OBITUARY: Bernard “Bernie” W. Geisel

Bernard “Bernie” W. Geisel, 79, of the Town of Sevastopol, died in the comfort of his home, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.

Bernie was born May 30, 1939 in Sturgeon Bay the son of the late Emil and Grace (Viste) Geisel. He attended SS Peter and Paul Catholic Grade School and was a proud Class of 1957 graduate of Sevastopol High School. Following the death of his parents  before he turned 20, Bernie along with his siblings operated the farm. On AUG. 21, 1965, he married Shirley Laher, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in her hometown of Medford, WI.

Bernie and Shirley, along with their children, operated their dairy farm together. Over the years, Bernie enjoyed fun times with friends bowling, square dancing, polka dancing and snowmobiling. He and Shirley also enjoyed travel, which took them to destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada, but his favorite trips of all were to attend thresherees.

In 1983, he became a charter member of the Northeastern Wisconsin Antique Power Association. Bernie introduced the idea of having a thresheree to the club, which he and his family hosted on their farm for the first 15 years. The Valmy Thresheree just celebrated its 36th year in its current location one mile west of their farm. Bernie enjoyed demonstrating his antique farm machinery collection, which he acquired over many years. It was important to Bernie to leave behind a legacy of the significance of remembering our forefathers’ agricultural heritage.

Bernie loved the challenge of fixing anything before replacing. He always had a spare part for everything! He thoroughly enjoyed being in the swamp making firewood. The accomplishment of naming Geisel Creek, which runs through more than seven miles of Geisel farmland, was very important to him. Bernie most of all enjoyed being surrounded by his family, whether picking stones, baling hay or impromptu gatherings. These were his favorite moments to share stories of his past.

Bernie will be missed by his wife of 53 years, Shirley; five children and seven grandchildren, Jodie (Jesse) Schartner [Riley and Emilie], Jamie (Michael) Henschel [Mark, Brian and Kevin], Heidi Geisel, Wade Geisel and Tara (Aaron) LeClair [Alaina and Reid]; brother, Roy Geisel; siblings-in-law, Diane (Gary) Holmes, Wayne (Kathy) Laher and Jim (Sue) Laher; many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Gertrude (Wallace) Abrahamson, Vione (Ronald) Beno and Laura (Robert) Fieweger; sister-in-law, Linda Geisel; parents-in-law, Herbert and Harriet Laher.

His life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Institute, where Bernie is a lifelong member, at 11:30 am, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant. Bernie will be laid to rest in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4-8 pm, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 and also at the church on Saturday from 9:30-11:15 am Dec. 29.

“Our family is grateful for all the care Bernie has received throughout the years, medically and spiritually. Friends, family and neighbors were cherished by Bernie. We thank Dr. Richard Hogan, Green Bay Oncology and staff, Father Bob and the special individuals from Unity Hospice.”

Memorials may be given in Bernie’s name to Sevastopol School where he was proud three generations of his family attended.

Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Geisel family with arrangements. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Bernie may be shared with his family through his tribute page at

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