Lawrence “Shorty Choitz, 90, passed away Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Wilson. He was born Dec. 4, 1929 in Ellsworth to Emil and Dorothea “Dora” Choitz.
Shorty was a lifetime resident of Ellsworth County where he and Walter Schwerdtfeger were co-owners of A-1 Welding, which Shorty operated for over 50 years. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. Shorty married Erma J. Choitz in Emporia, Kan. Dec. 26, 1955. The Lord blessed them with three healthy children.
Shorty never met a person he didn’t like, which sometimes got him into some interesting situations — both good and not so good. He made new lifelong friends from other states or interesting characters off Interstate 70, never to be seen again. He always felt like he needed to be working no matter what his age. From helping his parents at a young age to raise his younger siblings to hiring out to various neighbors in his teens to support himself, save money and send cash home to his mom to help her keep food on the table.
After his time in Korea, he came back to Ellsworth, helped his mom with the farm, and started working at A-1 Welding for Wheeler Cornwell. He met Erma at the skating rink in Ellsworth and started dating her until they married. He later purchased the welding shop with his brother Harry and cousin Walter. He operated it until he could no longer physically do it. He would work at the shop all day and then sneak out to the country to run the tractor one more time or check the cattle just to see that new baby calf that might need some help out there on the farm.
He loved getting in the car going for drives just to see what the rest of the world was doing and enjoyed traveling and camping. Erma had trouble getting him to leave work to go on vacation and then he was never ready to return home when she needed to get back to work. He came from the generation where your word was your bond and he trusted everyone.
Shorty is survived by his wife, Erma of Ellsworth; daughter, Mary Meier (Randy) of Lincoln; son, Bob Choitz (Megan) of Ellsworth; grandchildren, Derek Meier, Michelle Hair (Michael), and Gunner Choitz; great-grandchildren, Dane and Grant Meier, and Lyle, Elisa and Ian Hair; and brothers, Emil Choitz, Jr. (Arlene) of Ellsworth and Ralph Choitz (Evelyn) of Ellsworth.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Larry Choitz; infant daughter, Rita Kay Choitz; brothers, Edward, Norman, Gilbert, George, Harry, Carl and Frank Choitz; and sisters, Ruth Williams and Mabel Anschutz.
Visitation is from 1-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at Parsons Funeral Home, Ellsworth.
Graveside service is 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, rural Ellsworth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, in care of Parsons Funeral Home, PO Box 45, Ellsworth, Kan. 67439.
Condolences may be left at parsonsfh.com