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  • John Adler

Reflections on the Tony and Mary (Adler) Ziliak Family

Mary and Tony Ziliak with their nephew, Armon, on his first communion

As recounted by Armon “Bud” Adler

Aunt Mary and Uncle Tony Ziliak were my Godparents. When I was very little they had a farm southwest of Saint James Catholic Church. I was at their farm with Mom and Dad several times and remember when they sold the farm and moved into Haubstadt.

Uncle Tony was a carpenter by trade and built some nice houses in the area. He also worked with area farmers in building barns and other out buildings. Aunt Mary was a jolly person and reminded me of Grandpa John. She was well liked by all that knew her.

Uncle Tony always called me “Armon Tony” and treated me like his only son. He always had a chew of tobacco when he was working. They became well established after they moved into town and involved with the church and the Knights of Columbus. They always talked about their daughters and all their sons in laws. They were very proud of their family. This photo was taken of the three of us at my First Communion.

As recounted by Mary Louise Ziliak Titzer

My mother, Mary Adler Ziliak, was a very quiet, simple person and she had a very good personality. She was a good homemaker and was a very good quilter. My father, Tony Ziliak, had a great sense of humor and loved to talk alot to everyone. He never met a stranger! He was a farmer for a few years. Later he went into being a carpenter, repairing old homes and building new ones.

Wedding portrait of Tony and Mary Ziliak

As recounted by Connie Titzer Sisson

I remember staying with my grandparents during the summer for maybe a week. Grandma (Mary Ziliak) took me to Meny’s to get groceries. Grandpa would take me to I think it was Lutz tavern where he would sit me down in the family room for some chips and a coke while he went to the bar room for a couple of beers. I also remember when the whole family would go there on Sundays. I guess it was on holidays all of our cousins would be there also.

As recounted by Demara Titzer

We used to have big family reunions at Grandma Mary and Grandpa Tony’s house during the Christmas holidays and in the summer. I have fond memories of all the fun and great food we had even though I was one of the youngest from our generation. Audrey and Mary Lou were both the youngest in their respective families so we were then the youngest of our cousins during both the Ziliak/Adler and Titzer family reunions.

I remember they grew peanuts in their garden and once had them spread out on large tables in the big yard between the house and garage to dry. We had wonderful times running around that yard and playing games.

As recounted by Leo and Mary Ann (Slats) Bittner

Great Uncle Tony was married to my grandpa Theodore Adler's sister, Mary. Uncle Tony was well known for his carpentry skills so in 1958, when Uncle Tony was 72, he agreed to remodel our old farm house kitchen.

Uncle Tony would do chores like bake bread and do laundry before he would come to our house because at this time, Aunt Mary was not in good health.

We wanted to extend the kitchen wall out farther so it required placing a large spanning beam from one end of this large kitchen to the other. Uncle Tony would start out nailing with his right hand and switch to his left, it didn't matter, he could hammer either way.

We were so excited when our 25 boxes of factory made cabinets arrived and waited with anticipation of Uncle Tony installing them. Unfortunately, Uncle Tony wasn't as thrilled as we were to say the least. For the first half of that day, he was heard muttering "If I had knew it had been these kind of son of bitches, I wouldn't have taken the job on."

But after a great lunch prepared by my mother, Eleanora Adler Bittner, they got started and those cabinets remain in our home today!

When I received my bill from him, he credited hours that he had spent talking. He enjoyed talking to the lumber delivery guys and anyone else who stopped by that day. 30 hours working and 10 hours talking was his usual bill.

More stories surfaced about Uncle Tony and we had to share, like this one about hima nd Dr. Lindauer. What a great guy Uncle Tony was and a great sense of humor. He could always make you laugh.

Fr. Lindauer, walking past Uncle Tony, took his hand and rubbed Uncle Tony's bald head

and said "You won't make it past the pearly gates." But quick wit Uncle Tony had just the

comeback for Fr. Lindauer. Not missing a beat he said to Fr. Lindauer, "When I die, St. Peter will say 'You are blessed welcome into the gates of heaven,' and when you die

you hairy devil, he will say to you, 'You go to hell.'"

Uncle Tony's craftsmanship can also be seen at the Log Inn. One day, someone played a trick on him and stole his ham sandwich from his lunch pail. Uncle Tony was upset that someone would do that and he was walking around telling everyone, "Some SOB

stole my ham sandwich" with that thick german accent that always brought a laugh.

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