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District Obituary

LEN Pietsch was born to Boolite couple Bernard and Lavina Pietsch on September 22, 1926.

He had an elder brother Ernest and step sister, Thora (Hemley).

Len attended Areegra Primary School until age 10 years, walking eight miles there and back on most days, but the lack of education certainty did not hinder his abundance of knowledge on many subjects, he could not take in enough information.

His early memories of work started when he obtained a labourers job at a brick works at age 12; delivery boy on a push bike for a bakery; helping run the theatre at Minyip and eventually starting work at B. Schilling and Sons as a mechanic on July 4, 1948. 

He continued there until retiring after 41 years of servicing cars and Fiat tractors through the Wimmera Mallee.

He retired to care for his wife Jean who had Parkinsons Disease.

Len met Jean (Peters) at the Victory dance where she “stole” his tie-pin so he would have to contact  her again to re-claim his pin and her.

Little did Jean know she would spend many hours through their four year relationship perched on an old cushion tied to the rear parcel rack of an assortment of Len’s motorbikes.

He did purchase a car at one stage while they were engaged but unbeknown to jean, he traded it in for yet another motorbike while they were on holidays.

The couple were married on July 30, 1949 at the Warracknabeal Uniting Church, carrying on a Peters  tradition of marrying on that date, midweek.

After living with either set of parents for 12 months, they eventually bought a little cottage on Government-rd, Warracknabeal for one thousand pounds, walk in, walk out with one suitcase of clothing between them.

The prior owners walked out leaving all possessions for the young couple.

In 1962 along with a good mate, Kevin Caine, Len started building their new home in the front yard where Len still presided until 12 months ago, at 3 Dungey-st.

Len was the proud father of Geoffrey and Lorraine (Sleep) grandfather to granddaughters Danielle, Jacinta, Chelsea and Bradie; great grandfather to two boys Blake and Thomas and one girl, Reagan.

Len’s passions in life were caravaning trips around Australia and absolutely loved anything mechanical.

He helped restore or repair anything from a watch, sewing machines, pianos motorbikes to cars and tractors.

If he couldn’t find an original part he would get to work on a meal lathe and turn out something to do the trick.

His workmanship was second to none.

Right up until the age of 92, he would still hop on his 650cc Suzuki Bergman “scooter” to head off a ride with mates.

Being unable to read a note of music did not deter Len, being able to play almost any instrument by ear, including violin, piano, harmonica and piano accordion to any group that would listen, accompanied by good friend Rita Raymant on piano.

Len was a keen member of Warracknabeal Historical Society; Warracknabeal Men’s Probus Club; The Wimmera Caravan Club; and Warracknabeal Historical Motor Vehicle Club for 50 years, attending many rallies.

After 12 months battling angina and type two diabetes, Len was in and out of hospital, eventually moving into Yarriambiack aged care just two months before passing away on October 10, 2019.

He is missed by many of all ages in the community.