Wartman Home Going Down

The End

Love, Sue

The first shingle split at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 19th, 2008.  “The Victoria Lions paid for those shingles,” said Julianne Wartman, always aware of those who helped them over the years.  “Tony Shrempp did the shingling.” 

                As the walls went tumbling down, memories escaped and each room came alive again.  When the last shingle fell at 2:30 p.m., Julianne walked to the car and commented, “Like the Lord said, ‘It is finished.’”

                Julianne and Euch Wartman bought the house, one block off Main Street, from Lizzy Dill in 1958 and moved in with two children, one on the way, and four more to come.  “My mother in law [Hilda Wartman] always said the house was built in 1929,” said Julianne.  “It had all wood floors, even in the closets.  There were three bedrooms upstairs.   Ours was on the first level ... I got new kitchen cabinets in 1983.”

                Eugene -- who is commonly called Euch --  died on March 9th, 2003, at the age of 73, after years of poor health due to diabetes.  Later that same year, Julianne sold the house to the City of Victoria and bought a beautiful townhome in a newer section of town.

                “Today would have been our 54th anniversary,” said Julianne.  “We were married on June 19th, 1954.”

                Euch’s favorite room, the one in front, was the first to go.  “Wow!” exclaimed Julianne each time another wall crashed and fell.  As the steel claw broke into the first bedroom upstairs, the mother of the house said, “When Jane was in high school, her favorite color was purple so we painted that room purple and she had a purple velour bedspread.”  As the kitchen window vanished, Julianne said, “We used to watch the Thiede boys fight and boy could they fight ... One time Julie picked a whole bunch of Gloria Thiede’s tulips and brought them to me.”

                As Julianne and this editor sat comfortably in my air conditioned car on this hot and sunny afternoon, my friend picked up her cell and phoned youngest daughter Anne.  “Our house is going down,” she said.  “There’s a white stove sitting out front that’s going real cheap.  The front porch is gone, where Dad sat all his life.  The bedrooms are going now.  It keeps getting littler and littler ... Boy, is there rubble ... This is a sad day.”

                When Julianne got off the phone she said, “Anne wanted to cry.” 

                As the big yellow machine invaded the back alley-way entry of the home, J.W. recalled, “One time our kids brought a keg of beer into the house -- Euch and I weren’t home -- and they set it on the landing there and forgot to turn off the tap and beer ran into the basement all night.”

                As the caterpillar grabbed and tipped over the kitchen vestibule, it tumbled upside down and smashed into pieces.  “There went the fort,” said Julianne.  “There was a crawl space under there where the kids played.”

                That’s Mike Wartman to the left, oldest child of Euch and Julianne, posed a few years ago in the dining room of the old home where the siblings’ baby and high school graduation photos figured prominently.  Mike writes the popular column for the Gazette each month about his growing up years in Victoria.  He hasn’t yet seen that the family home is down.

Euch, who had great success on Lake Minnetonka,  cleans his fish in the basement of the home.

Euch and his youngest, Anne.

Eldest son Patrick made friends with a couple from Australia, where he visited and stayed as a young student.  The Aussies came to visit Victoria and stay with Euch and Julianne for a few days.

The Tom & Jerry group meets every year around Christmas time..