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In Memory of Clarence Wiltzius

Friend and Fishing Partner

Died 25 May 1999

Picture of Clarence Wiltzius

Clarence was first a super friend and a caring person. He is greatly missed. As a fishing partner over all the years, I could not have asked for more. His priorities were family, fishing, and gardening, with sometimes a blur between them. I recall when he used to fish in his boat in the morning, then be sitting on my steps waiting to go out fishing with me when I got home from work. He would tell me he took his phone off the hook so I couldn't call him when the water was rough but that wasn't true. He would go fishing any time, anywhere. His sense of humor was second to none. I will miss him very much. For a lack of better words, I dedicate the following to him.

Testament to a Fisherman by John Voelker

I fish because I love to

Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful

I hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariable ugly

Because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturings I thus escape

Because in a world where men spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight, and an act of small rebellion

Because trout do not lie, or cheat, or cannot be bought, or bribed, or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude, humility, and endless patience

Because I suspect men are going along this way for the last time and I, for one, don't want to waste the trip

Because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters

Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness

Because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there

Because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid

And finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important

But because I suspect that so many of the other concerns then are equally unimportant and not nearly so much fun.


Shortly after Clarence died, I purchased a City bench and chose as its location, the site by the Presque Isle boat launch. The plaque reads "In Loving Memory of Clarence Wiltzius - A Dear Friend and Fishing Partner 1914 - 1999"

Here's a picture of the bench:

Click to enlarge - Bench at Presque Isle Launch site in Clarence Wiltzius memory.

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