Wife mourns electrician who was electrocuted near Abita Springs

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Times-Picayune
on September 04, 2012 at 4:59 PM, updated September 04, 2012 at 5:06 PM

An electrician working on the power system of a home near Abita Springs over the weekend in the wake of Hurricane Isaac died after he received an electrical shock, according to authorities in St. Tammany Parish. William Schlenker Sr., 67, was performing work at 20201 Lowe Davis Road on Saturday morning when the deadly mishap occurred, parish sheriff’s spokesman Capt. George Bonnett said.

Schlenker was accompanied by his son at one point, but the son left to check on another job. When the son returned about 9:45 a.m., he discovered his father had been electrocuted and called 911, Bonnett said.

Deputies responded alongside personnel from Acadian Ambulance and parish Fire District No. 12. Schlenker was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and was taken to the emergency room at St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, but he was pronounced dead there. Schlenker’s autopsy confirmed his death was the result of high voltage electrocution, and it was ruled as accidental, said Melanie Comeaux, the executive director for parish coroner Dr. Peter Galvan’s Office.

On Tuesday, Schlenker’s wife, Linda, said she was married to her husband for 43 years. The couple had three children — two daughters, now 40 and 35; and a son, 38.

Schlenker was born in Madisonville and lived on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain his entire life, his wife added. One of four siblings and a grandfather to three children, he was in the electric power industry for a half-century, most of which he spent running his own company, his family said.

Schlenker started Schlenker Electric in 1976 and incorporated it four years later, his wife noted. The company was based out of Schlenker’s home on Lowe Davis Road, just east of where he was fatally hurt.

“It’s like a nightmare,” Linda Schlenker remarked. “We’re devastated. This was so unexpected. … He’s been doing this for 50 years, and he’s always been very conscientious, very careful.”