Erna Louise Marie Putz, 102, of rural Arcadia, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her family on
Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
Erna was born on March 15, 1917, in Fountain City to Louis and Amelia (Heller) Hertzfeldt. After graduating from
high school, she married Wilmer Putz on September 25, 1935, at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Fountain City,
where she was also baptized and confirmed. Making their home on a blufftop farm in Glencoe, they were blessed
with a son and four daughters. They later welcomed foster children into their home.
Erna enjoyed sharing stories from her childhood such as finding arrowheads on the prairie, playing ball, ice skating
and many shenanigans with her brothers. At age 16, Erna was asked to play the accordion for the Putz Brothers’
Band. She married Wilmer, the fiddler and saxophone player. He was her first and only true love. They continued
to share their gift of music for 62 years. Their daughters were also a part of this musical legacy, joining them to
form the Harmony Pals and Harmony Gals.
Erna was very involved on the farm, even saving her husband from a bull attack, then taking on all responsibilities
during the months of recovery. Erna attended church every Sunday and spent time reading God's Word daily.
Fishing was a lifelong pastime as well as card playing, and she was as competitive as they come. Erna loved to
bake bread, hang wash, garden, and raise chickens. She took time to remember loved ones near and far with
handwritten letters in greeting cards. She never wanted to miss any event with family, and hosted every major
holiday at her house. Spending time with her generations of grandchildren and having a baby in her arms were
some of her biggest joys. Everyone was amazed at how she continued to have her quick wit and memory right up
to her final days. Her thoughtful, engaging personality was loved and will be missed by so many.
Erna is survived by her son: Wilmer "Willie" (Tammy) Putz, of Fairfax, VA; daughters: Marlene “Molly” (Merlyn)
Klebig of Fountain City, Luanne (Randy) Mueller of Pepin, LaVonne "Vonnie" (Daryl “Tony”) Zimmer of Arcadia, and
Mardelle "Mardy" (Bruce) Arnoldy of Arcadia; 19 grandchildren; 50 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-
grandchildren (and 3 on the way); and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wilmer in 1997; brothers: Reuben in infancy, Howard, Roy,
Norman and Walter Herzfeldt; and sisters Myrtle Schmoker and Pearl Falls.
A funeral service to celebrate Erna’s 102 years will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at
Bethel Lutheran Church with Pastor Jon Cox officiating. Family and friends are welcome for visitation from 4-8
p.m. at the Wozney-Killian Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and also one hour prior to the service
at church on Wednesday. Burial will be in Fountain City Public Cemetery. To express condolences to her family
online, please visit www.wozneykillianfh.com.
In life we loved you dearly
In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place
No one else can ever fill.
The Golden Gates stood open
God saw you needed rest;
God's garden must be beautiful
He always picks the best!
We love you!