FOX LAKE—Burt Prest, age 97, of Fox Lake, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.
Dad, you taught me so much. You encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be. You told me that my brain was the same size as everyone else’s and if they could do it I could do it too. That lesson was so invaluable to me growing up and still is today. You encouraged me to play with my dolls under the lilac bushes and you encouraged me to help you wet sand cars before you painted them. You taught me how to ride a mini-bike at 5 years old and how to use an axe at 8. You taught me how to save up money for something I really wanted. You taught me respect and that honesty was always the best policy. You taught me how to see value in everything: the earth, people, and broken things that could be fixed. I always felt so lucky to have you and Mom as my parents. You were strict, but Mom was stricter. You always told me that you trusted me and that I could get into the same trouble at 2 p.m. as 2 a.m., so don’t. I remember the night I stayed out all night with my girlfriends and didn’t call home to tell you where I was; when I walked in the door at 6 a.m., you were eating breakfast, Mom was out looking for me worried, and you said to me that “the apple of my eye is turning a little rotten.” That was the worst punishment I could’ve had, to find out that I was the apple of your eye and that I was rotten all at the same time. I am so proud of you that you joined the Navy at age 17 before World War II started and stationed on the USS hornet as a flagman on the aircraft carrier. I am so proud of you that you got your GED at 55 and became a police officer at 57, your lifetime passion, serving as a Fox Lake police officer and a Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputy. l am so proud of you that you gave up your holidays with your family so younger officers could be with their families and their children. I am so proud of you that you gave people rides home instead of tickets. I am so happy you took me to Sunday school even though you didn’t understand why I loved it so much. I am so happy you found God and that he became your best friend. I want to thank you for the best childhood that a girl could ever have. I know that being a really good father was something you had to grow into, but you never gave up. I now realize that you were growing up at the same time we all were growing up. Dad, I am so thankful that we had these last 10 years together. They meant the world to me. You and I were both so lost without Mom for a long time, and now you can be with her again. I love you, Dad. I will see you both again someday.
Burt is survived by his children, Dorothy Prest, David Prest, and Carleen Klein; grandchildren, Carl Bender, Allen Bender, Isaac Prest, Heather Prest, Mandy Toma, Dan Klein, Andrew (Chelsea) Klein, and Christine (Jimmy Berkevich) Klein; great-grandchildren; sister, Donna (Bob) Nimm; and further survived by other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harland and Lucille (Williams) Prest; wife, Lorraine (Van de Kolk) Prest; son, Larry; grandson, Joseph Klein; brother, Tim; sisters, Margie and Vonnie Prest; and other relatives.
Visitation for Burt will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam, from 12 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. Burial will take place at Riverside Memorial Park in Fox Lake.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com.