Gerald J. “Jerry” Guentner
February 16, 1940 ~ October 2, 2022
Gerald “Jerry” Joseph Guentner, 82, of La Crosse, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at home in the arms of his wife, Mary on October 2, 2022. He was born in La Crosse, WI., on February 16, 1940 to Joseph and Agnes (Johnson) Guentner.
Jerry was a loving, generous and loyal partner to Mary. They were married on February 27, 1960. This pair had a beautiful love affair of 62 years. Mary and Jerry spent romantic days boating, fishing, shopping, traveling, walking and gardening together.
As a father, he was giving, inspiring and committed to supporting his five children. He gave all of himself to his family and those he loved. His intelligence and humor was a gift to everyone he met.
Jerry was a creative force both at home and at work. He could fix anything and spent hours in his shop creating works of art. He was a lifetime learner that could answer any inquiry and converse on any subject. He was an avid and knowledgeable gardener growing his own plants and even growing mushrooms in the basement. As a passionate cook, he loved to share his meals with loved ones.
Jerry spent his youth exploring the beauty and joy of the river. The love of river life continued as he spent countless hours rebuilding a beautiful boathouse for his family and giving them a lifetime of memories. His grandchildren will never forget the lessons Grandpa taught them such as learning how to hook a worm and catch their first fish. We will be forever grateful for how much joy we shared together as a family.
As a young child, Jerry was afflicted with Polio. This disease affected many aspects of his life. He graduated from Aquinas High School where he made lasting friendships. He served in the US Army Reserves for seven years and was called to service during the Berlin crisis.
As a young man he began working at TC Esser in the warehouse but was quickly promoted to the store manager. He was a savvy entrepreneur. In 1981, with his business partner Dave Hines, he purchased La Crosse Glass and Overhead Doors and transformed the business into a thriving La Crosse landmark. He built a very successful business with the help of his sons. Jerry was a creative force both at home and at work. We have been so blessed for his guidance, love and constant support.
Gerald is survived by his wife Mary Ann (Udulutch), children: Terry (Susan), Todd (Rene), Theresa (Scott) Smillie, Angela, April (Brian Stehula) Guentner, Grandchildren Kate (Marcus), Claire, Emily (Aaron), Amelia (Nick), Trent (Katie), Benjamin (Megan), Alyssa (Taylor), Jack, Holden, Camille, Forrest (Leah), Autumn,
Great Grandchildren Lydia, Calloway, Logan, Delaney, and baby boy, Liam due in December.
He is further survived by sisters Anita Froegel, Carol (William) Kabat, sisters in law Ellen (Brad) Filzen, Janice Evans, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters in law Ruth (Lawrence) Senn and Carol Udulutch. Brothers in law Charles (Eleanor), William Udulutch, and George Froegel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 in the Marian Chapel at the Cathedral of St. Joseph The Workman. Monsignor Richard Gilles will officiate. Private family burial will take place later. Friends may call on the family Wednesday morning at the church from 9:30 A.M. until the time of Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Wisconsin PBS, the Salvation Army, Polio funds or the charity of your choice.
Poem written by Jerry for Mary:
I met a girl upon a beach
A day ago it seems
The seed of love took hold and grew
I wed that girl of my dreams
The two of us, soon it was three
Then five and finally seven
Just as our love our children came
As blessings down from heaven
For all the joy you’ve given me
You’ve made my life alive
With thanks and love on this our day
Our anniversary 62
Quote: “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.
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