June 13, 1955 – Jan. 15, 2020
Gerald Anthony Pelrine, 64, of Sturgeon Bay died at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.
He was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago to William Francis Pelrine and Mary “Patricia” (Driskill) Pelrine.
Gerald was raised in a devout Catholic family and grew up attending St. Issac Jogues Parish in Niles, Illinois. His brothers served as acolytes at dozens of masses every week.
Gerald’s family moved to Wisconsin in 1971, and he was initially enrolled at Divine Word Seminary (for high school) in East Troy, Wisconsin. Sensing a different life path, he transferred to Waukesha South High School, where he discovered his passion for theatre, music and performance. Upon his graduation from Waukesha South in 1973, he pursued that passion and studied theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
He moved to Door County and initially lived in Juddville. Gerald was a founding member of the American Folklore Theatre (AFT) in Fish Creek in 1990 along with other fellow longtime members of the (original) Heritage Ensemble, Fred “Doc” Heide and Fred Alley. He wrote and starred in numerous one-man shows over the years. Gerald was most proud to have played General Sherman, John Muir and Clarence Darrow. He was sought out to be a part of the John Muir tribute CD in California in 1998. Gerald played the lead in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw at Peninsula Players Theatre. He was a professional puppeteer in the 1970s and worked with Robin Reed, who was the original partner of Jim Henson of the Muppets. Gerald eventually established his own puppet company, the Sister Bay Puppet Company, in 2000.
Through mutual friends, he met Tiffany Kristen Koskubar in 2010. They enjoyed eight wonderful years together before getting married June 9, 2018, under the flowering hawthorne tree at their home in Sturgeon Bay. Gerald enjoyed going for walks with Tiffany every Monday at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay and visiting the NEW Zoo in Green Bay with her. They cherished their time together, even nights just spent at home.
Those who knew Gerald knew he was a “master of many trades.” He was a trained barber who cut hair at Waves in Sturgeon Bay and The Image Maker in Sister Bay. Gerald was a professional server and was proud to be a French-trained waiter who served at The Landmark and The Log Den, both in Egg Harbor; The Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim; The Viking Grill in Ellison Bay; and most recently at the English Inn in Fish Creek. He was also a stock broker. Gerald was a caregiver and worked as a certified nursing assistant at the Dorchester and Pine Crest Village, both in Sturgeon Bay; and also at Good Samaritan Society-Scandia Village in Sister Bay.
Gerald was an avid reader of nonfiction. He loved music and played the guitar, drums, keyboard and even the harmonica. Gerald was definitely a “one-man band.” He was a devoted Chicago Cubs fan, and when they made it to the World Series again in modern time, he drove straight to Chicago with Tiffany, just to be amid the excitement of the game outside of Wrigley Field.
Earlier in life, Gerald a was member of the Boy Scouts of America and was a member of its honorary Order of the Arrow and received several high awards including the (Catholic) Ad Altare Dei award. He attended St. Rosalia Parish (now Stella Maris Parish in Sister Bay) while living in Door County and was also the parade marshal for Olde Ellison Bay Days one year.
Gerald will live on in the hearts of his wife, Tiffany Pelrine; daughter, Genevieve Pelrine of Minneapolis, and her mother, Patrice Champeau of Sister Bay; six siblings, Bill Pelrine of Waukesha, Betsy Pelrine (Mark) Ellis of Brookfield, Ann Marie (Steve) Johnson of Waukesha, Ray (Martha Luber) Pelrine of Sister Bay, Patti (Kelly Meyer) Pelrine of Milwaukee, and Margaret Peline of Davis, California; many nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; goddaughter, Leah Withers, and her parents, Tina and Josh Withers of Carlsville; other relatives; and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Gerald’s life will be honored with a service of remembrance held on Monday, Jan. 20, 6 pm, at Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay.
Visitation will precede, 3-5:55 pm, at Huehns Funeral Home.
Memorials may be given in Gerald’s name for LGBTQ Door County (payable to Circore Creative, 1237 S. 50th St., West Milwaukee, WI 53214), which Gerald was very supportive of.
Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of Gerald can be shared through his tribute page at huehnsfuneralhome.com.