Carl W. Schlenker Sr., 92, died Jan. 15, 2012 at The Gardens of Wapakoneta.
He was born May 16, 1919, in Wapakoneta, the son of Elizabeth (Ochs) and John Schlenker, who preceded him in death. On June 22, 1940, he married Mildred (Mid) Cook who died Aug. 7, 1992.
Surviving are two daughters, Mary Jo (Richard) Roth, of Wapakoneta, and Judith (Frederick) Platfoot, of Botkins; three sons, Carl Jr. (Peggy) Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, Thomas (Patricia) Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, and Chris (Deborah) Schlenker, of Wapakoneta; twelve grandchildren: Pam (Easton) Loving, of Fork Union, Va., Keith Clements, of Wapakoneta, Eric Clements, of Wapakoneta, Bryan (Amy) Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, Greg (Wendy) Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, Emily Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, Bryce Schlenker, of Wapakoneta, Brayden Schlenker of Wapakoneta, Beth (Charlie) Henry, of Versailles, Lorie (Jason) Henline, of Spencerville, Tom (Holly) Platfoot, of Botkins, and Aaron (Jacque) Schlenker, of Marion, Iowa; fourteen great-grandchildren: Samuel Loving, Jacob Loving, Brooke Schlenker, Alec Schlenker, Sydney Schlenker, Cale Henry, Jenna Henline, Joshua Henline, Jenson Henline, Janel Platfoot, Peyton Platfoot, Caden Platfoot, Jacob Schlenker, and Jonathan Schlenker; two sister-in-laws, Mary (Cook) Lepper and Evon (Knatz) Schlenker; and a brother- and sister-in-law, Ernest and June Cook.
He was preceded in death by a brother, John Schlenker; a sister, Pearl Schiller; brother-in-law, John Schiller; a son-in-law; Wayne Clements; a brother- and sister-in-law, Sam and Betty Cook; a brother-in-law Bud Lepper; his step-father John Gibson; and two great-grandchildren, Aynsley Loving and Cole Platfoot.
Mr. Schlenker attended Buckland School and after the death of his father, at the age of 12, he began a farming career. His interest and passion for agriculture spanned his entire life. After his marriage to Mildred, he started breeding purebred Holstein cattle and at one point had the highest producing herd in Auglaize County. During this period, he was elected secretary of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and helped organize the Auglaize County Holstein Association where he served as its first president.
Over the years his farming operation was very diversified and included registered Shorthorn cattle, a farrow to finish hog operation, egg production, grain and sheep. In the early 60s he was recognized for having the highest commercial ewe flock in the state of Ohio. He helped organize the Wapakoneta Producers Livestock Association and served on its advisers Board for many years. He also served many years as director and president of the Wapakoneta Farmers Grain Company.
In 1960 Carl was appointed to the U.S. Farm Policy Council under Secretaries of Agriculture, Claude Wickard and Orville Freeman and served on the United States Farm Policy Organization conducting many farm panels throughout the Midwest. In 1961, he was chosen to speak at the Midwest Governorâ€™s Bread Basket Conference in Lincoln, Neb.. He served as the president of the Auglaize County National Farmers Organization and also served as the state secretary for that organization. He was a charter member and Ohio director for the National Corn Growers Association for ten years. In 1970, he was recruited to help organize and launch a farm program at WIMA Radio where he then served 5 years as the Farm Director until his retirement. In 1972, while traveling in Europe, he was the featured speaker at the Vocational Agriculture Convention in West Germany. In the late 1980s, he served as the first president of the Ohio Grain Producers Association where he was recognized for his lifetime service to American Agriculture and for always working for a better economic atmosphere for the American farmer.
After retiring from active farming, he and Mildred participated in mission work spending time in Southern Mexico and he has served as President of the Wapakoneta Senior Citizens. Carl enjoyed fishing, hunting and playing cards with close friends and family. He was a member of the Ohio Farmers Union, Wapakoneta Senior Citizens and a life long member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta where he served on the church council for 6 years.
Services are at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta, with the Rev. Joe F. Pumphrey officiating. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memorial Garden in St. Marys.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Bayliff & Eley Funeral Home in Wapakoneta and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Contributions may be made to The Gardens of Wapakoneta Activity Fund, St. Paulâ€™s United Church of Christ, Wapakoneta, or St. Ritaâ€™s Hospice.
Condolences may be directed to bayliffandeleyfh.com.