LaVerne John Maier, age 80, of Roxbury, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 8, 2012 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Vern, son of Adam and Elizabeth (Kruchten) Maier was born on March 20, 1932 at home in Roxbury. He married the love of his life, Betty Jean Anhalt, on January 28, 1950. Their marriage was blessed with ten children, Mitch (Sandy), Mary, Michael (Marcia Meise), Mark (Dianne), Maurice (Rhonda), Renee (Dennis) Frey, Monte (Roxi), Roxann (Ron) Lenz, Rochell (Roberto’) Colon, Rebecca (Ted) Frey; also 29 grandchildren, Adrian, Lauren, Marissa, Joshua, Jennifer, Korin, Mary, Caleb, Beth, Alyssa, Adam, Amanda, Benjamen, Ravin, Cole, Kori, Wyatt, Jessica, Jamie, Michael, Mathew, Cameron, Brianna, Steve, Stephanie, Jacob, Jebediah, Kaleb, Lily, a grand-dog Cody; and18 great-grandchildren and three on the way.
A short little history, Vern, a craftsman by trade, began his own construction business in the early 50’s. In 1959 he and Betty purchased Brownie Breunig’s tavern and dance hall in Roxbury, partially to be used as his woodworking shop. Coincidentally, this was the location of Vern and Betty’s wedding dance nine years earlier. Vern attended an auction to purchase some compressors for the tavern. Along with the compressors came restaurant equipment. While Vern set up shop in the dance hall he hired someone else to run the tavern. In 1961, Vern was in a life-threatening accident. While recovering from his injuries, he would oversee what was going on at the tavern on crutches and do what work he could. Eventually, he decided to finish up all his projects and close his construction business and run the tavern himself. His brother George owned the Wagon Wheel restaurant in Portage where Vern’s family also lived on a farm raising beef and sheep from 1961 to 1971, while owning the tavern in Roxbury. Vern and Betty were inspired by George and started serving fish and chicken at the Dorf Haus. Vern figured he had all the equipment necessary, so he and Betty started serving all-u-can-eat chicken and fish for $1. It became so popular that people would take numbers and line up out the doorway to wait for a table. Over time, the tavern evolved into a full-fledged supper club and that led to a name change. The business was renamed Dorf Haus (small village inn), which they got from their high school English teacher. What began as seating for 25 people now seats 450 guests and has been host to over 1800 wedding receptions. Vern was a visionary and always had ideas flowing. Vern was very proud of his and Betty’s accomplishments and was happy to have his kids working right along with him.
Vern enjoyed traveling, especially to Germany, curling, hunting, dancing and playing cards. Vern was an avid antique collector, with stories behind them all. He was a lifetime member of Ducks Unlimited and was proud to be host to DU banquets for 35 years. Most of all he loved his family and spending time with them, especially the years at the Portage farm.
Vern is survived by his wife, Betty, of 62 years, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. His sisters, Rose Endres, Florina Lenerz, Betty (Bud) Hutter, Darlene (Gene) Pings, Joan Riechman, sister-in-law Dolores Maier and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Vern was preceded in death by his parents, Adam and Elizabeth, his infant daughter Mary, his son Michael, infant granddaughter Lara, his siblings, George, Raymond, Anna, Herb, & Ron, brothers-in-law, Edward Mulhall, Greg Endres, Howard Lenerz, Ken Dederich, and Mike Riechman.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 11 a.m. at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church in Roxbury with Fr. John Blewett and Fr. Gary Wankerl presiding. Burial will be at the Garden Bluff Cemetery, Lodi. Friends may call on Monday, June 11, 2012, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hooverson Funeral Home in Sauk City. Friends may also call on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Hooverson Funeral home prior to mass.
The family would like to thank Nancy Miller for her help and tender care. We hope all of our customers know how much Vern enjoyed welcoming guests into the Dorf Haus and how he loved giving his (free) $2 tours. Because of the customers, the Dorf Haus is what it is today.
Thank you dad, your constant love, kindness, guidance, support, leadership have been an inspiration to all of us. Also, thank you dad for sharing your faith in God with us.
In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.
Memorials may be given to the cancer organization of one’s choice.