Eugene O. Gilsdorf, 65, of rural Elkhart Lake died Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19 at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center.
Gene was born Nov. 9, 1955 in Appleton, son of the late David and Bernetta (Rieth) Gilsdorf. He graduated with honors from Kiel High School with the class of 1974. On July 27, 1990 he married Mary Gerdes-Noack. Gene was employed with Kohler Company for a dedicated 36 years until retiring on Jan. 1, 2017. He was a proud and active member of the Union Local 833, as well as the Knights of Columbus. Gene was known and loved as the strong, reliable, selfless patriarch of the family, always making time for his family and loved ones. Gene was known to his children as an amazing, loving and patient man. He was the best grandfather and godfather that anyone could ever hope for, making time to attend their events, participate in their interests, and calling each by a special nickname. His grandchildren knew him as “Bumpa” and their own personal “Santa Grandpa.” His family knew him as “Goph” or “Gopher,” their steadfast big brother, father, and friend. Gene also enjoyed the freedom of the open on road on the back of his Harley, shooting bull while playing a good game of cribbage or sheepshead and watching his Packers win with a good Wisconsin beer in his hand.
He is survived by his wife Mary, six children, Rachel Gilsdorf, Andrew Gilsdorf, Paula (James) Schulz, Christine (John) Clements, David (Ali) Noack, and Jenny Peterson; 11 grandchildren, Samual, Owen, Madeline, Alexander, Charlie, Eli, Mariam, Kylee, Walter, Gabriel, and Sophia; 11 brothers and sisters, Karen (Warren) Vandoske, Conrad (Judy) Gilsdorf, Kenneth (Paula) Gilsdorf, Christine (John) Kubichka, Steven (Donna) Gilsdorf, Michael (Lydia) Gilsdorf, Debra Gilsdorf, Mary (Brian) Andreas, Michelle (James) Fleishman, Barry (Nissa) Gilsdorf, and Julie (Jamie) Feucht. Gene is further survived by aunts, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and great friends.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, David and Bernetta Gilsdorf.
The family will greet relatives and friends on Thursday, Dec. 17 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 413 Fremont St., Kiel from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. The family requires that all those in attendance wear a mask, as well as maintain social distancing throughout the visitation.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Gene will be held privately. Burial will take place at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery. The family invites you to watch the livestream of Mass on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. The service also will be recorded so it may be viewed at any time: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TlSJJ9edtss&feature=youtu.be.
The family would like to give a heartfelt “thank you” to the ICU staff at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center, especially to Emily for being there for us through Gene’s struggle.
Gene was truly the most kind, loving, generous man and he will be eternally missed by those who knew and loved him. As Gene would say, “No regrets!”
The Meiselwitz-Vollstedt Funeral Home of Kiel is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.meiselwitzfh.com.