Willis H. GalleskeIssue Date: March 7, 2018
Willis H. (Bill) Galleske, 88, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 in Waupaca.
Born Dec. 2, 1929 in Oakfield, to Harry and Laura (Zielke) Galleske, he was baptized Dec. 15, 1929 and confirmed May 24, 1942 at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Oakfield. He grew up in the Oakfield/Fond du Lac area and graduated from Oakfield High School on May 22, 1947. He worked at various factories in the area and then for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter daily newspaper. In 1953, he worked as an industrial engineering clerk at West Bend Aluminum in West Bend.
He married Doris (Stordahl) Knueppel at Trinity Lutheran Church in Marinette on April 5, 1980 and for a short time they lived in Peshtigo.
He served in the United States Army Ready Reserves starting Jan. 8, 1951 and was assigned to Co. B 291st Combat Engineers, attained rank as sergeant and served as administrative sergeant. He also served a short time with Btry A 132nd Inf. Div. and was honorably discharged on April 5, 1958.
He married Beverly Flitter in April 1953 at St. John Lutheran Church in Lomira and together they had five children.
Devoted to his church, he served on every board in the many congregations he belonged to, including teaching Sunday School, was a member of their choirs and trumpet or vocal renditions at special services, especially Christmas and Easter.
A member of St. John Lutheran Church in Fairview, he quickly became vice president and a year later was president for nine years. After being president, he became secretary until transferring to Trinity Lutheran Church in Sidney, Mt. In the absence of the pastor, he also conducted many of the services.
In the Spring of 2003, he began conducting services at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Grassy Butte, N.D., assisting Pastor Reinke of Williston, who was a vacancy pastor.
He began a 30-year career with the State of Wisconsin in December 1959 with the Division of Corrections maximum security prison in Waupun, where he served one term as Justice of the Peace and later was on the Waupun-Dodge County Auxiliary Police Squad.
He was one of few people that served in all phases of the justice system, from making the arrest, to passing sentence, to "baby-sitting" them and trying to rehabilitate them later.
In July 1964, he was appointed to field agent with the Compliance (enforcement) unit of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and was assigned to Marinette for 24 years to establish a field office, serving four counties from the Bay of Green Bay west along the Michigan border. In June 1988, he transferred to Waupaca and served there until retiring in June 1989.
He served on the West Bend civil defense police squad, was a relief officer on the West Bend Police Department, served as a Special Deputy Sheriff for Marinette County, served for 23 years under three sheriffs' and was a charter member of the Marinette County Sheriff's Auxiliary.
An avid musician, he began playing with various bands and groups before graduating from high school and then played for ballrooms and clubs throughout Central and Eastern Wisconsin and Michigan UP.
He had his own band, Cinco Amigos, for a short time and after moving to Fairview, he played keyboard, trumpet, did vocals as a soloist, and was a member of the community band.
He joined the American Federation of Musicians in 1946, held membership in Local #309 Fond du Lac, Local #39 Marinette-Menominee, serving as treasurer for many years until it was Local #205 Green Bay and then was a board member and was also affiliated with Local #709 Bozeman, Mt. He also was a member of AAL, served as vice president of branch #7144 in Waupaca and for two years with branch #6829 in Fairview.
He is survived by his wife, Doris Galleske of Waupaca; three sons, Dwight (Sandy) Galleske of Marinette and Donald Galleske and Daniel Galleske, both of Menominee, Mi.; a daughter, Deanna Salzman of Marinette; a step-son, John Knueppel of Fremont; a step-daughter, Ann Marie Work of Port St. Lucie, Fla; six grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Edward Galleske of Baxter Springs, Ks. and Dudley Galleske of New Braunfels, Tx. and a sister, Deloris Merk of Fond du Lac.
Visitation was held at Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca on Sunday, March 4 from 12:30 p.m. until time of a Memorial Service at 1:30 p.m., with Rev. John Taggatz officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Fort Harrison in Helena, Mt.
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