Jerry “Grampa” Rechek passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 following a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.
Jerry was born on March 15, 1943 in Ripon to the late Eugene and Chrysanta (Klapper) Rechek. On October 31, 1964, Jerry was united in marriage to Marcia Vande Berg at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waupun. Jerry’s strong work ethic was developed early in his career. He instilled these same ethics in his children and his employees. He knew people by their first name and always took time to greet them and ask how they were doing. Many of the employees thought of him as not only employer, but also mentor and most of all, friend. He began his career as a apprentice meat cutter for Krogers Grocery in Waupun in 1962. Jerry had numerous other positions at Super Valu Stores and Lauer’s Food Mart including meat cutter and manager before buying his first Rechek’s store in 1985. The first store was Rechek’s Jack and Jill. After eleven years he opened Rechek’s Food Pride at its present location. He was active in the store until his retirement in 2004. Jerry was especially proud of Grampa Rechek’s sausage which won many awards and was the cornerstone of Jerry’s grocery business.
Jerry was very involved in community events and fund raisers. His involvement with St. Katherine Drexel School earned him the name of “Grampa Rechek” and Jerry was proud the students all knew him. He had annual golf tournaments as fund raisers for the school. Because of his and Marcia’s involvement and commitment to the community, the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce named them Citizens of the Year in 2010.
Jerry had a love of life and enjoyed many outdoors sports, including hunting and fishing. He travelled to Alaska, Colorado, Montana and Canada in pursuit of salmon, elk and mule deer. His trophies are not only on display in his home, but also Rechek’s Food Pride. He loved being outdoors and if not hunting or fishing, was working in the garden, his workshop building bird houses, or at their cottage. His greatest joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandson, Kaden, who shadowed Jerry whenever they were together.
Jerry is survived by the love of his life, Marcia, his wife of 51 years; three sons, Brett (JoDee), Dean, and Judd; five grandchildren, Jake, Nick, Hunter, Ashton and Kaden. He is further survived by 3 brothers, 2 sisters along with nieces, nephews other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; father in law and mother in law, Harrison and Coba Vande Berg; sister in law, Carol Perusse; brother in law, John Hazouri, and various aunts, uncles and other relatives.
Jerry was a longstanding member of St. Katherine Drexel Parish and his faith helped him throughout the course of his illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Jerry will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 511 S. Spring St., Beaver Dam with Father Michael Erwin as Celebrant.
Visitation for Jerry will take place on Friday, June 26, 2015 at St Katharine Drexel Parish from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. and also prior to the Mass at church on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Private family inurnment will take place at a later date at Annunciation Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for St. Katherine Drexel School Endowment Fund.
We will miss your wisdom, guidance and humor. Rest in the knowledge that you put up a good fight!
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com