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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Gerald L. Gehling

Issue Date: January 31, 2018

Gerald "Jerry" (Spike) L. Gehling, 91, of Suring, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 with family by his side.

Born April 19, 1926 in Oconto Falls the youngest of three children, to the late Robert and Mildred (Monson) Gehling, he attended school in Clintonville, Frostville and Suring and Lincoln Aeronautical Institute in Lincoln, Ne. He spent the majority of his life in Suring working at the Farmer's Mercantile, Red Owl and was the owner and operator of Gehling Auto Body and Towing in conjunction with his father, Bob's "Papa Bob's" gas station.

He married Margaret Rierdon on Dec. 25, 1947 and they had three children. She preceded him in death on June 11, 1986.

He wore many hats in Suring and Oconto County, including being the Village Marshall for 12 years, president of the school board for 15 years, served on the Suring State Bank Board of Directors, was a member of the Suring Volunteer Fire Department and charter member of the Suring Sportsman Club. While on the school board, he and fellow members accomplished two major projects, a new school gymnasium and a new football field and track.

He liked telling the story of meeting Kenneth Paulson, President of the Suring State Bank on the street one day and shared with him his plan for the athletic field on land the bank owned. He sold him the land for $1.00 and years later gave him the dollar back.

In 1974, he was elected Sheriff of Oconto County and served six two-year terms, retiring in 1986. He also worked with the United States Forest Service to establish a law enforcement program for Nicolet National Parks.

In 1992, he was elected to the Oconto County Board of Supervisors and represented District 26 for 20 years, retiring in 2012. A member of the Suring Lions Club, they helped provide him equipment he needed to stay in his home until recently. He was also a longtime member of the Masons and the Shriners.

A hard working man, he enjoyed giving to the community he loved. He had a good sense of humor, lived his life to the fullest and will be missed.

He is survived by three children, Pamela (Erik) Sammons of Bend, Or., Barbara (Michael) Foley of Waunakee and Austin, Tx. and Jim Gehling of Dallas, Tx.; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; a special friend, Lois Brazeau; three sisters-in-law, Mavis Gehling, Darlene Rierdon and Mary Ellen Streit; many nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.

Including his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; a brother, Curt Gehling; a sister, Judy Christiansen; two brothers-in-law, Rollyn Rierdon and Ed Streit.

Visitation will be held at Gruetzmacher Funeral Home in Suring on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at Suring United Methodist Church on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m., with Pastor Rick Haberland officiating. Memorials are appreciated to Suring Lions Club in his name. Gruetzmacher Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.




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