Cover photo for David Lau's Obituary
David Lau Profile Photo
1930 David 2019

David Lau

July 9, 1930 — December 28, 2019

David C. Lau, age 89 of Watertown, Wisconsin, peacefully passed on to heaven on Saturday, December 28, 2019. Dave was born on July 9, 1930 in Hartford, Wisconsin to Isabel and Norbert J. "Skinny" Lau. He graduated from St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, and served in the U.S. Air Force from September 1951 to 1954 as an APR Radar Mechanic at both Kessler AFB and O'Hare International Airport. He graduated with a B.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in June, 1954. After graduation Dave entered the family business, Clyman Canning Company (later Aunt Nellies Farm Kitchens). He learned the business while working in the fields and while progressing through hands-on day to day operations in the factory. He then headed up the sales department and eventually became President of Aunt Nellies Farm Kitchens, a subsidiary of Beatrice Foods Company of Chicago. In 1988 he and a group of investors purchased Aunt Nellies and operated it until 1991 when it was sold to the Pillsbury Company. Aunt Nellies is now Seneca Foods. Dave was a man of many diverse interests and enjoyed friendships from all over the world. He learned to fly in a J-3 Cub with the G.I Bill after his Air Force service. He earned the Wright Brothers Award for 50 years of accident free flying. He loved his flying adventures. He flew to the North Pole in his Beechcraft Bonanza. He flew the breadth of the Australian Outback. He flew to the Paris Airshow in his TBM 700 from the United States via Greenland. He flew many trips to his ranch in Lander, Wyoming. He was an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh for many years and served until his death on the EAA Board of Directors and as a member of the Presidents Circle. He was presently serving on the Watertown Airport Commission. Dave was a founding member of the EAA Aviation Foundation's "The Gathering", held annually to support aviation education, outreach and advocacy. He has flown medical flights for Air Life Line, now Angel Flight, and for Veterans Airlift Command. He enjoyed meeting astronauts throughout his association with the EAA, especially Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and "Sully" Sullenberger. He was a member of the Warbirds of America, Vintage Aircraft Association, the National Aeronautic Association, the Commemorative Air Force, Midwest Antique Aircraft Club, Friends of Meigs Field, Mosquito Association, 8th Air Force Historical Society, TBM Owners Group, and a former board member of Milwaukee Armed Forces Association. His other interests were traveling in his motor home to Disney World, big game hunting in Africa, and introducing other people to the wonders of both these spectacular adventures. Dave was a life-time member of Safari Club International and a life-time member of the National Rifle Association. He is survived by many friends who shared his fun-loving spirit. Surviving family members are daughter Kristin Wimberg (Randy), granddaughter Lindsey Wimberg and grandson Olin Wimberg of Bozeman, Montana, sister Louise Hedrick of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, and nephew Michael Hedrick (Susan) and family, including Erin Smitherman and Leigh Hedrick. He is further survived by companion Sharon Elske of Watertown, Wisconsin and her daughter Kimberly Steiner (Bill) and family, including William, Rebecca, and Laura Steiner. And of course, his beloved Sophie and Coco, Maltese pups. He was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth Hetland Lau, his son James Lau, his parents Isabel and N.J. Lau, brother-in-law Robert Hedrick, and nephews Mark and Kenneth Hedrick. The family and Sharon wish to extend their deepest appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Terry and Jan Turke, the nurses and doctors at Watertown Regional Medical Center, caregivers Shelby and Dan Fetter, Pastor Cloute & Pastor Schultz, and the many friends who reached out with love to support Dave. He was a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Watertown, Wisconsin. A visitation will be held from 3-7 pm on Friday, January 3 at SCHMUTZLER-VICK FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE WATERTOWN, WI, located off Main Street (Hwy 19W) next to Farm & Fleet. Funeral services are at 1pm on Saturday, January 4 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 301 Clark St., Watertown, Wisconsin, with Pastors Justin Cloute and Anthony Schultz officiating. The service on Saturday is preceded by a visitation from 10 am to the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Dave's memory to The ROC (Watertown Recreation & Outreach). Interment is at Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, Wisconsin. On-line condolences and memories may be sent to


Friday, January 3, 2020 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Schmutlzer-Vick Funeral Home & Cremation Service
500 Welsh Road Watertown 53098, United States


Saturday, January 4, 2020 1:00 PM
St. Luke's Lutheran Church
301 Clark Street Watertown 53094, United States
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Lau, please visit our flower store.


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