LYNETTE LOUISE VEITCH PATCHEN REMEMBERS By Gail Veitch Dean
Lynette Louise Veitch Patchen entered the world in Seymour, WI on June 13, 1935. She was the second child and first daughter of V. Lowell and Adeline (Bock) Veitch. She was born in the house that is now known as 364 Lincoln Street. The house was smaller, and faced what is now Sally Street. She was born at home, as was the custom at the time.
Lynette attended Seymour Grade School. She remembers in kindergarten her teacher Miss Cauley, told her mother she was quite shy and usually went in the corner and played all alone. Like most students she walked to school in the morning, went home for lunch, and then back to school, and home after school. At that time, all students attended the big school on Robbins Street.
Children in Seymour looked forward to the Outagamie County Fair. Lynette liked riding on the Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round. The horse races also were one of her favorite things to watch. These were harness races where the horse pulled a rider in a sulky. When Lynette entered Seymour High School, she played clarinet in band. Since the high school band always played at the fair, all the members were admitted at no charge.
One of her favorite town characters was Wally Wingate. He was a colorful character who did odd jobs for various businesses and often slept at the jail in city hall. Even more memorable was “Old Franz.” Lynette and her sister Gail would sit on the corner of High and Main Streets and wait for “Old Franz” to come staggering home. He always said, “You good kids I like your dad, Lo Beach. He's good guy.” Then he would give each of the girls a nickel for ice cream. Our father, Lowell Veitch, was a county Policeman, and many times he picked up “Old Franz” when he had too much to drink and took him home. Of course, today they would take him to jail.
It was a real treat to go to Grandma Veitch's house and listen to the radio. Grandma would make a dish pan full of popcorn, and we would listen to Jack Benny and Dennis Day, The Shadow Knows, The Green Lantern and The Lone Ranger.
We moved to High Street and had sidewalk on our side of the street, which was great for roller-skating. These old-fashioned skates had clamps and attached to your shoes by tightening the clamps with a key. Lynette was allowed to skate from corner to corner on her block. In the winter it was convenient to go skiing and tobogganing with other kids at the stone quarry a half-mile west of her house.
The neighbor kids all seemed to congregate at the Veitch house. We played kick the can, Annie over, hide and go seek, and of course 21, which was a ball game with one batter, and everyone else catching. When one of the people catching got 21 points, he or she was the batter. Boys and girls played together and often the games would go on until dusk.
While in high school, Lyn worked at Reese's Dairy, and baby-sat for many people, making 25 cents an hour. Babysitting sometimes included feeding the kids and washing dishes. There was no television back then and no snacks in the refrigerator for the sitter.
Lyn worked two summers at the Seymour canning factory. It was hot, tiring work, but she needed to save money for college. After graduation from Seymour High in 1953, she attended Oshkosh State College for two years. Then she returned home for a year and worked for the Seymour Press, to get money to finish college. Most of her work was in the office doing a variety of tasks. She also wrote a number of articles and did some print work.
Once Lyn accumulated enough money, she returned to college in Naperville, Illinois, and North Central College where she majored in religion. After graduation, Lyn became a Director of Christian Education, working with youth, first in Decatur, Illinois and then in Toledo, Ohio.
Eventually Lyn met and married her husband Bob Patchen in Toledo, Ohio where they still live. She has returned to Seymour many times over the years to visit. Some of her most fond memories are of her childhood and growing up in Seymour.