Lions gives highest honor to Peltz

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/27/00.

Fred Peltz The St. Martin Lions Club has bestowed its highest award to Fred Peltz posthumously.

Even though Peltz was not a member of the Lions Club they named him a Melvin Jones Fellow, in recognition of his commitment to humanitarian service.

Peltz was the fifth person from St. Martin to receive the award from the St. Martin Lions Club. Other award winners are Edwin Nett, Otto Kaschmitter, Henry Schlick, and Al Arceneau.

"Fred Peltz was a good asset to the community. We are sorry we couldn't present this award to him while he was alive," said Otto Kaschmitter, first vice president of the St. Martin Lions Club.

Peltz founded Peltz Manufacturing at the age of 18. He was an inventor, an entrepreneur and a member of the St. Martin Fire Department for 15 years. He served as assistant fire chief.

Peltz died last May after a work accident.

Kaschmitter said that if anything needed fixing in St. Martin, Peltz would see that it was repaired.

His company, Peltz Manufacturing employs 40 people, making it one of the largest employers in St. Martin.

"His rotochopper put St. Martin on the map. There is no other machine like it," said Kaschmitter.

Lions award Harvey Rothstein, St. Martin Fire Chief, said Peltz's best attribute to the fire department was his up-beat attitude and hustle. Peltz would come to the fire hall early and check the trucks. "If anything needed repair, he would take care of it," he added.

The St. Martin Lions Club presented Fred's widow, Barb, with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award. The Lions club officers are Allan Stanlake, Fred Holthaus, Duane Burg, and Otto Kaschmitter.

"There are a lot of things Peltz did for the fire department," Rothstein added.

One of the biggest was designing a discharge tube which attached to the water tower. It enabled the firemen to pump 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water in 70 seconds instead of six minutes.

His widow, Barb, said Peltz was always willing to help his neighbors and strangers alike. He would loan out tools and equipment, blow snow for his neighbors and stop and help strangers along the snowmobile trail.

"Fred never wanted to hear a compliment. He always gave credit to others for his ideas and inventions," she added. Barb described her late husband as a good teacher. He enjoyed helping others to reach their goal, achieving a sense of accomplishment.

"Since his death, I keep hearing bits and pieces of the things he did for others. He left his mark on the community," she said.

According to his wife, Peltz dedicated his life to his family, friends, co-workers, and to helping others. "He really wanted to help everyone to the end as he was an organ donor, as well," she added.

The Melvin Jones Fellow plaque will be placed in a showcase dedicated to Fred at Peltz Manufacturing.

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