Vernon H. Hollatz, 97, of Geneseo died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at Hammond-Henry Hospital, Geneseo. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28 at St. John's Lutheran Church, rural Geneseo. The Rev. Christopher Bushre will officiate. Burial will be in the National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal. A visitation was held Thursday, Dec. 27 at Stackhouse-Moose Funeral Services, Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Christian Care Center, Rock Island or to LCMS World Relief.
He was born on Sept. 10, 1915, in rural Geneseo, the son of Herman and Minnie Fischer Hollatz. He graduated from Geneseo High School in 1933. He married Karna Klockau on Dec. 27, 1949. He farmed all of his life before and after being drafted in 1941 and serving five years during World War II in the Army and Army Air Corp. and then serving 15 more years in the Reserves, retiring as a Major.
Vernon designed and built all the buildings on the farm, including the house, barn, cattle shed, tool shed, saw mill and auto feeding cattle system. His automated cattle feeding system was one of the first and attracted many visitors. He also built a motorized and telescoping platform to paint the barn. This was written up in a farm periodical as were other of his mechanical projects. He had built several remote controlled toy cranes which now reside in the Geneseo Historical Museum. He also was a woodworker, making furniture, beautiful clocks and segmented bowls. He was an honorary member of the Quad Cities Woodworkers Club. Vernon and Karna were avid antique collectors for 35 years and enjoyed weekly auctions and antique shows. He was a lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church where he had taught Sunday School and Bible Class for 60 years.
Survivors include his wife, Karna; a sister, Gretchen Hansen; nephews, Richard Hansen, Thomas Hansen, Rich Hansen, Jack Hansen and Sam Hansen. He also was godfather to Rick Hansen, Carmen Rasmussen, Libby Klockau, Paula Neumann, Jim Neumann, Jeanne DeFauw and Kent Burns and honorary godfather to Ann Schmedt.