space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From My Window
space
space
Sports Shorts
* DangleFest 3 on 3 Tourney Delights Local Hockey Fans
* WIAA Conference Realignment Task Force Conducts Review of Plans
* Evers Signs Emergency Order Relating To Elevated Fire Risk
* PHS Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing July 16th
* Wisconsin Spring Turkey Season Opens April 21st

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space
040721frontGeltz.jpg

Tim Geltz

Tim Geltz Is Hero Who Saved Drowning Man

Issue Date: April 7, 2021

Tim Geltz, owner of Geltz Construction in Porterfield, has been identified as the anonymous hero who saved an out-of-town walleye fisherman from drowning in the icy waters of the Peshtigo River shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 31.

Sometimes truth is far stranger than fiction, and it is in this case. The thermometer read 33 degrees, and the waters of the swift-flowing Peshtigo River were probably no warmer. The throngs of fishermen in the river trying to catch their limit of walleye were almost all wearing winter jackets under their waders, as were the hero of this story and the young man he saved.

Dale Gusick of Pound witnessed the whole thing and was able to write a Letter to the Editor in time for same-day publication in the Peshtigo Times.

In the letter, Gusick wrote: "I saw a hero today, he was wearing waders and a lime green sweatshirt, and I don't know who you are. I watched another fisherman just upstream from you slip and fall into the Peshtigo River. He struggled for a few seconds, then started floating downstream. I watched from the opposite side of the river (from) where you were.

"I watched as you told him to swim towards shore, he didn't. I watched you as you waded into deeper waters and implored him to grab your hand, he couldn't. I watched you step deeper and grab him and eventually help him to shore, where you helped him to his feet, and to live his life.

"Yes, I watched a hero today on the Peshtigo River, and you Sir, need to be recognized. Thank you for your brave efforts to help this man," Gusick continued and then concluded: "To all fishermen, please be careful at this time of the year on the Peshtigo River. While the water level is down a bit, the currents still run strong."

At about the same time Gusick was writing his letter and getting it sent for publication, Geltz was warming up with a cup of coffee at his favorite filling station in Marinette, and meeting the man whose life he had saved. The meeting was totally accidental, unplanned, and unexpected.

Here is the story of the day as Geltz told it in an e-mail message to friends and family:

"Last Wednesday I had a one-in-a-lifetime event happen to me.  I saved a man from drowning""..  I had my waders on and was going to where I usually go to fish, but for some reason, I changed my mind and went on the other side of the river.

"I followed the path to the waters and found a man around 25 to 30 years old fishing. We fished silently until I heard some noise where he was and looked over. ...His back was facing the river, his hands went up and his pole went through the air.  He was thrashing in the water as I kept yelling "stand up.. stand up. Not a word from him. And as he kept thrashing he was pulling himself farther out deeper in the current.

"When he was out 20 feet in front of me I realized the only part of his body out of the water was his head. I prayed "JESUS,' and ran out to get him. He was not moving his arms anymore and the water was at his mouth.

"I grabbed his hood and it ripped off. I tossed it and grabbed his collar and pulled him in to shore. As I did, I looked at the other fishermen (on the other side) and they were watching. It was like I was in a movie.

"I sat him on a log underwater. He could not stand up. His jaw was shaking as well as his body from hyperthermia. He never said a word" I got him to his feet and told him he needed warm clothes and a hot shower. He looked for his pole and I said it's gone, don't worry about it. He left.

"Now I am wet and cold and need a hot cup of coffee. This all happens in Peshtigo. I go to Marinette to a gas station and am making a cup of coffee when guess who walks in? The guy with his dad," Geltz went on.

He said the man had warm clothes in his hand and went to the bathroom to change without seeing him. "The man's dad was at the coffee area " when he looks at me, I say "How's it going?' He says my son fell in the water. I say I know I was there. I pulled him out of the water. His eyes teared up and he said "Oh my God! He had a seizure!'

Geltz concluded, "I can still see his eyes of fear like a scared animal as I pulled him out. The adrenalin rush and whole event was quite emotional for me."

Geltz said for the next few days he was shaking and kept seeing the fishermen lined up on the other side of the river watching. "Normally in the water, I am slow and klutzy and stumble a lot, but when he drifted past me, I ran," he added. He said amazingly, when it was all over, he realized he was still holding his own fishing pole in his other hand. His insulated waders covered him up to his armpits, and only the sleeves of his jacket were wet. Another strange part is that he was not afraid at the time. That came later.

Geltz called Gusick after seeing his letter in the paper. Gusick, who witnessed the whole thing, told Geltz when he saw him go out into that deep water, he thought they were going to have two bodies.

Geltz said the near victim's jacket was saturated with water before he got to him, and it weighed him down like an anchor. Geltz is built far smaller than the man he managed to save, "...but when he was in the water I just dragged him out like nothing.... normally I'm pretty klutzy in the water, but with the adrenalin rush, when he floated past me, I ran. You react, you don't think." After Geltz reached the confused victim he helped him stand up and get out of the water.

Geltz is not sure why the father and son ended up at the same filling station in Marinette as he did. He had gone there because "We're creatures of habit." That station is where he has his business gas account, knows the coffee machines, and knows the manager. He'd had enough excitement for one day.

Geltz said he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the near-victim and his father there, and again it was like he was a player in a movie. When he told the father that he is the person who saved the son from drowning the man's eyes teared up, he stuck his hand out and started thanking him over and over. His son, now wearing dry clothes, came out of the restroom, recognized him, and also began to repeatedly thank him. Geltz said the two were from out of town and had come to Peshtigo just for fishing. He's not sure why they ended up at the filling station in Marinette.

Geltz is the owner of Geltz Construction, which he operates from his home in Porterfield. He grew up in Elgin, Il., and came here to help build his brother's house, met his wife Lori, who lived in Marinette at the time, and just stayed. He built their house in Porterfield in 1988. On Tuesday, April 13 they will celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary.

They have a grown son, Dan, who is food manager for a retirement facility in Minnesota; a daughter, Stephanie Lorenz, who teaches pre-school in Peshtigo, and one granddaughter, 6-year-old Eleanor.

He does not think there's a connection but finds it perhaps more than a coincidence that during the time he spent as a youth group leader at United Methodist Church in Marinette he was often treasurer in charge of finances for trips to various places to help out at homeless shelters, etc.

Generally, the return trip home included a big breakfast for youth group members and the parents who accompanied them. That could be very expensive, perhaps a couple of hundred dollars, he said. Once, when he went to pay the bill he was told it had already been paid. The waitress said a man sitting nearby had overheard them talking about the work they were doing as a youth group. He wanted to pay for their breakfast in commemoration of his daughter, who had drowned on a youth group trip.

A dedicated fisherman, Geltz said he regularly fishes under the dam in Marinette, mainly for trout and walleye. "My wife and I eat a lot of fish," he chuckled. When he started fishing walleye during the run-in Peshtigo years ago, "before the herd came," there were only a handful of fishermen and he would often get 50 walleye. All that changed when word got out about the good fishing in Peshtigo and people began coming from everywhere to bag their limits.

Geltz said he fishes a lot, but Wednesday was the first time he'd gone fishing this year. Another strange part is that he chose to fish that day at a spot where he never goes. There was a whole line of men where he usually fishes, so "Instead, I went down by this guy fishing alone." Had he been fishing from his regular spot on the other side, there would be no survivor story to tell.






Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
04-07-2021Front Page
Tim Geltz Is Hero Who Saved Drowning Man

04-07-2021Front Page
Republican Elijah Behnke Wins The 89th District Assembly Seat

04-07-2021Front Page
Numerous New Faces On Local Governing Boards

04-07-2021Front Page
Referendums Fail In Peshtigo, Pass For Lena School District

04-07-2021Front Page
Criminal Interdiction Operation by Oconto Co. Sheriff Department

04-07-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Board To View Audit May 12th

04-07-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman W&S Utility To View Phosphorus Issue

04-07-2021Community - Coleman
Reunion for Classes 1943-65

04-07-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Auxiliary Minutes for March Meet

04-07-2021Community - Crivitz
LNRB Meets On April 14th

04-07-2021Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam April 16th

04-07-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Monday, April 12th

04-07-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Monday, April 12th

04-07-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion to Meet April 20th

04-07-2021Sports
DangleFest 3 on 3 Tourney Delights Local Hockey Fans

04-07-2021Sports
WIAA Conference Realignment Task Force Conducts Review of Plans

04-07-2021Sports
Evers Signs Emergency Order Relating To Elevated Fire Risk

04-07-2021Sports
PHS Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing July 16th

04-07-2021Sports
Wisconsin Spring Turkey Season Opens April 21st

04-07-2021Perspectives
From My Window

04-07-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers...

04-07-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-07-2021Obituaries
Kathleen A. Allen

04-07-2021Obituaries
Arlene E. Berggren

04-07-2021Obituaries
Bernadine Borkovec

04-07-2021Obituaries
Dwayne Brendemihl

04-07-2021Obituaries
William D. Butterfield Jr.

04-07-2021Obituaries
Marvin L. Davidson, Sr.

04-07-2021Obituaries
Stephen L. Duenweg

04-07-2021Obituaries
Deborah L. Gamelin

04-07-2021Obituaries
Robert J. Johnson

04-07-2021Obituaries
Harold E. Larsen

04-07-2021Obituaries
Michael J. Madden

04-07-2021Obituaries
Robert Nordquist

04-07-2021Obituaries
Robert J. Picard

04-07-2021Obituaries
Susan Presti

04-07-2021Obituaries
Linda L. Schultz

04-07-2021Obituaries
Richard C. Steinhaus, Sr.

04-07-2021Obituaries
William J. Swanson

04-07-2021Obituaries
Robert T. Wickham

03-31-2021Front Page


03-31-2021Front Page
Brick Tiles Still Available For Fish Viewing Platform

03-31-2021Front Page
Oginski Honored For Life Saving Actions

03-31-2021Front Page
Sentinel Structures Stops Production on March 31

03-31-2021Front Page
City, Town, Village Electors Go To the Polls On April 6th

03-31-2021Front Page
Dog Park Plan Change Gets Committee Okay

03-31-2021Front Page
Mudbrook Road Site Rejected For Placement Of Sex Offender

03-31-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Hires New Officer, Makes 4th of July Plans

03-31-2021Community - Coleman
Lena Staff Held Spaghetti Supper

03-31-2021Community - Coleman
Lena Pathfinders Hold Food Drive

03-31-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman School Cancels Reunion for Classes 1943-65

03-31-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman Library To Meet April 12

03-31-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Business Association Names Persons of the Year

03-31-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Monday, April 12th

03-31-2021Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 to Elect Officers Apr. 3

03-31-2021Community - Wausaukee
Easter Egg Hunt Set for April 3

03-31-2021Sports
Area Basketball

03-31-2021Sports
Tony Strublic Wins Tom Lund Match Game Championship

03-31-2021Sports
DNR Adopts DHS Recommended Hazard Index Of Certain PFAS

03-31-2021Sports
40,000 Acres Of Private Land Will Open To Turkey Hunters

03-31-2021Sports
Reminder: Wildfire Season Underway

03-31-2021Perspectives
From My Window

03-31-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-31-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers

03-31-2021Obituaries
Juliana Bolosan

03-31-2021Obituaries
Marie L. Belongia

03-31-2021Obituaries
Donald J. Barstow

03-31-2021Obituaries
Clark G. Casperson

03-31-2021Obituaries
Warren R. Gamelin

03-31-2021Obituaries
Richard G. Hass

03-31-2021Obituaries
Louise E. Hohol

03-31-2021Obituaries
Robert B. Radzinski

03-31-2021Obituaries
Wallace J. Reed Jr.

03-31-2021Obituaries
Arnold A. Spaude

03-31-2021Obituaries
Mary L. Thibodeau

03-31-2021Obituaries
Mary A. Woodky

03-24-2021Front Page


03-24-2021Front Page
Set New Motions Hearing In McClintock Murder Case

03-24-2021Front Page
City of Peshtigo To Begin Selling Sesquicentennial Coins, Tickets

03-24-2021Front Page
County Board To Consider Sex Offenders House

03-24-2021Front Page
Malke Working With USDA/FDA On PFAS Remediation Grants

03-24-2021Front Page
Peshtigo May Get Additional $330,000 In Federal Funds

03-24-2021Community - Coleman
Coleman School Cancels Reunion for Classes 1943-65

03-24-2021Community - Coleman
Egg Hunt at Equity Mar. 28

03-24-2021Community - Coleman
Lena Pathfinders To Hold Rummage Sale April 9 & 11

03-24-2021Community - Coleman
Lena School To Hold Summer School, Prom

03-24-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Woman's Club Hosts "Girls Night Out"

03-24-2021Community - Wausaukee
Lakeside Bar, Grill Has New Owners

03-24-2021Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Blood Drive Nets 31 Pints

03-24-2021Community - Wausaukee
Victoria Mueller Seeks Wausaukee Supervisor 2

03-24-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions Flower Sale Underway

03-24-2021Sports
Area Basketball - Menominee Boys Bag Double Win Week; Maroon Girls Undefeated

03-24-2021Sports
Fire Danger Expected to Remain High in Wisconsin

03-24-2021Sports
2021 Deer Season Planning Meetings March 22-April 1

03-24-2021Sports
PHS Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing July 16th

03-24-2021Sports
WIAA Alternative Fall Season Culminating Events Planned

03-24-2021Perspectives
From Our Readers

03-24-2021Perspectives
From My Window

03-24-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-24-2021Obituaries
Manfred Blum

03-24-2021Obituaries
Carleton P. DeWitt

03-24-2021Obituaries
Richard J. Gehling

03-24-2021Obituaries
Jeffrey J. Johnson

03-24-2021Obituaries
Elaine J. Kulinski

03-24-2021Obituaries
Glenn C. Lauzer, Jr.

03-24-2021Obituaries
Edwina Lepianka

03-24-2021Obituaries
Judith R. Malek

03-24-2021Obituaries
Irene Martin

03-24-2021Obituaries
Willard H. Paul

03-24-2021Obituaries
Terry L. Richardson

03-24-2021Obituaries
Martin G. Senn

03-24-2021Obituaries
Wyma Sudduth

03-17-2021Front Page
Ice Shoves

03-17-2021Front Page
Town Of Middle Inlet Okays Fire Department Dive Team

03-17-2021Front Page
Sell Maple Lane Apartments, Donate Proceeds To Village

03-17-2021Front Page
Performance Services Inc. Updates Peshtigo Board

03-17-2021Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Hears Water Flow Concerns

03-17-2021Community - Coleman
7th Annual Equity Park Craft, Vendor Fair June 19

03-17-2021Community - Coleman
Egg Hunt at Equity Mar. 28

03-17-2021Community - Coleman
Group Plans June 26 Car Show In Pound

03-17-2021Community - Crivitz
Dollar General Open in Crivitz

03-17-2021Community - Wausaukee
Engelmann Named Town Highway Superintendent

03-17-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions Flower Sale Underway

03-17-2021Community - Wausaukee
Easter Egg Hunt Set for April 3

03-17-2021Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Book for Sale Starting May 1

03-17-2021Obituaries
Joan Boye

03-17-2021Obituaries
James C. Deetjen

03-17-2021Obituaries
Arlene L. Ebsch

03-17-2021Obituaries
Eugene S. Magera

03-17-2021Obituaries
Diana Pazdera

03-17-2021Obituaries
Robert P Schneider  

03-17-2021Obituaries
Elaine M. Schwartz

03-17-2021Obituaries
Annette A. Tonn

03-17-2021Obituaries
Joseph A. Tudryn

03-17-2021Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-17-2021Perspectives
From My Window

03-17-2021Perspectives
From our readers

03-17-2021Sports
Maroon Girls Beat Redettes, Boys Take Down Stephenson

03-17-2021Sports
PHS Alumni Scholarship Golf Outing July 16th

03-10-2021Front Page
Trauma Kits

03-10-2021Front Page
Mayor Urges "Yes" Vote On Peshtigo Referendum

03-10-2021Front Page
Steve Walters Seated On Riverside Cemetery Board

03-10-2021Front Page
Coleman High School Returns To Full Time Classes April 5

03-10-2021Front Page
Lena Has 30 Applicants To Replace Principal Torzala

03-10-2021Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Firefighters May Add Dive Team

03-10-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz American Legion Gun Show March 13th

03-10-2021Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Auxiliary to Meet March 17

03-10-2021Community - Coleman
Lena High School Lists 1st Semester Honor Roll

03-10-2021Community - Coleman
Lena Middle School 1st Semester Honor Roll Listed

03-10-2021Community - Coleman
Kerr on Dean's List at Mount Mary University


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Have you had your Covid-19 Vaccine yet?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2021
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites