Funeral services have been set for Douglas and Helen Molzahn, both 81, who died Friday night after being struck by a motorist as they crossed Ga. 53 near the outlets late Friday. The updates:
Egg Harbor, Wisc. Douglas & Helen Molzahn, age 81, of Egg Harbor, both died unexpectedly Friday, March 9, 2018 in Calhoun, GA, the result of a pedestrian automobile accident.
Doug was born on November 2, 1936 in La Crosse, son of the late Otto and Mabel (Lueth) Molzahn. He graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1954 and UW La Crosse in 1960 and received a Master’s Degree from Oregon College of Education, Monmouth, OR in 1967. Doug served on active duty with the United States Navy from 1956 until 1958. On August 24, 1957 he married the former Helen Ann Vaaler in La Crosse. The couple moved to Manitowoc in August of 1960. Doug taught Social Studies and Physical Education and coached various sports at Washington Junior High from 1960 until 1970, taught Geography at Lincoln High School from 1970 until 1973, was Assistant Principal at Washington Junior High from 1973 until 1984 receiving state recognition as District Junior High Principal of the Year-1984, and principal of Lincoln High School from 1984 until his retirement in 1993. He considered it a special honor to chair the process that led to Lincoln High School gaining national recognition as a High School of Excellence and to represent the district in accepting that special award from President George Bush in Washington D.C. The couple moved from Manitowoc in 1998. Doug participated in a number of activities at First Lutheran Church over the years. He ushered for twenty-five years, served on the Board of Deacons including one year as chairman, was active in the First Lutheran Men, serving one year as president. Doug was a past member of the Manitowoc Lions Club and served as treasurer for several years. He participated in Heart-A-Rama productions for twenty-five years playing the part of “lisping” hero. He was a current member of Shepherd of The Bay Lutheran Church of Ellison Bay.
Helen was born on October 21, 1936 in La Crosse, daughter of the late Olaus E. and Maria (Glasrud) Vaaler. She graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1954 and the Minneapolis General Hospital School of Nursing in 1957. On August 24, 1957 she married Douglas Dean Molzahn in La Crosse. Helen worked as a nurse at La Crosse Lutheran Hospital from 1957 until 1960. The couple moved to Manitowoc in August of 1960. She then worked for Manitowoc Memorial Hospital, the Manitowoc Clinic and for twenty years at Lakeshore Urology. Helen was a member of The American Association of Operating Room Nurses and served on the Nursing Advisory Board of the Lakeshore Technical College. For many years she sang with the First Lutheran Church Choir and the Manitowoc Chamber Choir, often a featured soloist. She was involved in Heart-A-Rama productions for twenty-five years. Helen loved to sing and pursued it with energy and enthusiasm. She was a current member of Shepherd of The Bay Lutheran Church of Ellison Bay.
Survivors include one son and daughter-in-law: Greg (Ann) Molzahn, South Milwaukee; two daughters and sons-in-law: Catherine (Glenn) Smits, Kalamazoo, MI; Susan (Scott) Parker, Chippewa Falls; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Allison (Andrew) Simmons and their son: Teddy; Max Molzahn and his fiancée: Logan Thompson; Samuel (Becca) Molzahn; Douglas (Hailey) Smits and their children: Jack and Stella; Zachary Smits (Abbey Brooks); Nathan Smits (Courtney Brown); Kirsten Smits; Madeline Parker and her fiancé: Brady Holt; Claire Parker; Helen’s siblings include: Tom (Juanita) Vaaler, St. Paul, MN; Chuck (Cathi) Vaaler, St. Louis, MO; Mary Ann Vaaler, San Antonio, TX; Dick Vaaler, Springfield, VA; Nancy Murnane, Minneapolis, MN; Linda (Charles) Rudrud, La Crosse; many nieces, nephews, and special friends survive. Doug was preceded in death by his parents: Otto and Mabel Molzahn; two brothers and sisters-in-law: Robert (Murilla) Molzahn; Donald (Phyllis) Molzahn. Helen was preceded in death by her parents: Olaus and Maria Vaaler; one brother: Jack Vaaler; one sister and two brothers-in-law: Lois (Bob) Zumberge; Roger Murnane; one sister-in-law: Joan Vaaler.
Memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the First Lutheran Church, 521 North 8th Street, Manitowoc. The Rev. Roald Harswick and Rev. James Honig will officiate. Relatives and friends may call on Saturday at the Church from 10:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Military honors will be accorded by Vietnam Veterans Chapter #731 of Manitowoc. Following the service there will be a fellowship gathering at First Lutheran Church. The Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the family with arrangements. A memorial fund has been established in their name for the Wisconsin Heart Association or the Doug & Helen Molzahn Scholarship at Manitowoc Lincoln High School for students entering the fields of Education, Nursing or Music. Online condolences may be expressed at www.jensreinboldandpfeffer.com
(Among those paying respects are residents of Calhoun. For more)
Sunday update from the Georgia State Patrol: “The vehicle was traveling east on Ga 53. The pedestrians were walking south, across Ga. 53. They were not at a crosswalk and the area is not lighted. The vehicle struck the pedestrians with its front. Both pedestrians were fatally injured. Blood alcohol tests are pending. No charges are expected to be filed.”
Saturday update: An elderly couple from Wisconsin has been identified as the two pedestrians struck and killed by a vehicle on Highway 53 at Outlet Center Drive on Friday night near the Calhoun Outlet Marketplace. According to Gordon County Deputy Coroner Christy Nicholson, the couple has been identified as Douglas Molzahn, 81, and Helen Molzahn, 81, both from Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene and Helen died at the hospital. They were crossing the street when they were struck by a vehicle.