By Georgia Schultz
George Stoltzman was born June 21, 1946, to Crystal and Rudy Stoltzman in Mankato Minnesota. George was the seventh child out of an eventual fifteen children born to Crystal and Rudy. What many people do not know is the Stoltzman Road in Mankato is named for George Stoltzman.
The Stoltzman family lived in Mankato and LeHiller for all of George Stoltman’s life. George attended Mankato High School and joined the Marines right out of school. It was discovered that George never actually graduated from high school and his mother signed for him that he could join the Marines.
George Stoltman was sent to Vietnam in the Fall of 1964. He came home in Spring 1965 and helped work on the dike that was being built by the Minnesota River. The Stoltzman family had to leave their home because of the high floodwaters that spring.
George Stoltzman was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Division. In October 1965, Stoltman was promoted to Corporal. Stoltzman received his first Purple Heart for wounds he received while fighting against guerrilla forces on October 30, 1965. On November 29, 1965, four days before Stoltzman was scheduled to come home on leave, he volunteers for a mission. Stoltzman, along with sixteen other men were killed during this mission. Stoltzman was honored with another Purple Heart after his death.
Funeral services were on December 9, 1965. Stolzman was buried with full Military Honors. George Stoltzman was the first man from Blue Earth County to die during the Vietnam War.
In 1984, a road was built along Mankato’s Slough. The local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War groups requested this new road be named Stoltzman Road to honor George Stoltzman for being the first man to die in Vietnam from Blue Earth County. On Veterans Day, 1988, a local Vietnam Veterans group dedicated the Blue Earth and Nicollet County Vietnam Memorial off Stoltzman Road.