BANGOR — Eugene “Gene” Schaller, 90, of Bangor passed away Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
Gene was born Aug. 7, 1927, to Paul and Margaret (Ziegler) Schaller in Bangor. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1945 and was called up to serve in the Army. He served during the end of World War II.
In 1961, Gene was united in holy matrimony to the love of his life, Judy Souchek, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bangor. They were married for 46 years before Judy passed away.
Gene worked primarily at Trane Company of La Crosse as a welder. His career spanned more than four decades during which he earned the title of welding engineer. His skills as a welder and troubleshooter took him all over the world and he enjoyed his time and travel with his Trane Company family. His unique welding skills also led to a variety of side jobs in which he could “fix” nearly anything made of metal. Whether it was pots and pans, flat bottom boats, kitchen chairs or parts for a bowling machine, he “did the job right the first time” and was more than happy to help out friends, neighbors and complete strangers. His many years of side jobs allowed him to provide extra for his family and kept him in beer money.
Lions Club, VFW, American Legion were just a few of the organizations which Gene was actively involved in. To say that Gene was a social guy is an understatement. Gene loved being with people. He was a faithful and devoted member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where he attended Mass daily. He also looked forward to his annual fishing trips with good friends and family every year. Going out for dinner and catching up with old and new friends was a regular activity for Gene.
Gene cherished every sporting event that he attended throughout the years for his sons. His sons meant the world to him. He would boast that he was the “luckiest man in the world” because of the amazing wife, sons and grandchildren, that God had blessed him with.
Gene is survived by four sons, Mike (Carrie) of Midland, Mich., Kevin (Beth) of Onalaska, Dave (Lana) of Chippewa Falls, Wis., and Lyle (Kelly) of Cashton; 11 grandchildren, Kate, Jack, Maggie, Marvin, Molly, Mitchell, Mariah, Brin (Jared), Grant, Brianna and Camryn; brother, Eldred “Al” (Florence) of West Salem; sisters, Margie Korn of Bangor and Judy (Tom) Althoff of Bangor; sister-in-law, Jeanette Schaller of Sparta; brother-in-law, Art Sommerfield of Bangor; good friend, Greta Bjorkman of Holmen; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Judy; brothers, Lyle, LaVerne (Rosie) and Armand “Ham”; sisters, Eunice (Bill) Gerke and Mavis Sommerfield.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 pm. Friday, Feb. 16, at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bangor. Father Douglas Robertson will officiate. Burial with full military honors will follow in the church cemetery. Family and friends are invited for visitation from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service Friday at the church. Immediately following the service there will be a luncheon and celebration of Gene’s life at the Log Cabin in Bangor. All family and friends are invited to come and share stories and have one last beer on Gene.
The Torkelson Funeral Home of Cashton is assisting the family with arrangements. The family has asked that memorials be given in Gene’s memory to the Bangor First Responders or to the Bangor High School Scholarship Foundation. Online condolences may be offered at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.