeared. He loved to spend weekends hunting, fishing, chopping wood, working in the yard and mowing the grass. Those who knew Stanley would observe that it was not his success, or his accolades or what he did for others was what really defined him; it was his love for life, his energy, his optimism and his steadfast belief that things would always turn out ok with a little hard work and a lot of faith. Stanley was committed to his faith and his trust in Jesus. He brought that to other people with his actions and his example. He was the sort of individual that inspired people, made them sit up a little straighter and try a little harder. Stanley was always excited about something and always looking forward to making things better. He never gave up and if he had a set back he would tell people “you have to pick up the ball and keep playing.” At 87 years old, Stanley was still an optimist. It has always been the case that Stanley was never one to wait around after he had decided what he wanted. The greatest hope that Stanley had in the end was to be joined again with his beloved, Marilyn, and go home to her.
Stanley is survived by one daughter, Sherry (Charles "Buck") Sweeny of Stoughton; one son, Larry (Julie) Midtbo of Edgerton; two grandchildren, Megan (Andy) Walker of Stoughton, and Ryun (Cheri) Bibro of Edgerton; four loving great-grandchildren: Conrad, Madelyn, Isabella and Olena. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; one sister, Anna Skavlen; and two brothers, Palmer and Percy.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at CENTRAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, Edgerton, with the Rev. James M. Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Wheeler Prairie Cemetery, Stoughton. Friends may call on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, from 4 until 8 p.m. at the EHLERT FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES, US HWY 51 N, Edgerton, and at the CHURCH on Thursday, from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Full Military services will be held at the cemetery by the Edgerton Memorial Squad. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be made to Central Lutheran Church, Edgerton. Condolences may be expressed at ehlertfuneralhome.com