Olaff Carl Schlesselman, 93, of Cole Camp, died Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, at Good Samaritan Care Center, Cole Camp. He was born on April 24, 1919, on the family farm near Edmonson, a son of Rudolph C. and Alma Marie (Balke) Schlesselman. On May 18, 1919, he was baptized at Mt. Hulda Lutheran Church of rural Cole Camp.
He attended several one-room schools near Cole Camp, including Luetjen and Mora schools. On July 17, 1932, he was confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp. After graduating from school, he helped on a threshing crew and farmed near Edmonson with his grandpa, Theodore Balke, until joining the United States Army in July of 1941.
On November 17, 1943, at the parsonage for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp, Pastor Hugo Renz united him in marriage to Luella Myrtle Meyer. They had three children.
He served his country honorably in the United States Army during World War II as a member of the combat engineers in the 3rd Army under General Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the American Legion Post No. 305 of Cole Camp and the VFW Post 5925 of Lincoln. After returning home from the war, he and Luella rented a farm on Cole Camp Creek until moving to their farm south of Cole Camp in 1953.
He was a member of the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cole Camp. He was a farmer and had worked as a mechanic and salesman at MFA Implement and as a salesman at Kaysinger Equipment, both in Lincoln. He served as Benton County North-Side Commissioner from 1981 – 1988, and served on the Board of Directors for the Good Samaritan Nursing Home from 1964 – 1981. He served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the Cole Camp and Rural Fire Association for 20 years. In the early 1990’s, he and Luella moved into town, but he still went to the farm to tend his cattle. He enjoyed his cows and horses and coon hunting with Reinhold Henning and Cleo Bahrenburg. He was a member of the Cole Camp Saddle Club and emceed many horse shows.
He is survived by: two sons, Chester Schlesselman and his wife Norma and Bryan Schlesselman and his wife Cindy, all of Cole Camp; his brother, Huth Schlesselman and his wife Esther of Cole Camp; eight grandchildren, Douglas Bauer, Kevin Schlesselman, Keith Schlesselman, Rachel Vansel, Chad Schlesselman, Emily Kyle, Nicole Chumpraphai, and Hannah Schlesselman; and seven great-grandchildren, Alyssa and Grant Chumpraphai, Katelyn and Alisa Schlesselman, Kai Rader, Rook Bauer and Olivia Vansel.
He was preceded in death by his wife Luella on January 24, 2011, his parents Rudolph and Alma Schlesselman, his daughter, Charlene Faye Bauer on August 31, 1969, and his brother, Glenn Schlesselman.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 23, 2012, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cole Camp, with Pastor Sandy Schlesselman officiating. Burial will be in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Cole Camp, with military honors by the American Legion Post No. 305 of Cole Camp.
The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until service time on Friday at the church.
The family suggests memorial contributions be given to Cole Camp Senior Center, St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, or Pyrmont Cemetery in care of the Fox Funeral Home, Cole Camp.
Pallbearers will be Douglas Bauer, Kevin Schlesselman, Chad Schlesselman, Mike Schlesselman, Cecil Schlesselman, Jim Bahrenburg and Reinhold Henning.
Honorary pallbearers will be Rachel Vansel, Emily Kyle, Hannah Schlesselman, Ami Schlesselman, Sandy Bauer, and Nicole Chumpraphai.