Middleton-Fred J. Giesler, age 97, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Fred was born June 28, 1915 to Fred and Elizabeth (Lucy) Giesler of Shell Rock, Iowa. He graduated from Crosby Ironton School and then attended the University of Minnesota school of Agriculture where he received a BS Degree. Upon graduation, he was employed by the University of Minnesota Extension service for seventeen years serving in several counties as County Agent. In 1953, Fred moved his young family to Middleton, WI when he began working for the University of Wisconsin Animal Husbandry Department and served as Extension Livestock Specialist primarily specializing in swine. Fred completed his M.S. Degree in 1957 and was promoted to full professor in 1961. Fred retired from the University of Wisconsin in 1975.
During Fred’s career he received many honors and belonged to numerous professional groups. Some of his honors and affiliations included : the American Society of Animal Science, the Midwest Society of Animal Science and Epsilon Sigma Phi-Honorary Extension Fraternity, and the Standard Oil Teaching Award. Fred, always the teacher, enjoyed working with people especially the youth in 4- H, FFA and judged numerous county fairs throughout the State .
Fred married Lillian L. Christiansen whom he met on a blind date at the University of Minnesota.They were married on March 29, 1941 in Williams, MN. They enjoyed 69 years together. Fred was very active in his community and church. He was a charter member and first president of the Middleton Sertoma club. He also served two terms as Governor of the WI District for Sertoma and received Distinguished Governor Awards both years. Joining St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in1953, Fred served on the church council and was Sunday school superintendent for three years. He also enjoyed his memberships in Cuba Kids, Five Leaf Clover group and going out for breakfast.
Several years before Fred retired, he became interested in antique furniture restoration. Many beautiful pieces of furniture have been passed down to his children and sold out of his garage during his annual sales. He did all his own caning, repair work, and refinishing the furniture. His wife Lillian needlepointed the seats for many of the chairs. Fred was known for having a wonderful garden, especially his tomatoes.
Above all, Fred was proud of his family. He was able to meet the two newest great grand children, Tanner and Mateo, shortly before he died. Fred is survived by his children: Lenore (Herb) Behnke of Shawano, WI , Carl (Kathy) Giesler of Houston, TX, Paul (Jean) Giesler of Merrimac, WI and Mary (Warren) Willauer of Madison, WI. In addition, he is survived by eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren: Chris (Kelly) Behnke of Rochester, MN and their children Julia and Laura; Carl (Laura) Giesler, Jr. Of Houston, TX; and their children Anna, Jacob and William; Eric (Caitlin) Giesler of Austin, TX and their children Michael and Jack; Keri (Pablo) Guerrero of Larkspur, CA and their child Mateo; Beth (Chris) Keune of Scottsdale, AZ; Jody (Jason) Reed of Dresser , WI and their children, Levi and Tanner; Jeffery (Beth) Willauer of Fitchburg WI; and Casey (Bridgette)Willauer of Madison, WI. Fred is further survived by two sisters: Gertrude Hoge and Evelyn Forsman and numerous nieces and nephews and a sister in law, Irene Timm.
Fred was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Lillian, his parents, his brothers Merle and Harold and his sisters Kathryn, Grace and Lucille.
Memorial services will be held at ST. LUKE’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 7337 Hubbard Ave., Middleton at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, August 13, 2012. Visitation will be on Monday from 9:30 AM until the time of the service at the church.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Thomas Ansfield and his staff for their compassionate and loving care of Fred over the past 37 years. The family also appreciates the kind and loving care received by Fred from the staff of Waunakee Manor Assisted Living and Nursing home. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
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