action on a mission over Germany on 17 Apr 1945. Alexander (b. 28 Apr 1923), after graduating from St. Mary’s Catholic School, worked on the family farms and for neighbors until the Wolfe farm was sold in 1981. Alexander then helped Mark Wolfe (Zeno’s 4th son) on Zeno and Gladys Wolfe's farm south of Decorah until he retired to Ossian in 1994. Genevieve graduated from DeSales High School, Ossian in 1943 and became a registered nurse in Chicago, IL. She married Salvator Campagna 15 Nov 1947. They have 8 children: Joseph, Beth, Denise, Marie, James, Celeste, Michelle and Jean. Genevieve and Salvator live in Westlake, OH. Helen graduated from DeSales High School in 1945 and later taught school. She married Manuel Puccio in San Francisco where they both taught, retired and live today. George, after graduating from DeSales High School in 1948, was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served with the U.S. Occupational Forces in Japan for about a year. When George was discharged, he returned to the family farm where he worked until the farm was sold. He retired to Ossian in 1981. Norbert graduated from DeSales High School in 1950 and then enlisted in the Navy. After his service in the Navy, he worked for the Navy as a civilian ground pilot trainer in Corpus Christi, TX. There he married Patricia Reed 14 Jan 1956. Patricia died Nov 1990. Norbert then married Diane Evans Humphreys 4 Jun 1994. They live in Temple, TX.

Wolfe, Zeno and Gladys (Hertges)

(Gladys (Hertges) Wolfe)

Zeno Joseph Wolfe was born 27 Apr 1919 on the family farm in Military Twp., Winneshiek Co. near Festina, IA. This had been his grandfather's farm which his father now owned. Zeno was the 2nd child and the 1st son of Joseph and Anna (Giesing) Wolfe. His paternal grandparents were Christina and Mary (Krysan) Wolfe. His maternal grandparents were Theodore and Elizabeth (Moellers) Giesing. Zeno was baptized the same day he was born in Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church, Festina. When he was 19 he was confirmed in the same church. (The bishop missed a tour which is the reason he was so old when he was confirmed.) Zeno received his elementary education at St. Mary’s Catholic School, Festina where he was an outstanding student and a Mass server. He graduated in 1932. In 1932 the family moved “across the road” to a farm his father had bought in 1925. This farm was 80 acres; the home place had been 160 acres. The new farm was in Washington Twp. In March 1939 the family moved to a 240 acre farm in Springfield Twp. This farm was 1 1/2 miles from Ossian. Zeno worked for his father and also for some of the neighbors after graduating from school at the age of 13.

Zeno enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Fall of 1940. He was inducted into the Army at Ft. Des Moines, IA on 4 Feb 1941. He received his training and spent about a year at Ft. Snelling, MN. He became a Sergeant and Squad Leader. His pay was $21.00 per month. Zeno also served at Ft. Oglethorpe, GA and Ft. Custer, Ml. He was a member of the 701st Military Police Battalion in the states. In 1944 he volunteered for a rifle company and was put in Co. G 424th Infantry. Zeno was sent overseas 21 Oct 1944 and participated in the Rhineland Campaign which was a “mopping up operation” in France, Belgium and Germany. He returned to the states 10 Sep 1945 and was discharged 23 Oct 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Ribbon, European Theater Campaign Ribbon and one Overseas Bar. When Zeno returned from the service, he again worked for his father on the family farm northwest of Ossian. He also worked briefly for the Wilson Packing Plant in Cedar Rapids.

Bio Photo

The wedding of Gladys M. (Hertges) and Zeno J. Wolfe.
May 31, 1949 Lutz Studio, Decorah, IA.

The course of Zeno's life then took a sharp upswing! He met the “love of his life”, Gladys Marie Hertges. In his words “She was a classy looking girl." He could not resist her charm and decided to court her. Gladys was still in high school and neither family approved. But Zeno was patient and well disciplined and decided to wait for Gladys. In the meantime he worked for the Hickory Creek Dairy Farms, McHenry, IL and also for Leander Becker who rented the Bruening farm east of Burr Oak.

Zeno and Gladys were married 31 May 1941 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Ossian. They spent their brief honeymoon at White Bear Lake and St. Paul, MN. Their first home was on the Bruening farm east of Burr Oak. In Oct 1949 they moved to Waterloo, IA where Zeno worked for the Rath Packing Co. until renting the Herman Funke farm west of Ossian in March 1950. Zeno and Gladys’s 2 oldest children, Marie and Philip, were born there.

In March 1955, after 5 years on the Funke farm in Military Twp., Zeno and Gladys rented the Elizabeth Bakke farm 6 1/2 miles southeast of Decorah. This farm was located due east of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church in Frankville Twp. Although only 123 acres, the land was good and later Zeno rented additional land from neighbors. It was rather awesome being German Catholics surrounded by Norwegian Lutherans. However, in the words of one of the neighbors, “They just loved him.”


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021