Lawrence “Shorty” Choitz, 90, passed away Saturday, September 5, 2020 in Wilson. He was born December 4, 1929 in Ellsworth to Emil and Dorothea “Dora” Choitz.
Shorty was a lifetime resident of Ellsworth County where he and Walter Schwerdtfeger were co-owners of A-1 Welding, which Shorty operated for over 50 years. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. Shorty married Erma J. Choitz in Emporia, Kan. on December 26, 1955. The Lord blessed them with 3 healthy children.
Shorty never met a person he didn’t like, which sometimes got him into some interesting situations both good and not so good. He made new lifelong friends from other states or interesting characters off interstate 70, never to be seen again. He always felt like he needed to be working no matter what his age. From helping his parents at a young age to raise his younger siblings to hiring out to various neighbors in his teens to support himself, save money and send cash home to his mom to help her keep food on the table. After his time in Korea, he came back to Ellsworth, helped his mom with the farm, and started working at A-1 Welding for Wheeler Cornwell. He met Erma at the skating rink in Ellsworth and started dating her till they married. He later purchased the welding shop with his brother Harry and cousin Walter. He operated it until he could no longer physically do it. He would work at the shop all day and then sneak out to the country to run the tractor one more time or check the cattle just to see that new baby calf that might need some help out there on the farm. He loved getting in the car going for drives just to see what the rest of the world was doing and enjoyed traveling and camping. Erma had trouble getting him to leave work to go on vacation and then he was never ready to return home when she needed to get back to work. He came from the generation where your word was your bond and he trusted everyone.
Shorty is survived by his wife, Erma of Ellsworth; daughter, Mary (Randy) Meier of Lincoln; son, Bob (Megan) Choitz of Ellsworth; grandchildren, Derek Meier, Michelle (Michael) Hair, and Gunner Choitz; great grandchildren, Dane and Grant Meier, and Lyle, Elisa and Ian Hair; and brothers, Emil Choitz, Jr. (Arlene) of Ellsworth and Ralph Choitz (Evelyn) of Ellsworth. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Larry Choitz; infant daughter, Rita Kay Choitz; brothers, Edward, Norman, Gilbert, George, Harry, Carl and Frank Choitz; and sisters, Ruth Williams and Mabel Anschutz.
Visitation will be from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, September 11, 2020 at Parsons Funeral Home, Ellsworth.
Graveside service will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 12, 2020 at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, rural Ellsworth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, c/o Parsons Funeral Home, PO Box 45, Ellsworth, KS 67439.