Family, Church and Community


Wodtke’s was famous for clever marketing. They promoted the store by giving gifts to customers and the community including salt and pepper shakers, coffee scoops, and yardsticks printed with the slogans “It Pays to Shop at Wodtke’s” and “Wodtke’s - a Modern Department Store.”

This month, on May 10, Vero Heritage, Inc. honors the Wodtke family at the annual Pioneer Family Recognition Dinner. The Wodtke story begins with love at first sight and grows into a deep commitment to family and community. On a recent Sunday afternoon, three generations of Wodtke women gathered to share their memories of their parents and their grandparents.

The story began in 1922 when William “Bill” C. Wodtke and Edna Mae Fortner both arrived in Vero under difficult circumstances. Edna was a third-generation Floridian born in 1912. When she was orphaned, her grandmother brought her to Vero. Bill was a first-generation American born in 1906. He came to Vero from Illinois after his father was killed in an accident in a mill.

Read the entire article in the May 2014 issue

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