POTOSI - Curtis A. Fetzek, age 73, of Potosi passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2023, after complications from a massive stroke. Curtis Allan Fetzek was born July 11, 1950, to Frank & Clara (Hetletved) Fetzek. His family lived in White Oak Township, Minnesota at the time of his birth. Curtis was baptized at English Lutheran Church of Tuttle, North Dakota on June 10, 1961. He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith on June 26, 1965, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Abercrombie, North Dakota. He graduated from Richland High School in Abercrombie, North Dakota on Thursday, May 16, 1968. Curtis’ family moved to Wisconsin when he was 19 years old. The first job that he held was on the Mississippi River as a commercial fish cleaner for a small fishing fleet. He held that employment for a couple of years. He later enjoyed farming, working for the Keene family for ten years. It was his love for woodworking that brought Curtis to his most successful career choice. He saw a need to repair wood pallets, as a way to recycle and save money. Built on a few bucks in his pocket and a pipe dream, Fetzek Enterprises was formed in 1988, while living in British Hollow, just outside of Potosi. He had a few employees, including his brother, Calvin and son, Mike. When his health started to decline in later years, Curtis retired from the pallet factory in 2020, after 32 years of his successful business. While working, he was elected in as a board chairman for the Potosi/Tennyson township. He served the community in that endeavor for 22 years. Curtis was instrumental in writing grants for snow plow trucks, various building projects, as well as helping to rebuild the town after a deficit for several years. Curtis knew what it took to get the job done, even if it meant doing things himself. He wasn’t afraid of hard work, sometimes working alone on projects. He would lend his expertise when necessary. Curtis lead with integrity as he pushed through every obstacle that stood before him.
On Saturday, June 30, 1973 he married Joan Hoskins at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Tennyson. Curt was 22; Joan, 19 when they married. Their wedding reception was held at St. Thomas School in Potosi. The impromptu honeymoon took place at a hotel in Dickeyville, due to both of the headlights going out at dusk while driving. The couple had two children, a son, Michael Edward on May 22, 1974, and a daughter, Tina Marie on July 19, 1975. Joan would proceed him in death, just shy of 26 years of marriage on June 20, 1999. Their daughter, Tina would pass away in 2016
Curtis enjoyed the companionship of dogs. He and Calvin always had one or two pets at a time growing up. There were so many to name, however his favorites were Fanny, Fido, Cookie, and Bowser, just to name a few. When he and Joan were married, animals were a big part of their lives. They raised dogs, often times successful in selling the puppies to good homes. No dog went without meals or love in Curt’s care.
Past times changed for Curt over the years. Reading was a big part of Curt’s life. He would often times check out several books at a time from the library. Although he engaged in learning more about road construction, bridge building, and natural elements, he enjoyed a good mystery or faith based love story from time to time. Curtis had an engineer’s mind. He could see how things should be put together, then construct items from his thoughts and ideas. He learned carpentry and woodworking skills early on, as taught by his dad. Curtis loved making gifts for friends and family. He often times made jewelry boxes, plant stands, wagon wheels, and other various seasonal items. He liked to collect things, often times he enjoyed collecting rocks, minerals, fossils, wood samples, and any oddity stones of various shapes and sizes, especially in his younger years. One of his prized possessions was his rock and mineral collection, as the box for it was built by his dad, when he was a kid. He enjoyed being outside, in the elements of nature, something he enjoyed even while getting older into retirement. While married, he and Joan would frequent flea markets, auctions, yard sales, antique malls, and thrift stores. They were usually successful in finding good bargains from time to time; especially as Curtis was good at talking down prices. One of his best flea market finds was a blue rocket car, found in Kieler. The cost was only a dollar, but later found someone who insisted that they own it, so he charged them $100. Curtis used to say there was money in everything, you just have to find the right buyer. He knew how much things should cost, so turning over a profit by reselling things became an asset as money was sometimes tight. Curtis was extremely supportive of Joan’s jewelry making business, as he felt it was necessary for a woman to have her own money. Joan’s enjoyment was equally important to his.
For the last 16 months of his life, Curtis lived at Edenbrook Nursing Home in Platteville. While there, he had many friends, both residents and staff alike. He engaged in a lot of various activities, including craft items, such as painting, and natural element projects, such as rocks and wood. His favorite visitors were family and friends, however the musical talents of some were just as important to Curtis, as he enjoyed live music. He was a faithful servant of God often times praying alone. He would engage himself in Christian conversations as he was a spiritual believer. Playing cards was a past time often in the afternoon, as he had the camaraderie of his group of friends. He enjoyed a good game of King’s Corners. His favorite movies in the evenings were westerns, Hallmark movies, and any movie that had dogs in it. People were not the only visitors of Curt’s in the home, as he enjoyed seeing all the various animals that would stop by and visit. He knew all the names of the dogs, cats, bunnies, and macaw birds. The day he was gifted a macaw feather was one of his best days. He spoke about it often.
Curtis Fetzek was one of the kindest, sweetest, caring, hardworking, honest, thoughtful, and supportive people you could ever meet. There weren’t many people that he didn’t like. He enjoyed intelligent conversation, but light hearted banter was good too. He rarely raised his voice, but when he did, he’d say what he needed to say, then go about his business. You could count on Curtis, when he gave his word. His absence is felt by several, as he left his influential mark on this world.
Survivors of Curtis Fetzek include, Son, Michael “Mike” Fetzek of Potosi; Special Nieces: Tammy Kilby (friend Richard Fernstaedt) and Emily Dotson, both of Darlington; Brother-In-Law, Bruce (Faith) Hoskins of Dubuque, IA; Several nieces, nephews, other relatives & friends, including his buddies: Sully & Dave, and his nursing home roommate, Don.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Frank and Clara Fetzek; his wife Joan; their daughter Tina; his brother Calvin; half-brothers: LeRoy Fetzek, Paul C. Fetzek, George Fetzek, Richard Coffey, & Lester Fetzek; half-sisters: Marie Vondrum, Dorothy Hetletved, & Helen Olson.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Potosi with Pastor Pamela Strakeljahn officiating. Burial will be in St. Andrew Cemetery, Tennyson. Family and friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank Edenbrook-Platteville, EMT/Ambulance crews, Southwest Health ER, Med-flight, UW Madison ER and Stroke Unit, all the faithful nurses, doctors, specialists, and medical personnel who aided in Curt’s care. We appreciate each and every one of you.
“Remember, while searching for treasures, find value within yourself.” ~ Curtis Fetzek