Roman W. Feltes died Monday, April 18, 2011. Born July 12, 1920, in Arcadia, Wisconsin, to Henry L. and Barbara (Sobish) Feltes, both of Arcadia.
His wife, A. Elaine Feltes, and his sister, Bernice (Roy) Aye preceded him in death.
Roman attended Saint Aloysius School and graduated from Arcadia High School in 1939. While attending high school, he owned and operated a radio repair and sound shop from 1935 to 1940. In August 1940, he enlisted in Military Police Company as a guard. After attending signal school at Fort Monmouth, NJ, he graduated as a repairman, returning to Louisiana to a signal company. He was promoted to Corporal in February 1942, and to Staff Sergeant in March 1942. Leaving the States on April 22, 1942, he arrived in South Australia on May 14, 1942. He was promoted to Tech Sergeant on August 1 of that year. He was deployed to Buna, Papua New Guinea in August 1942 and returned to Australia in February 1943. He was promoted to Master Sergeant in March, 1943 and returned to New Guinea in August of that year. In November 1944, he returned to Australia. He was granted a furlough, and returned to the Signal Company Leyte in the Philippines in February 1945 and to Luzon in the Philippines in June 1945. He was discharged from the service on October 3, 1945, after the war’s end. He was commissioned on October 27, 1947.
Roman enrolled at Marquette University in October 1945, graduated cum laude in June 1948, and from Marquette University School of Law in February 1952. Roman commanded the 2nd Signal Company Field Grade Course in April 1952. Continuing in the National Guard, he transferred to JAG division headquarters in June 1957. Roman opened a solo law practice in Arcadia, WI, on May 10, 1952 that continued for over fifty years.
On September 16, 1950, Roman married A. Elaine Rademacher in Escanaba, MI. Together, Roman and Elaine raised eight children: William Roman Feltes (Cheryl Melde), John Joseph (Mary Beth) Feltes, Mary Kay Feltes, James Robert (Angela) Feltes, Nancy Jean (Joseph) Walleser, Jean Marie Feltes, Jane Katherine (Bill) Dean, and Michael John (Pamela) Feltes. He was exceedingly proud of his grandchildren: Jennifer (Oscar) Rangel, Sarah Feltes, Jessica Feltes, Rachel Feltes, Erinn Feltes, Hannah Elaine Walleser, Hans Walleser, John Walleser, Nicholas Anderson, Katherine Anderson, Helen Ann Elizabeth Dean, Billy Dean and great-grandchild Luca Jorel Rangel. Roman leaves special friend Eleanor Servais.
Roman was committed to the service of his hometown, the state, and the nation. He served as mayor of Arcadia from 1957 to 1962, as a member of the local school board, as Trempealeau County district attorney from 1972 to 1976. He was a fervent member, supporter, and county chair of the Democratic Party. He served on Governor Pat Lucey’s Criminal Justice commission for several years.
Although after his military service, he hoped never to camp again, he was assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster of Arcadia Troop 64 for many years and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, Brotherhood, and Vigil.
He was a life member of the American Legion, past Commander of Post 17 and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a life member of the Harry Olson Senior Center, the Knights of Columbus, and the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association.
Roman’s interest in history, politics, government and justice continued throughout his life. Reading was a compelling part of the life of ideas he lived. He devoured a plethora of local, regional and national newspapers and magazines as well as books. He also continued his early love of radio and sound systems, hunting antique radios and tubes and building stereos and electronic equipment for his children. He enjoyed driving his restored Ford Model T and he anticipated restoring his Model A.
“Buna was the first Allied Ground Force victory in the Pacific…and it was bought at a substantial price in deaths, wounds, disease, despair and human suffering. No one who fought there, however hard he tries, will ever forget it. I am a reasonably unimaginative man, but Buna is still to me, in retrospect, a nightmare. This long after, I can still remember every day and most of the nights as clearly as though they were days and nights last week.”
General Robert L. Eichelberger in The 32nd Infantry Division in World War II, by Major General H. W. Blakeley. The Thirty-second Infantry Division History Commission, State of Wisconsin, n.d.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 23, 2011, at Holy Family Parish, St. Stanislaus Church, Arcadia. Burial, with military rites, will be in Calvary Cemetery, Arcadia.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday at Edison Funeral Home, Independence, where there will be a prayer service at 7:00 p.m., and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
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