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Levi L. Backhaus
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Obituary for Levi L. Backhaus

Levi L. Backhaus, age 82, of Plymouth, passed away early Saturday afternoon (August 19, 2017) at Anita’s Gardens in Plymouth, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on August 8, 1935 in the Town of Osceola, Polk County Wisconsin, son of the late Lorenz and Rosella (Ebert) Backhaus.

Early childhood was in the Town of Osceola. Later the family moved to the Plymouth area.

He attended St. John Lutheran Grade School and Plymouth and Campbellsport High School.

He entered active duty in the United States Air Force on August 15, 1952. He received his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. He was then transferred to Rapid City Air Force Base in South Dakota, working in maintenance, which included driving truck and plowing runways in winter for B-36 Bombers.

From this assignment he was transferred to Supply School at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. After completing supply school he was transferred to Tatchikawa, Japan.

After arriving in Japan he was assigned to various companies operated by the Air Force that provided maintenance for parachutes, the repair of aircraft such as starters and generators. This was part of a large Quartermaster Depot. His superior at this facility was a Japanese American who had fought in Italy and Germany as a part of the Japanese American 442nd Infantry Regiment, while his brother was in the Japanese Army.

After his return to the U.S. he was assigned to Command Pilot Training in Texas. Training in supply was part of the pilot training, besides their regular flight training. It is interesting to note that pilots begin training in prop aircraft and then progress to jet aircraft.

Levi was given an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force in August 1956. Upon his return he became employed at the Borden Company for 41 years.

On December 22, 1955 he married Sharlene Lange in Dubuque, IA.

Levi is a member of the Plymouth VFW World Cheese Center Post # 5612 and the funeral squad. During his 48 years of membership, he has been Post Commander and many other offices, also serving as chaplain. Levi and his crew have done an outstanding job just before Memorial Day, placing 922 flags on veterans’ graves on 12 cemeteries and then removing them again in September. He has given selflessly of his time visiting shut in veterans at Rocky Knoll and getting them to church services on Mondays. He was always willing to go the extra mile. He was also a member of the Ladewig-Zinkgraf American Legion Post #243.

Levi was also awarded several citations from the National VFW organization. One for outstanding leadership which enabled his Post to exceed 100 percent membership while he was Commander of the Post. Another citation was awarded for the maintenance of continuous membership for Post 5612.

On February 14, 1986 he married Lois Kolpin at St. John Lutheran Church. She preceded him in death on April 24, 2008.

Levi was a member of the Plymouth Ski Club and also the central U.S. Ski Jumping Association.

He enjoyed family camping, boating and snowmobiling in his younger years, as well as going to rodeos, gardening, canning and traveling.

He is survived by: Three children: Cynthia Backhaus of Plymouth, Steven (Sharen) Backhaus of Sheboygan Falls and Tammy Backhaus of Plymouth; Six grandchildren: Rev. Kyle (Tessa) Backhaus of Gonzalez, TX, Eric Backhaus of Sheboygan Falls, Brian (Angie) Schwaller of Plymouth, Brent Schwaller of Plymouth, Adam Schwaller of West Bend and Amy Schwaller of Plymouth; Five great-grandchildren: Landon, Deanna, Jolene, Kaylyn and Emaline; Brothers: Roger, Vilas (Patricia) and Gary Backhaus; Sisters: Carolyn DeSmidt, and Arletta (Warren) Balde; and Step-children: David (Karla) Lisowe, Donna (David) Blackburn, and Cindy Oakley.

He is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by: His parents; Wife: Lois; Sister: Verna Van De Hey; Brother-in-law: Richard DeSmidt; Nephew: Brian Backhaus; Niece: Deborah Adermann; and Step-children: John Lisowe and Kelly Born.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday evening (August 24, 2017) at 5:30 P.M. at St. John Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Rev. Nathan Meador, Pastor of the Church, and Rev. Kyle Backhaus will co-officiate. Cremation will take place following the services and inurnment will be in the Greenbush Cemetery.

Visitation will take place at CHURCH on Thursday (August 24) from 3:30 P.M. until time of services.

Military Rites will be conducted by the Plymouth VFW World Cheese Center Post #5612 following the services at Church.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Levi’s name.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Levi L. Backhaus, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
St. John Lutheran Church

222 N Stafford Street
Plymouth, WI 53073





5:30 PM
St. John Lutheran Church

222 N Stafford Street
Plymouth, WI 53073


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