Lawrence J. “Butch” “Geezer” Gocker, 78, of Columbus passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at his home.
He was born November 22, 1938 in Beaver Dam to Lawrence and Gertrude (Sterr) Gocker. Larry attended Beaver Dam High School where he starred on the Golden Beavers football team. After high school, he pursued his love of football at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he served as co-captain of the Warhawks in 1962. During his time at UW-Whitewater, Butch “the Little Tank” Gocker helped guide the Warhawks to three conference championships. It was lights out for defenders if Gocker got the ball inside the 5-yard line as he led the Warhawks with 10 touchdowns in 1962.
Larry began his post college career as a history teacher and football coach at Racine St. Catherine’s. He held many jobs thereafter including insurance sales and home construction. He ultimately retired in 2004 following many years being employed at Perry Printing in Waterloo. Larry remained active in the community coaching his children’s football, basketball, and baseball teams early on in life.
Larry was an avid golfer and was forever grateful for the time spent with his sons and the friendships he made as a long-time member of the Columbus Country Club. Larry also enjoyed cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
More so than anything, he enjoyed cheering on his three children Eric, Matthew, and Sara, in all of their accomplishments. He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. Undoubtedly, they will all miss his sharp wit, his endearing smile, and his big heart.
Larry is survived by his children, Eric of Columbus, Matthew of Milwaukee, and Sara of Milwaukee. He is also survived by his four sisters, Shirley (Jerry) Miller of Ocean Springs, MS, Jeanne Gocker (Steve Sapontzis) of Hayward/Fort Bragg, CA, Mary (Tim) Verberkmoes of Madison, Claire Gocker of Middleton, sisters-in-law Margaret Gocker of Kimberly, and Margaret Breuer of Beaver Dam.
He was preceded in death by his father Lawrence and mother Gertrude, and two brothers, Phillip Gocker and Peter Gocker.
Visitation to be held on Sunday, December 4th from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Koepsell-Zeidler Funeral Home, 146 S. Dickason Blvd. in Columbus. A celebration of life luncheon will follow at the Columbus County Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Heart Association or the American Lung Association would be greatly appreciated.
The Koepsell-Zeidler Funeral Home in Columbus is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com