Franklin J. Gerth, 84, Beaver Dam, passed away Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Agnesian Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac.
Frank was born May 26, 1934, to Fred and Julia (Draheim) Gerth in Watertown. He attended Watertown High School and received his veteran’s diploma on Sept. 24, 2000. Frank served in the U.S. Army, during the Korean Conflict, from 1954 to 1956 and received an honorable discharge from the Army Reserves in 1962.
On Oct. 16, 1954, Frank married the mother of his children, Joy Dickinson, in Burnett. He worked for Hevi Duty Electric in Watertown from 1957 until the time of their closing in 1971. Frank and Joy owned and operated Gerth’s L&L Bar in Fox Lake from 1971 to 1972. After the sale of the L&L, he and his brother Don owned and operated Gerth’s on the Bridge in Randolph. In 1972, Frank began his employment with the Beaver Dam Post Office from where he retired in 1999 after 27 years.
Frank was a 39-year member of American Legion Post 146 in Beaver Dam and served as vice commander and commander of the post. He also served as vice commander and commander of the Dodge County American Legion. He was also a 35-year member of the 40&8.
Frank was an avid sports fan until the end. In his earlier years, he played basketball for the Watertown Stags. He was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and was thrilled when the Cubs won the World Series. He attended many games at Wrigley Field and many spring training seasons in Arizona before and during his retirement.
After retiring in 1999, Frank spent the winters in Bullhead City, Arizona, through the winter of 2017-2018. He enjoyed gambling and was a regular at the Laughlin casinos and could always be found playing a video poker machine. After his health began to decline, he was able to return to Laughlin for two last trips in October and November, attended one last “morning meeting” and said farewell to his Arizona neighbors. He enjoyed his day trips with Kelly and Brenda to Ho-Chunk Gaming in Nekoosa or Madison, with his last trip on March 16. Although he didn’t win the pot of gold, he sure enjoyed his day.
He was well-known around his neighborhood on Brook Street for walking his beloved beagle, Dusty. He never left home without his pocketful of milk bones for all of the dogs he would encounter along the way. He was a personable guy and had a great sense of humor right up to the end. If you met him or worked with him, you most likely received a nickname. He enjoyed his time spent with his daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and of course, his grand dogs.
Frank is survived by his daughters, Brenda (Gary “Abe” Roecker) Knox of Wautoma and Kelly (Brent “Rich Farmer”) Kittleson of Beaver Dam; his grandchildren, Jamie (Andy) Stock, Jonathon Knox, Kayla (Tyler Parson) Kittleson and Collin (Brooke Kuhn) Kittleson; and his great-grandchildren, Brennan, Maddy and Izzy Stock, Talyn “Amos” Neuman and Cooper Kittleson. He is also survived by his brother, Clyde; sister, Shirley Wiessman; sister-in-law, Phyllis Gerth; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Virginia Schmeling and Jean “Tootie” Thurloff; brother, Don; mother of his children, Joy Mengel; and his beloved beagle, Dusty.
Special thanks to the wonderful staff and volunteers at Hospice Home of Hope in Fond du Lac for the wonderful care and compassion shown to our dad during his stay and thank you to his special friend Kathy for making his days brighter.
Grandpa “Charlie” may be gone, but he will not be forgotten.
Visitation for Frank will be held Wednesday, April 10, at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Philip Heyer officiating. Burial will take place at Highland Memory Gardens, town of Trenton, followed by a luncheon back at Cornerstone.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. Send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at cstonefs.com.