Community mourns the loss of Lyle’s TV & Appliance founder

By Cathy Kozlowicz


When Lyle Schinke opened Lyle’s TV & Appliance in Elkhorn in the 1950s, it was to not just a place to sell things, but a place for people to connect and communicate with each other.

That’s the legacy he left decades later.

“He taught us the importance of taking care of the customers and the people around us. It was taking care of the customers as a whole,” Sue Schinke said.

Sue is Lyle’s daughter in-law and now owns the business with her husband, Lyle’s son, Tom.

Lyle Schinke died Jan. 23 at the age of 92. He started the business in 1954 and ran it out of his home until he bought its current building at 17 South Washington St.

In his earlier days, the store was attached to his place of residence until he updated it into strictly a business location. He retired in 2006.

Lyle’s TV & Appliance is the last standing independent dealer in Walworth County.

The motivation Lyle had was evident at a young age. To work on his family farm and help care for his siblings, he had to stop going to school when he was 15 after his father had passed. When his siblings were older, he earned his GED and also learned the trade of appliances.

“He was self-taught and self-motivated,” according to Sue, who has worked at Lyle’s since 1996 while her husband, Tom, has done so for 45 years.

Read more about Lyle in the Jan. 31 Elkhorn Independent.



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