Arnold "Arnie" Albert Schlei, 73, passed into eternal peace at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau at 11:08 the evening of Wednesday, October 13, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 52 years Patricia (nee Smith), sons Chad of Germantown, and Scott of Hewitt, Daughters-in-law Bobbi (nee Marti), Amy (nee Lodes), grandchildren August, Violet, Sophie, and Zachary Schlei, sister Helen (Dale) Traska of Wausau, brother & sister-in-laws Michael and Carol (Dettman) Smith of Florida, Trish (James) Wolfe Woodruff, nieces Sue (Jerry) Harvey of Antigo, Kristi (Ryan) Andrus of Illinois, nephew Jeremi (Heather Brown) Smith of North Carolina. He was proceeded in death by parents Albert Robert and Esther Sophie (nee Neitzke) Schlei, father & mother-in-law Richard C and Elaine A (nee Wyttyk) Smith, Dale “John” Traska, brother and sister-in-law Jim and Kathy Wolfe.
Arnie married his high school sweetheart Patricia on August 9th, 1969. He served in the Army Reserves, honorably discharged as a Staff Sargent. He founded Pfingsten-Schlei Construction in 1972. In 1980, he took over operation of the family farm settled by his great-grandfather August in 1888. He raised veal until retiring in 2014. Arnie served his township for 2 years as building inspector, 6 years as Town Supervisor, and 28 years as Town Chairman all for the Town of Easton as well as serving on the Wisconsin Towns Association both as president and officer. He was elected to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors in 2010 and was the incumbent Chairman. He was in office as Director of Wisconsin County Forests Associations and was County Supervisor at the time of his death.
Arnie had a life-long love of the outdoors enjoying hunting, fishing, and trapping on family land and Boulder Junction. He shared this passion with his children and grandchildren. He shared his knowledge of trapping and hunting as a presenter at the Wausau School Forest. He was a skilled carpenter and enjoyed reading about history and the outdoors. He enjoyed a good game of cribbage and sheepshead with friends, especially Al Seymour. He took pride in canning from his garden and cooking for the family with his wife Pat. Arnie was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church in Aniwa. He loved his family and was especially proud of his four Grandchildren. Arnie continued to give back to his community as an organ and tissue donor.
The funeral service for Arnie will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 238145 Star Road, Aniwa, WI. A visitation will be held at the church on Friday, October 22, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends that trees be planted in his honor.