THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Richard Gerdes, 76, of Oconto died suddenly Thursday morning, Jan. 17 at Oconto Hospital.
Born July 25, 1936 in Oconto Falls to Robert and Gertrude (Carriveau) Gerdes, he grew up in Stiles and attended Lena Public Schools.
On Oct. 1, 1977 he married Joyce Brazeau in Oconto. The couple lived in Oconto all 35 of their married years where he was a self-employed milk hauler with his own bulk milk trucks, often hauling 3-4 loads a day to Outagamie Milk Producers and Branch Cheese. Due to a stroke in 1997, he was no longer able to operate Gerdes Trucking. He was cared for at home for over the past 15 years by his wife, with much assistance from family members and friends. Due to declining health in April 2012 he resided at the Woodland Village Nursing Home in Oconto.
An avid sportsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, trap shooting, pool, bowling, boating and card playing. He also enjoyed gardening and caring for his yard. Although he liked the outdoors he was never happier than he was when spending time with family, his nieces and nephews meant the world to him. When God chose to take him home he sent the world another angel by sending his niece an infant that same day. He was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Oconto.
Survivors are his wife, Joyce; their foreign exchange son (since 1986), Gilberto (Christina) Guidi of Italy; two grandchildren; a sister, Goldie Gerdes of Oconto; his mother-in-law, La Vonne Brazeau of Oconto; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Janice Lange (finance' Mark Siletchnik) of New Mexico, Nancy (Peter) Zubko, Steve (Laura) Brazeau and Frank Brazeau, all of Oconto and Carol Brazeau and Mike Brazeau, all of Green Bay; close friend, Katie Fettig of Green Bay, a very special and caring friend, John Pacourek of Coleman; an aunt, Gloria Warnecke of Oconto and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 at Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls and will continue after 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Oconto until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Fr. Joel Sember and Fr. Bob Karuhn will concelebrate and cremation will follow with burial of the urn in St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery, Oconto Falls.