Carl W. Schlenker Sr., 92, died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, at The Gardens of Wapakoneta.
He was born on May 16, 1919, in Wapakoneta, to John and Elizabeth (Ochs) Schlenker, and they preceded him in death.
On June 22, 1940, he married Mildred (Mid) Cook, and she preceded him in death on Aug. 7, 1992.
He is survived by two daughters, Mary Jo (Richard) Roth of Wapakoneta and Judith (Frederick) Platfoot of Botkins; three sons, Carl Jr. (Peggy) Thomas (Patricia) and Chris (Deborah) Schlenker, all of Wapakoneta; 12 grandchildren, Pam (Easton) Loving of Fork Union, Va., Keith Clements, Eric Clements, Bryan (Amy) Schlenker, Greg (Wendy) Schlenker, Emily Schlenker, Bryce Schlenker and Brayden Schlenker, all of Wapakoneta, Beth (Charlie) Henry of Versailles, Lorie (Jason) Henline of Spencerville, Tom (Holly) Platfoot of Botkins and Aaron (Jacque) Schlenker of Marion, Iowa; 14 great-grandchildren, Samuel and Jacob Loving, Brooke, Alec and Sydney Schlenker, Cale Henry, Jenna, Joshua and Jenson Henline, Janel, Peyton and Caden Platfoot and Jacob and Jonathan Schlenker; two sisters-in-law, Mary (Cook) Lepper and Evon (Knatz) Schlenker; a brother and sister-in-law, Ernest and June Cook.
He was preceded in death by a brother, John Schlenker; a sister, Pearl Schiller; two brothers-in-law, John Schiller and Bud Lepper; a son-in-law, Wayne Clements; a brother and sister-in-law, Sam and Betty Cook; his stepfather, John Gibson; 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 U.S. Farm Policy Organization conducting many farm panels throughout the Midwest.
In 1961, he was chosen to speak at the Midwest Governor’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 10 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 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 lifelong member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta, where he served on the church council for 6 years.
Services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta, with the Rev. Joe F. Pumphrey officiating. Burial will be in Resthaven Memorial Garden in St. Marys.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Bayliff & Eley Funeral Home in Wapakoneta and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the church Wednesday.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Gardens of Wapakoneta Activity Fund, to St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta or to St. Rita’s Hospice.
Condolences may be directed to BayliffAndEleyfh.com.