Lloyd W. Hein

Lloyd W. Hein

McFarland- Lloyd W. Hein, age 99. passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Agrace HospiceCare Center in Fitchburg.

He was the son of the last practicing blacksmith in Madison, born on August 31, 1912, to Victor and Carrie (Christenson) Hein.

Lloyd grew up in Madison where young east-side boys were barefoot every summer, shoes being reserved for school. He graduated from Central High School at a time when most of his friends considered 8th grade a complete education.

When he was in his early twenties, he applied for a job at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). At that time WARF had no actual employees, only lab space where rats were kept. His job, as WARF’s first paid employee, would be to clean the rat cages. While doing his job Dr. Harry Steenbok, the discoverer of the Vitamin D irradiation of milk and the founder of WARF, asked Lloyd if he ever considered going to college? Lloyd responded that he never had considered such an idea and was happy to have a job during the depression much less trying to tackle college. The Professors doing experiments at the lab made him an offer: try college…become a biochemist…we’ll pay your tuition. Continue to work at the lab cleaning the cages and we’ll give you $50/month plus room and board. He took them up on their offer, completed his education at the UW, and eventually retired from WARF in 1977 as the head of the Vitamin D lab. He recently stated he could not have entered Biochemistry at a better time. Conrad Elvehem, an internationally known biochemist and the discoverer of niacin, was his advisor, and others on the faculty at the time were Harry Steenbok, Karl Paul Link, and Aldo Leopold. He worked for and with each of them at WARF, telling stories of each of them..Steenbok’s lab had an infestation of the largest bedbugs he had ever seen; Link would describe distances down rural roads as so many ‘puffs on the pipe’ (he smoked a Sherlock Holmes type of pipe) and typically wore a cape as they visited farms with rat problems; Steenbok always seemed at wit’s end dealing with Link’s pranks. He spent many Saturdays traveling the Wisconsin countryside with Aldo Leopold who would ‘read the landscape’ as they drove along and worked with him examining wildlife. It would not be unusual for Leopold, on a Saturday afternoon, to be checking a pile of mallards for botulism. Leopold’s Sand County Almanac read just like one of his lectures, and of all his professors it was only Leopold’s notes that he kept, they being the most interesting. To his children he seldom spoke of ‘the lab’, considering himself a father, a husband, a fisherman, a gardener, and a photographer more than a prominent researcher. On August 31, 1937, Lloyd married Celestine Trauba in Greenville. Together they enjoyed travelling the United States, Canada and China. Lloyd enjoyed gardening, golfing and fishing and could outfish any companion.

He is survived by his loving wife of almost 75 years, Sally; six children, Pat Gaustad, Clarence (Jill), Bill (Sue), Carol Ford, Dan and Jim; 13 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; and one great great grandson.

Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents; two sons-in-law, Gerald Gaustad and James Ford; three sisters; and one brother.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5306 Marsh Road, McFarland, with Fr. D. Stephen Smith officiating.

Entombment will follow in Roselawn Mausoleum.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of Mass at church on Thursday.

A special thank you to Lloyd and Sally’s neighbors for all of their comfort and care, to the staff of Meriter Hospital and to Agrace HospiceCare Inc.