WAUNAKEE – LaVerne J. Statz, age 92, of Waunakee passed away on Monday, November 13, 2023. LaVerne was surrounded by his loving family as he lost his battle with dementia. He was born on August 3, 1931 in Madison, the only child of Anthony and Mary Statz. LaVerne's father passed away at a young age while LaVerne was in high school. While at a dance at Smitty’s Hall, LaVerne's eye caught the attention of his future bride, Carol Bollig. LaVerne and Carol were married on August 6, 1955 and together they were blessed with three daughters and a son who passed away shortly after birth.
LaVerne graduated from Waunakee High School and went to work as a tractor mechanic for Carl F. Statz & Sons where he worked for 30 years. In 1980 LaVerne bought a shop on the fringes of Waunakee and ventured out to start his own business, Statz Garage. LaVerne loved anything with a motor in it! His passion was collecting and restoring antique cars and tractors. When the weather was nice, LaVerne always had an old car or tractor polished up, running and ready to drive around. LaVerne was always happy and willing to help his friends and family who were not so mechanically inclined! It was common for people to stop at the shop to visit and seek advice or just admire his collection of vehicles. If you stopped in as a stranger, you left as a friend. Paul Parks became one of those special friends and they spent a great deal of time working together at the shop. Paul became like a son to LaVerne. One of LaVerne's favorite signs read, "The Most Valuable Antique Is An Old Friend." When LaVerne wasn't tinkering at his shop, he enjoyed spending time with friends and family boating or snowmobiling. He enjoyed his annual fishing trips and playing cards. LaVerne was an avid Nascar fan and was thrilled when his desire to attend a live race was fulfilled. He took pride in his garden and was a generous sharer of his harvest.
LaVerne was proud to have served as a volunteer on the Waunakee Fire Dept for 31 years where he made many lifelong friends. He retired from the Fire Dept. in 1987 as a Foreman. He enjoyed the time he spent touring with his old car clubs. He was cofounder of the Wisconsin Capital Model T Ford Club. He looked forward to the annual Cross Plains Hill and Valley Ride and Show where he would often display his antique tractors and cars. He served on the Schumacher Farm Park Board of Directors.
LaVerne is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Carol; daughters, Sherry (LaVern) Karls, Kathy (Phil) Simon and Lora (Robert) Clemens; grandchildren, Carrie (Fiancé Rick Smith) Ottosen, Gregg (Jolene) Karls, Kent (Ben) Karls, Paul (Randi) Simon, Kelly (Nick) Stuhr, Andrea (Matt) Simons, Mark (Shae) Clemens; and 12 great-grandchildren; in addition to sisters-in-law, Dorothy (Ronald) Lange, Jan Pomeranke, Mary (John) Tveit; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Mary Statz, his infant son, Anthony LaVerne Statz, grandsons, Jared Karls and Bradley Simon; mother and father-in-law, Johanna and John Bollig, sister-in-law Betty Pomeranke; brothers-in-law, Edward Bollig, Richard Bollig, Darrell Pomeranke and Donald Pomeranke
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 209 South Street, Waunakee, WI 53597.
Friends may call at the church on Saturday, from 9:00 am until the time of services.
Fr.Enan Zelinski will officiate. Burial will take place at St. John's Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at Rex’s Innkeeper.
A memorial will be determined by the family at a later date.
LaVerne's family would like to express a special thanks to his dedicated and compassionate Agrace Team, as well as the entire staff at Homestead Living.
Online condolences may be made at www.cressfuneralservice.com
Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy Q Waunakee, WI