Dec. 19, 2016 – West Bend, WI – Elsie A. Gerhardt, 81, of West Bend, entered eternal life on Sunday, December 18, 2016.
She was born on April 7, 1935 to the late Edwin and Viola (nee Benicke) Gerhardt on the family farm in Jackson. Elsie grew up in West Bend where she attended McLane School (K-6), St. John’s Lutheran (7&8), and West Bend High School. She continued on to Concordia College, River Forest, IL for a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and later to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education and as a Reading Specialist. For 53 years she taught in Lutheran schools in Chicago, Milwaukee, and in West Bend at St. John’s Lutheran as well as seven summer sessions at McLane and Barton public schools. In 2008, the American Red Cross named her the Education Hero of Washington County.
During her teaching years she also started the Forensic Program at St. John’s Lutheran and directed many student operettas, church programs and productions such as “The Sound of Music” for Musical Masquers Community Theatre. Her interest in drama also included acting on stage in high school, college, and for community theatre. Elsie also spent 30 years (1982-2013) as the director of the West Bend Children’s Theatre as well as serving on the Board of Director’s as the treasurer. Elsie also found time to travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and as many as nine trips to Europe. She also loved to travel to Door County and throughout the United States.
Those Elsie leaves behind to cherish her memory include her sister, Sandra Schupbach (Oshkosh); her brother, Arthur Gerhardt (Fond du Lac); nephews and a niece, Scott (Bonnie) Schupbach (Little Chute), Kirk (Valerie) Schupbach (Pulaski), Amy (Jack) Coe (Oshkosh); great nephews and great nieces, David (Jessica) Schupbach (Little Chute), Kristin Moritz (Little Chute), William Schupbach (Pulaski), Holly Schupbach (Pulaski); and great-great nephew and niece, Brady Moritz, and Jovie Schupbach: her longtime friend, Elfriede Bachmeier; other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Clifford Schupbach and great-nephew, Gavin Schupbach.
A funeral service in remembrance of Elsie will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 809 S. 6th Ave., West Bend. Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church Cemetery, Pleasant Valley Rd., Jackson.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Myrhum-Patten Miller & Kietzer funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend. On Thursday, December 22, 2016, visitation will be at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, West Bend from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 12:00 p.m.
Memorials can be made to the George Mumm Scholarship fund, Lutheran hour, or the Aurora Health Care Foundation in Elsie’s name is appreciated.
A special thank you from the family to the nurses and staff at the Aurora Medical Center, Hartford for all their help and care