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Obituary: Jeanne & Robert Gartzke

Jun 12, 2015 02:39PM ● Published by Jim

Jeanne E. Gartzke passed away quietly on Monday, January 19, 2015 surrounded by the love of her family and her Lord and Savior. Robert “Bob” J. Gartzke joined his wife Jeanne in eternal life on his birthday, March 29, 2015.

Jeanne was born on July 5, 1928 to Dorothy (Stokdyk) and Frank Wierman in Waldo, Wisconsin. She was the first of four children in the Wierman family and was very proud of her Dutch heritage. Jeanne began her education in the Waldo school system and continued on through graduation. She then attended Milwaukee State Teachers College where she graduated with a degree in Elementary education.

Bob was born on March 29, 1927 in New Holstein, the only son of Albert and Verla (Wagenknecht) Gartzke. Bob spent all of his “growing up years” in Kiel, attending public school there through the 12th grade. On March 22, 1945 he was sworn into the US Navy and left for the service before graduation of the class of 1945. He was discharged from the Navy on July 25, 1946. From 1946 to 1950, bob attended Lakeland College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in June of 1950.

In August of 1950, Jeanne and Robert were married in Waldo. Together, they were blessed with three children and four grandchildren. Jeanne and Bob started their life together in Bellville, Wisconsin where Jeanne took her first teaching job in Oregon, teaching 3rd grade. At that time she was also inthe choir at the Evangelical Reform Church of Belleville. Bob and Jeanne stayed in Belleville for three years. They made Beaver Dam their home in 1953 and have remained there to this day.

Jeanne took time out of her career to raise their three children and resumed teaching in 1964 at Wilson School. She later retired from the teaching profession in 1977 because of health reasons.

Bob started his career in education in Bellville teaching 7th and 8th graders and coaching football, basketball and baseball. After moving to Beaver Dam, Bob taught 7th and 8th grade until 1957. He then shifted gears and became the Principal of Washington School. The first six years of his stay, he not only taught full time, he also supervised the daily activities of that school. Bob then became the full time Principal until his retirement in 1988. He truly loved his community and the people who lived in it.

Bob was a Hunter Safety Instructor for many years, a very active Lions Club member, served on the board of directors of the United Way, a member of the Referendum Committee for the Beaver Dam School District and was instrumental in creating the Adult Crossing Guard program in Beaver Dam. He was a member of Trinity Church – United Methodist and served on many committees there as well. Bob even made room on Monday nights to play cards with the gang.

Jeanne had a great love and vast knowledge for antiques. Because of that passion, she and her husband owned and operated “Teacher’s Pet” Antiques in Northern Wisconsin. Their summers were spent at their shop selling antiques and meeting many wonderful people from across the country. Bob and Jeanne could be spotted at a flea market, auction or estate sale on any given day. 

Jeanne was a past member of League of Women Voters, the church choir, church rummage sale committee, as well as, supporting her husband Bob with many community projects and attending her monthly bridge groups.

Jeanne and Bob are survived by their three children, Robert John of Lake Wood, Timothy (Cindy) and their children, Maxwell and Meryl, of Stoughton, and Jane (Kenneth) Mittelsteadt and their children, Aaron (Laura) and Alex all of Berlin; Jeanne’s brothers, Frank (Ginny) Wierman of Hartford, and Bob (Ginger) Wierman of Chippewa Falls; Jeanne’s brother-in-law, Richard Wimmler of Plymouth; many nieces and nephews; bridge partners; special friends and neighbors.

Jane, Bob, and Tim would like to express their heartfelt thanks to Generations Hospice, Dr. Michael Augustson, Dr. Rick Tovar and his staff, and our family at  The Charleston House for the loving care they gave Mom and Dad over the last two years of their life. God bless each and every one of you!

There will be a memorial gathering for both Jeanne and Bob at Trinity Church – United Methodist on Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. The American Legion is invited to walk through at 11:45 a.m. The memorial service will be at the church on Saturday at 12:00 noon with Rev. Jeff Nicholas officiating. Military Honors for Bob will follow at the church by the John E. Miller American Legion Post #146. The celebration of Jeanne’s and Bob’s lives will continue with an open house in the Great Room at the Charleston House beginning at 1:00 p.m. Inurnment for both has taken place at Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Wisconsin Chapter of the Honor Flight, Trinity Church – United Methodist or to a charity of your choice in Bob and Jeanne’s name. 

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at www.KoepsellFH.com

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