Leo W. Roethe Big Game Hunter

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  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

    Sep 3, 2009
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    Big Game Hunter Leo W. Roethe (1914-2008)

    Leo W. Roethe was born in Fennimore on Oct. 27, 1914, to Edward and Bessie Roethe. He graduated from Union Free High School in Fennimore in June 1932. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. He became editor of the Jefferson County Union in 1938. In 1940, he was promoted to the advertising department of Hoardユs Dairyman Magazine, who also owned the newspaper. In 1946, he and Hugh Highsmith purchased the National Agricultural Supply Co., a company serving vocational agriculture teachers with teaching aids. Hugh Highsmith sold his interest in NASCO to Leo in 1956. Leo took the company public in 1960. He served for 20 years as president before retiring. He was president of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation for six years. In 1969, he was selected outstanding conservationist in Wisconsin by the Shikar-Safari Club International. In 1973, he received the same honor from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

    Leo served as second district chairman of the Republican Party for Wisconsin from 1960 to 1964. In 1960, he was a Wisconsin delegate to the national Republican convention in Chicago.

    Roethe was active in Boy Scouts and served for 25 years on the board of the Sinnisippi Council, formerly the Indian Trails Council, and was awarded theメSilver Beaverモ award in 1961.

    Leo was a charter member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson. He was chairman of the fund drive to build the church in 1949. He served many years on the church council.

    He served as president of the Fort Atkinson Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society and the Fort Atkinson Conservation Club.

    In 1944, he headed the fund drive to build a new hospital for Fort Atkinson. He was on the board of directors for Fort Memorial Hospital for 25 years.

    Leo was a member of Billings Masonic Lodge 139 and the Madison Consistory and Zor Shrine.

    In 1955, he formed Knob Hill Builders Co. and built many homes in Fort Atkinson, Cambridge, Janesville, Monroe and Lake Mills.
    Roetheユs big game hunting expeditions started in 1959. Following the 1959 trip, Roethe became addicted to African safaris and from 1959 to 1973 was in Africa many times until he was badly wounded by a lion in 1973. He returned to Africa one last time in 2002.

    During the early 1950s, Roethe developed acres of tree farms in western Wisconsin. He also developed 40 acres behind his home in Fort with a man-made lake and 75,000 trees in 1949. During the years that he was president of the Fort Atkinson Wisconservation Club, he promoted the planting of thousands of trees in the Jefferson County area.

    He was interested in gardening in his retirement years and swimming in the lake behind his house in Fort Atkinson. His family will always remember his propensity for being on time, loving schedules, loving adventure, loving a new business idea, directing his grandchildren in picking or weeding in the garden, buying souvenirs on trips メon sale!,モ wearing colorful clothes, his love for dairy products, telling stories with great embellishment, taking a million pictures, his way with words, his bright blue eyes, gregarious smile and positive attitude.

    He published three books: "Leo the Lion," "Days of Kilimanjaro" and "The 55 year History of the Fort Atkinson Wisconservation Club."

    Days of Kilimanjaro by John R. Mansavage. The grand safari life of Leo W. Roethe, world wide hunter, conservationist and former partner with Roy Weatherby in the legendary firearms company is captured in this book Days of Kilimanjaro by John R. Mansavage, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Days of Kilimanjaro captures the true essence of the great, traditional African safari. It is a collection of remarkable stories and over 250 rare and unique color photographs taken on Roethe's 16 African safaris from 1959 and 1973. In addition to successfully hunting virtually all of east Africa’s game animals, Roethe also captured on film moments that brilliantly illustrate the traditional, old-style African safari. Roethe experienced some of the best days of the true African safari, but they were also some of the last. By the mid-1970s, political and cultural changes that had been building for decades changed the African landscape forever. This book captures the grand old safari in rare images that no camera will capture again. The book’s introduction is by the legendary shooter and sporting goods developer, Bob Allen.

    Leo W. Roethe, a conservationist and industrialist, died Sept. 25, 2008, at age 93, in the Masonic Healthcare and Rehab Center in Dousman. He and his wife, Geraldine Barr Roethe, moved to Three Pillars Masonic Campus eight years ago.
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