Cover photo for Mr. Louis Maas Paetsch's Obituary
Mr. Louis Maas Paetsch Profile Photo
1941 Mr. 2022

Mr. Louis Maas Paetsch

June 9, 1941 — January 7, 2022

Louis Paetsch, 80, died at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau after suffering a heart attack on January 2nd at his cottage in Tomahawk. His wife, Mary and sons Tim and Peter were at his side. Louie’s primary residence is Waterford, a smaller community than his hometown of Merrill. Louis Paetsch first attended UW-La Crosse and graduated with his undergraduate degree from UW-Stevens Point in 1964. Louis drove his brand-new ’64 Ford to Rochester, Wisconsin to start his career. Mr. Paetsch (although two of his children called him ‘Dad’ in class), first taught 7th and 8th grade History and Phy Ed that at the Rochester Ag School building. He met Mary, his future wife, who was hired that year to teach English and Math. In January of 1969, students moved from the Ag School into Fox River School. Louie was particularly proud of his continued work with colleague and friend Hector Benavides as they provided annual janitorial service at the school.
Mr. Paetsch has been remembered as a caring and motivating teacher in history, physical education, and coaching multiple sports. Numerous students have shared specific examples on how Mr. Paetsch impacted them as students and throughout their lives. His values of kindness, fairness, and service to students and the community were foundational to his involvement in the Waterford community.
Louis Paetsch served for 35 years on the Waterford Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad which he joined 1970 after he completed his Masters Degree. He developed life-long friendships while mentoring the next generation of first responders.
Louis Paetsch's parents were Louis and Ruth Paetsch of Merrill. His older sister Ellen, is currently residing in Fairbanks, Alaska with husband Lenny Ayotte. Louie and Mary made multiple trips to Alaska and nurtured strong-loving relationships with their family – Janet and Tom Bartels (children Tana and Landon) and John and Trisha Ayotte (children Silas and Xochi ).
Mary’s daughter Michelle (Chelle) was 8 when they met. “Mr. Paetsch” became “Dad” on June 4, 1965 when Mary and Louie married. They spent their honeymoon on Lake Pesobic for the summer hosting many friends and families. Michelle officially became Louie’s daughter that fall. Later in 1979, Louie and Mary fulfilled a dream borne on their honeymoon, purchasing a cottage in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
Daughter, Michelle resides with husband John Byrne in Greenville, South Carolina. Grandson, Devin Byrne also works and lives in Greenville. Granddaughter Carolyn Larson (nee Byrne) is married to chef Jacques Larson in Charleston, South Carolina. Louis and Mary are also proud to be great-grandparents to Jack (9). Louie and Mary’s family values were always active and present. They visited the transplanted Byrne family to Atlanta and South Carolina regular for grand kid and great-grand kid events, holidays and adventure. In 1996 Louie and Mary stayed with Michelle’s family in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. Son Tim plays tenor banjo with Dixie Doodlers and carves handmade lures – “Grandpa’s Choice” modeled after a plug Louis Sr. once gave him. He resides in Racine, Wisconsin. Throughout our struggles with Covid Tim has helped Mom and Dad and works part time at Hometown Sausage Kitchen in East Troy.
Peter lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Kristin Hovious and their two children, Julian (14) and Evaline (13). For years, every Monday to Tuesday, Louie and Mary commuted to Chicago picking up the young grand kids from daycare, making dinner and breakfast, reading bedtime stories, playing games, swimming, attending class events and being model grandparents. Later, they particularly enjoyed Julian’s basketball team and Eva’s cross-country pursuits. Louis was happy to know of but didn’t see Pete coach Julian’s 8th Grade basketball team.
After retiring from the Fox River School and the Waterford Fire and Rescue, Louis and Mike Weckworth , a fireman friend from Merrill) wrote and published “When the Ranger’s Reigned” the story of the Merrill Rangers semi-pro baseball in the 1950s. It is a time-capsule of life during that time through this baseball team in his hometown. Louie and Mike interviewed players, fans and families because the first-hand history had to be told by those who played before they were no longer with us. Louis also worked for 10 years at Scott Industries in East Troy.
Louis spent much of his last year at the new family cabin in Tomahawk. After 40 years of memories, the original cottage was demolished by a huge white pine in May of 2019 – thankfully without causing injury. Son Peter and Granddaughter Carrie managed and designed the construction of the new, beautiful all-season cottage for generations to come. During 2021, Louie and Mary were able to marvel at the changes every month on Lake Alice and the Wisconsin River.
Mr. Paetsch’s reward was always the spirit of the service – to his family, students and community. He spent his final days playing cards, watching the Bucks, taking walks and of course talking about the St. Louis Cardinals with his family at the cottage.
The family of Louis Paetsch thank all of you who have supported us by phone calls, cards, emails, FaceBook messages, and The Waterford Memories. Due to Mary’s immunosuppression status and the extended family residing in South Carolina, two Celebrations of Life will be held in July, here and near Louie’s hometown. His children, grandchildren, great-grandson, and spouses will be here and hope to visit with family and friends.
Southeastern Wisconsin: Saturday, July 16, 2022 12 – 3 p.m.
First Congregational Church 103 S. State St. Rochester, WI. 12 p.m. outdoor noon service followed by lunch and Celebration of Life to mingle with one another.
Tomahawk, WI: Monday, July 18, 2022 5-7 p.m.
At the Cottage: N 10392 South Pine Rd., Tomahawk; Short program followed by a casual dinner and a Celebration of Life to mingle with one another. Please bring a chair (similar to Fish Boil Days)
Donations in the memory of Louis can be made to the First Congregational Church of Rochester or the Waterford Recreation Department. Donations for the Rec Department may be dropped off or mailed to 819 W Main Street Waterford 53185, noting in Memory of Mr. Paetsch.

Mealy Funeral Home
225 W Main St
Waterford, WI 53185
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mr. Louis Maas Paetsch, please visit our flower store.


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