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VENICE NOLTE

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Birth Date: 1921
Birth Place: near Bancroft, Nebraska

Honored By

Donor names:   Judy Temple
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: General Gift
Location on plaza map: B4
 
Venice Martha Albertina Wegner was born on February, 28, 1921, near Bancroft, Nebraska. (Her mother Emma had been reading a True Story article about the Italian city of Venice and thought it a lovely name.) Venice’s grandparents on both sides had emigrated from Germany and were homesteaders in Nebraska. Fluent in both German and English, Venice graduated from West Point, Nebraska, High School in 1938.

Venice Wegner was first attracted to Vernon Nolte when he drove his shiny red 1938 Nash into town. They married September 4, 1938 and Venice proudly announced to her co-workers at the dime store, “I’ll never have to work again.” One week later, she returned to her job—and remained in the paid workforce for the next 45 years.

When Vernon Nolte was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, Venice accompanied him as he moved from assignments in Utah, Illinois and Florida. Venice readily got a job wherever the Noltes moved. When Vern was transferred overseas, Venice returned to Omaha, where she worked at Mutual of Omaha. She recalled the joyful chaos of V-E Day (May 8, 1945). As people poured into the streets, busses and trolleys could not operate, so Venice had to walk two miles home to babysit her niece so that Venice’s sister go to work at her night job.

Venice and Vernon Nolte adoped their daughter Judy in 1949 and son Jim was born in 1951. Venice and Vern became co-owners of Nolte’s Grocery in Omaha and in the early 1960s they became co-owners of V & V Laundromat. Venice was very active in the operation of both businesses, a partner in the truest sense. Both of the Nolte children were helped by their parents to obtain a college education. Daughter Judy became a professor and Jim a stockbroker/financial advisor.

In 1971, the Noltes retired to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where they built a home on Estero Bay. After only a year of retirement, Venice began working at Fort Myers Beach Bank (now a part of Bank of America). At age 62, she permanently retired in order to become an actively involved grandmother of son Jim’s daughters. She was also a tireless caregiver to husband Vern, who became an invalid.

At age 84, Venice was a widow. She relocated to an independent-living retirement community, where she is the life of the party and does volunteer work. (It was difficult to pin down Venice and interview her for this biography because she is so busy enjoying life—pinochle, shopping, social events, church, family.)