Wednesday, February 01, 2006


By request, here is the immortal Shawn Mehlhorn.

It's hard to describe Shawn. Shawn was a little slow I think. He wasn't the nerdy type. But the poor kid got picked on unmercifully. To be honest with you, I never understood why. It's not like Shawn ever did anything to anyone. He was just a whipping boy for the macho types like Jamie Tadych and Craig Rysticken. People would routinely punch Shawn on the arm. The kid probably had bruises all year round. Not that Shawn was physically able to retaliate, but he never did anything about it. He would simply laugh, or try to run away. I honestly felt sorry for the guy.

I think Shawn was in a lot of the special education classes at school. Because of that, I think the one and only class I ever had with him was in our sophomore year, in drivers' education with Mr. Noll.

I think Shawn's parents were much older than most other students'.

I believe Shawn lived four or five blocks from the high school - somewhere in the "Joe Antonie" area. I remember riding my bike to school one day, and seeing Shawn walk out the door. He was probably mortified when his mom began saying, "Have a good day. I love you." All parents say that. You just shouldn't say it when your kids' peers are around.

I ran into Shawn several times at the video store. We never said a whole lot. But it was always friendly.

Last I knew, Shawn had married a woman named Peggy, and was living in a mobile home in Manitowoc. I don't know if they have any kids.

UPDATE - 8/12/06 - Kevin Dehne and I hit Shawn's house on our second trip to Two Rivers. Shawn is actually in Manitowoc. So he was one of our first stops. We found his home. There was a camper in the driveway that had suffered some serious hail damage. We knocked, but no one was home. Later on in the day, we tried again. It looked as if someone had been home in between our visits. But they must have left again. Before we left, we snapped a picture of the wlecome sign near the front door.

UPDATE - 10/4/06 - Sad news, as Shawn lost his battle with cancer this morning. Here's the obituary from the Herald Times Reporter.

Shawn A. Mehlhorn, age 35, of 1412 S. 31st St., Manitowoc, died Wednesday morning, Oct. 4, 2006, at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9, 2006, at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Two Rivers. Officiating at the service will be the Rev. David Scherbarth, with entombment to follow in Knollwood Chapel Mausoleum, Highway 310, Manitowoc.

Shawn was born Feb. 17, 1971 in Two Rivers, a son of Ruth (Boettcher) Mehlhorn - Miller, and the late Arnold Mehlhorn. He attended schools in Two Rivers, graduating from Washington High School with the class of 1989. He was employed at Lakeside Foods in Manitowoc for several years, prior to his illness. Shawn was a lifetime member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Two Rivers, where he married Peggy Walters on Oct. 11, 1997.

Survivors include his wife: Peggy; his mother: Ruth Mehlhorn - Miller, Two Rivers; one brother and sister-in-law: Terry and Susette Mehlhorn, Mishicot; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Sandy and Neal Daffner, Two Rivers; Deb and Gordy Peppler, Oshkosh; several nieces and nephews which include his godchild: Kelsi Daffner; Shannon (Brett) Peitersen, and their children;, Trey, Kendal, and Kaden; Sarah (Tim) Kupsky, and their children: Justus and Brylee; Brian (Angie) Mehlhorn, and their daughter: Mallory; Garrett Piester; Tammy (Elliot) VanderBloomen, and their children: Bryn and Alexis; and Patti (Dan) Bassett. He is further survived by his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Todd and Robin Garrigan, Manitowoc; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Janise Walters; Michelle (Aaron) Wodsedalek, and their children: A.J. and Sharlotte; Chris (Alicia) Walters, and their daughter: Vanessa; and Todd Garrigan, Jr. all of Manitowoc; uncles, aunts, cousins, and many friends also survive. He was preceded in death by his father: Arnold Mehlhorn; a sister-in- law: Kayla Garrigan; and his stepfather: Herbert Miller.

Friends may call at the Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 - 18th St., Two Rivers, from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday evening, and at the church Monday morning, after 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing me this picture of Shawn from graduation day, June 4th, 1989. Patti Malley is walking next to Shawn.

UPDATE - 6/8/08 - Shannon Koch (Shawn's niece) informed me of a donation website in which the pic below can be found.


At Wed Feb 01, 08:59:00 AM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

Shawn was neighbor of John Steltz and Andy Reinhardt.

At Wed Feb 01, 08:59:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Didn't get to know Shawn too well in my brief Washington High career. However, reading his tale here, it sounds oddly familiar and tragic.

Always sad to hear another of the Brotherhood of Losers, of which I was a card carrying member, getting trashed by the elite guard.

Just remember, Shawn, if you ever read this, a quote from Good Will Hunting:

"It wasn't your fault."

At Wed Feb 01, 11:22:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Shawn endured a lot of getting picked on...the odd thing was, I don't know if it really bothered him, he even sometimes seemed to enjoy it in an odd way. I liked Shawn, he was seemingly always content.

One thing I seem to recall- Shawn and Shannon Koch were somehow related. I want to say it was a an uncle/ niece type of relationship (which would account for the age of his parents.)

At Fri Mar 03, 03:29:00 PM PST, Blogger cawelnicke said...

Steve and I ran into (not literally) Shawn this past weekend. He is doing fairly well, just got out of a week stay at Holy Family Hospital. About one and a half years ago he was diagnosed with cancer - of what I don't know. He is bald - which really isn't a bad look for him.

His parents were quite a bit older than most of ours. When we moved into our house on 45th street, we found out that his dad lived directly acrossed the street from us. Not a bad guy but LOVED to talk for hours about nonsense type things. Poor Steve had to take the brunt of it because I don't stand for that type of thing. One day his dad said Shawn was "slow" because his mother tried to poison him when he was very young. Then we heard that the dad liked to lie and possibly had psychological problems so I don't know how much of that story is true.

At Sat Mar 04, 05:56:00 AM PST, Blogger cawelnicke said...

I made a mistake in my last post. I guess I shouldn't post anything after a long day at work!

We live on 43rd St. not 45th st.

At Thu Nov 30, 09:16:00 AM PST, Blogger john steltz said...

Shawn lived two houses down from my as we grew up. Truth is he was "slow" due to a swimming accident he had when he was very young...I want to say that he was between the ages of 5-8. He nearly drowned. He had tubes in his ears and suffered some degree of damage to his brain...may have been due to the lack of oxygen. He was a good kid...it was sad to see him this fall at his funeral.

At Thu Nov 30, 09:29:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Yes, in fact Kevin Dehne confirmed that to me as well, regarding Shawn's swimming accident.


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