Warren “Curly” Gatz, 92, arrived on this earth on March 27, 1926, and departed this earth on Dec. 5, 2018, in Hiawatha.
The fourth child of Henry “Pete” and Frieda Gatz of rural Falls City, Warren was a farm kid and attended a Falls City country school commonly known as “Pig Hill,” leaving school to work on the family dairy farm. While showing pigs as a Richardson County 4-H member, Warren met Gertie Gerweck. The two were united in marriage on Feb. 19, 1947, and to this union were born three children: Rita, Roger, and Teres(a).
A hard worker who had a passion for agriculture, Warren was one of the first artificial inseminators of dairy cattle in the state of Kansas. He and Frank Davis established Sunflower Proved Sire Service and the two AIed thousands of dairy and beef cows. Warren seldom took a day off, instilling a strong work ethic in his children.
In the 1960s, Warren joined American Breeders Service where he served as a District Sales Manager. He remained an ABS employee until his retirement.
In the 1960s, Warren and Gert purchased a farm just east of Hiawatha. This farm was the home to numerous sows and young pigs as well as beef cows. Warren had a tremendous eye for high-quality beef animals and earned a reputation for producing some powerful club calves. ABS also relied on Warren’s expertise to scout out bulls for its bull stud.
Even after retirement, Warren wasn’t a man to sit around. He kept busy raising beef cattle, removing thistles, driving grain trucks during harvest and other farm-related tasks. Gatz Stock Farm was in full gear for many years. Until shortly before he passed, Warren also enjoyed playing cards and being Grandpa and Great Grandpa to his grandkids and his “greats.”
Warren is survived by: Daughter, Rita, son-in-law Bob Haley of Denver, CO., and their daughter Brittany Haley of Parsons, KS. ; son, Roger, daughter-in-law Peg and their children Taylor (Jennifer), Walker (Kyley) and Parker (Mallory), all of Hiawatha; daughter, Teres Lambert and son-in-law John Krueger of Fort Collins, CO., and Teres’ children Holly (Jason) Holland, Fort Collins and Trey Lambert, Howard, CO.; great-grandchildren: Sloan and Skylar Holland; Jordan, Lauren and McKenna Gatz; Lily and Willow Gatz; and Rogan Gatz.
He was preceded in death by his wife Gertie in 2015, parents Henry and Frieda Gatz, sisters Thelma and Marcille and brother Wes and a baby sister who died at birth.
A Parish Rosary will be recited at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 9, 2018, at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha with Family Visitation from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Warren and Gertie Gatz Scholarship Fund which may be sent in care of the Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S.7th St. Hiawatha, KS 66434.
The family offers special thanks to the staff at Maple Heights Nursing Home where Warren lived the past six-plus years and to the Hiawatha Community Hospital staff who provided care to him during his hospital stays in July-August and recently.