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Obituary | Daniel J. Gilgenbach, 54, of Fond du Lac

April 19, 2019 – Daniel James Gilgenbach, 54, left this world and entered his heavenly home on April 18, 2019 at Hospice Home of Hope surrounded by his family. He was born on February 23, 1965 in Fond du Lac to James and Mary Lou (Nett) Gilgenbach.
Danny Gilgenbach

He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and graduated from St. Mary’s Springs High School in 1983. Dan graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in Music Performance. After graduation, he attended Redwing Technical College and started his career in instrument repair.

Dan was the proud owner and the heart of Mike’s Music and Sound in Fond du Lac. 

Dan married Julie Kloostra, the love of his life and “pit crew” on May 13, 1995 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Dan loved the Fond du Lac community and its interest in music. He was a member of the Symphonic Band, Lighthouse Big Band, Flat Tire Band, Tin Sandwich Band, Holy Family Jazz Choir and involved in various jazz combos, weddings and celebrations throughout the area. In 1995, Dan reestablished Battle of the Bands at Fond du Lac County Fair with Paul Lewandowski. Dan was a part of Gobblefest, the Searl Pickett music series and Thelma. We can only imagine the joy Dan has now playing in the band for the Lord.

Dan helped generations of people from all walks of life enjoy music, whether listening or playing an instrument. His dedication and passion for teaching and serving young musicians was what he lived for.

Dan had a genuine love of people that made those around him know that they were valued. His contagious personality drew people to him and filled his life with an unending list of treasured friends. He had a true zest for life, knowing that each day was a gift, striving to be “a plus” every day. Dan could often be heard saying, “Today is the best day ever.” When he walked into a room, you knew the fun had started.

His greatest joy in life was any occasion where he was surrounded by those he knew and loved. 

Dan will be greatly missed by his wife, Julie; his mother, Mary Lou; siblings Barb (Troy) Baalke and their children Sam and Kayla Baalke, Karl (Kristin) Gilgenbach and their children Eric and Maya Gilgenbach, Jeanne (Joe) Biber and their children Emma and Josef Kloiber, Alexa, Brooke, Carson and Drew Biber, and Jayme (Jonathan) Bosler and their children Wyatt, Lucy, Phin and Elliot Bosler.

Dan is further survived by mother-in law Betty Kloostra; brother and sister-in-law David (Jennifer) Kloostra and their children Anna, Molly and Jacob Kloostra; godchildren Lily Barker, Anna Kloostra, Emma Kloiber, Kayla Baalke, Phin Bosler and Lucy Bosler; other relatives, countless friends and fellow musicians.

Dan was preceded in death by his father James Gilgenbach and father-in-law Joe Kloostra.

VISITATION:  The family will receive relatives and friends on Monday, April 22, 2019 at Zacherl Funeral Home, 875 E. Division Street, Fond du Lac, from 3:00 to 7:00 PM and also on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 from 9:00 to 10:45 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, Fond du Lac.

SERVICES: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Holy Family Catholic Church.  Entombment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

INVITATION: Area musicians are invited to bring their instruments to honor one of Dan’s final requests to celebrate his life in a “second line” following committal at Calvary Cemetery, and to continue the celebration in an Open Jam at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

In lieu of flowers, Dan requested that memorials be given to the family for a donation to Strike Up The Band, a program that helps students in need interested in band music and for the future establishment of a Dan Gilgenbach Legacy Scholarship for a graduating Senior majoring in music.
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