Birchwood roots run deep for natives Tom and Julie Telitz. Tom is the son of Stan and Marie Telitz and born in Rice Lake in 1953. Tom’s father and grandfather owned and operated Jack’s General Store in Birchwood from the early days into the 1960s. Tom’s mother was the eighth-grade teacher.
Julie was born in 1955 in Wausau to Warren and Verena Thomas. At the age of 3, Julie, her three sisters and parents moved back to her father’s stomping grounds, the Fred Thomas Resort on Lake Chetac. The Fred Thomas Resort was built in 1925 by Julie’s grandparents, Fred and Connie Thomas and was her father’s childhood home.
Growing up in Birchwood and attending Birchwood Public School everyone knows everyone. Tom and Julie always knew each other, but it was when Tom started working at Thomas Marine, owned by Julie’s father, that more than engine sparks began to fly. The year was 1973, and Thomas Marine was located at Fred Thomas Resort. In 1973 Julie was crowned Birchwood Bluegill Queen. She would convince Tom to drive the Bluegill float to many of the local parades during her year as Bluegill Queen.
After high school, Tom attended University of Wisconsin-Stout and graduated with an industrial arts teaching degree. Julie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated as a dental hygienist. Tom and Julie were married in October 1979 and made their home in Edgewater.
Tom had a teaching degree but never taught. Tom’s gift and passion was being a mechanic. Tom purchased Thomas Marine from his father- in- law and in 1986 built and moved the business to its current location in Birchwood. Julie worked as a dental hygienist in Rice Lake and Hayward. In 1987 Julie along with sister Linda and brother- in- law Bob bought the Fred Thomas Resort.
Tom and Julie raised two sons, Ted and Aaron. During their boys' childhood Tom and Julie became very active in Boy Scout Troop 66 serving as Cub and Scout Master for many years. Tom’s mechanical talents led him to be an advisor for the Birchwood High School High Mileage Vehicle Team. The team had great success with ultimately being invited to the National Championship.
Tom and Julie are former Lions Club members. They are active at their church, Long Lake Lutheran. Julie has been president of the Birchwood Chamber and Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau and continues to help both organizations. Julie has been a Meals on Wheels driver for many years.
Birchwood has been and always will be home to Tom and Julie. They feel blessed to have been able to live and raise their family in this great community. What adds to their joy is that so many people vacation or have a second home in Birchwood and also get to enjoy the beauty, peace, and quiet and be a part of a delightful small town.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SPOONER ADVOCATE: https://apg-wi-dot-com.bloxcms.com/site/forms/subscription_services/