Arnold V. Kerska
Arnold “Arnie” Van Kerska, age 82, passed away on Thursday, September 13, 2012, with family and friends by his side in Lima Center, Wisconsin after battling COPD and leukemia. There is now a void in the lives of his devoted wife and loving family. We will miss his sense of humor, his compassion and his strong faith.
He was born August 9, 1930 in Coon Valley, WI to Ella Kerska Gaines. He attended Victory School in LaCrosse County, Wisconsin.
Arnold served his country as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army 998th Battalion from 1948-49 and 1950-52 in the States of Washington, Colorado and Kansas 1948-49 and 1950-52.
Arnold married Thedonia (Babe) Williams on April 14, 1951 in Colorado Springs, CO. In addition to living out west during his military years, they also called Johnstown, WI and Lima Center, WI home.
Arnold was a caring and loving father to his four children – Barbara (Bob) Leiskau of Coldspring, TX, Steven (Ann) Kerska of Webb Lake, WI, Elizabeth (Craig) Johnson of Mukwonago, WI, and LaDana (Willy) Lemke of Fort Atkinson, WI. He and Babe were additionally blessed with 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren yet to be born, and 3 step-great-grandchildren. He had a way of making each of his family members feel special with his attentiveness to the comings and goings of our individual lives.
Arnold spent his 40 year working career as a heavy equipment operator for Frank Brothers in Milton. He was dedicated to his job and a mentor for many. He was a member of Operating Engineers #139 for 50 years. He also belonged to the American Legion Post #173.
His interests were hunting, woodworking, gardening, and time with family or friends around the dining room table playing cards. He had an incredible fondness for a special dog, Poogie, who will miss their hours spent together.
Arnold was a member of St. John’s Lutheran church of Milton for 40 years. His strong faith was often and openly shared with family. It was an incredible feeling to know he prayed for each of his extended family members nightly. He undoubtedly played a role in bringing others to Christ.
Late in his years, Arnold discovered he had half-siblings in the Wisconsin area. It brought fullness to his life to meet these brothers and sisters and get acquainted as they had much catching up to do.
In addition to his devoted wife of 61 years, Arnold is survived by his four children and their spouses, grand children, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and half-siblings Don Gaines, Milan Dunnum, Jeanette Vebell, and Lou Anne Julinek.
Arnold was preceded in death by his mother Ella Gaines, father Raymond Dunnum, and two half-brothers Clinton and Ronald Dunnum.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Milton with Rev. Larry Schwanke officiating. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater with full Military Rites. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 21, 2012 at the WHITCOMB-LYNCH-ALBRECHT FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES, MILTON from 4 PM until 7 PM and from 10 AM until the start of the service at the church on Saturday.
Special thanks to Fort Home Health, Agrace Hospice Care, Dean St. Mary’s Hospital (Janesville), friends and neighbors.
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