Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynn Tracy

Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynn Tracy

ASHTON/MIDDLETON – Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynn Tracy, age 60, died after a brief illness, surrounded by his family on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at UW-Madison Hospital.

He was born on June 17, 1957, in Madison, the son of Harry and Melvina (Bonner) Tracy. Jeff married Debra Brabender on Sept. 18, 1982, in Middleton and made a beautiful life together on a piece of the Brabender homestead in Ashton.

Jeff grew up on the Tracy family dairy farm in Brooklyn, where he learned a work ethic he never lost. He loved to hunt, ride motorbikes, and draw in his spare time. When his father opened Tracy Hardware Store in Brooklyn, Jeff became the store’s top service man.After graduation from Oregon High School in 1975, Jeff joined Saslow Dental of Madison, later to become Henry Schein Dental, first as a service technician and then as field sales consultant. Jeff became a top salesman and business advisor, sought out by dentists and co-workers throughout southern Wisconsin for his wit and wise counsel.Though Jeff suffered from a debilitating arthritis, he loved nothing more than “puttering” around his home and the adjoining Brabender farm. His eyes would light up when he heard a forecast of snow, because that meant cranking up his snow blower and clearing off his long driveway. His grass never had a chance to get too long in summer. He could never pass up a deal on a new tool or accessory, which he used to fix everything. Whenever there was a big family anniversary or birthday, Jeff would effortlessly draw a beautiful banner, poster or card dripping with humor. Anyone who received them, kept them as works of art. We always told him, “You should be a cartoonist.” And Jeff always replied, “but the dental business pays the bills.” He should have been a comedian, too. Jeff had a smile and a joke for every occasion. When Jeff was in a room with a group of people, you just had to listen where the laughter was coming from and there you would find Jeff in the center of it. As much as Jeff suffered from arthritis, he was always the pillar of strength. He never complained. He just got up every day to make sure his dental clients had what they needed and that his family and friends were cared for.

Jeff is survived by his wife of 35 years, Debra; two children, Jennifer (Derek) Reinfried and Benjamin (fiance Courtney Hoffmann) Tracy, Madison; his siblings, DeAnn (Rollie) Howard of Evansville, Barbara (John) Mathews of Janesville, Susan (Scott) Warren of California, Daniel (Susie) Tracy of Milwaukee, and Scott Tracy, Stoughton; many nieces and nephews; brothers and sisters-in-law, Wayne Brabender of Ashton, Earyl and Angie Brabender of Madison, Hubert Brabender of Madison, Gerald and Susie Brabender of Oregon, and Joyce and Joseph Mulhern of Madison. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Melvina, father-in-law Hubert Brabender Sr. and mother-in-law Rosalia (Friedl) Brabender.

Funeral services will be held at ST. BERNARD’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Ave., Middleton at Noon on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, with Deacon Dave Hendrickson officiating. Friends may call on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, from 4 to 7 p.m. at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton. Friends may also call at the church on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will take place at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Ashton.

We have truly lost one of the nicest, smartest, and funniest people to have ever walked this good earth. If there is indeed an afterlife, it must be to provide a worthy place for sweet souls like Jeff. We love you, Jeff. Rest in peace.

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