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Gerald Edwin Kusilek, age 78 of Baldwin, passed away February 24, 2013 at the American Heritage Care Center in Hammond.

Gerald was born October 4, 1934 in River Falls, WI to Edwin Delbert and Loretta Marie (Hauth) Kusilek. He attended grade school at Oak Knoll Country School in Mann Valley and graduated from River Falls High School in 1952. He went on to further his education and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1958. Gerald proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from January 1955 to December 1956. Jerry married a pretty young widow, Veronica “Bonnie” Rohl Lubich with two small girls on June 7, 1958, whom he adopted shortly after their marriage. Jerry and Bonnie moved from Prescott, WI to the farm north of Baldwin in April 1959. From 1959 to 1969, Joe, Jeff, Jackie, Christine, Jim, Carrie and Dana were born and completed their family. Jerry was an active NFO member, sat on the Farmers Co-op Board of Directors, a Baldwin Woodville School Board member, and KC Grand Knight of St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hammond. The love of travel took Jerry and Bonnie to many states and countries. Family, friends and a deck of cards were always close at hand for those many hours spent in serious 500 or Euchre games. When he couldn’t be found at home, we knew he might be hunting, golfing or bowling. Jerry coached his kids in 4-H softball and spent countless bleacher hours watching his kids and grandkids play sports and other school events. For the last 7 years of Bonnie’s life, Jerry dedicated himself to her care until her death in 2009. Besides Bonnie and family, his greatest passion was the pro life movement, offering years of service, monetary donations and prayer for the right to life from conception to natural death.

Gerald is survived by his children: Susan (Stan) Gausman of Baldwin, Peggy (Ray) Niemczyk of Coon Rapids, MN, Joseph (Anna) Kusilek of Baldwin, Jeffrey (Anne) Kusilek of Eau Claire, Jacqueline (Dennis) Mitchell of Erin Prairie, Christine (Jim) Mikla of Williston, ND, James (Audrey) Kusilek of Rice Lake, WI, Caroline (John) Timmers of Woodville and Dana (Michael) Timmers of Baldwin; 37 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren; brothers, Norman (Natalie) Kusilek of Mann Valley and Vernon (Betsy) Kusilek of Mann Valley; twin sisters, Diane (Junior) Johnson of River Falls and Doris (Dave) Trebus of River Falls; sister, Marilyn (Jerome) Maier of Ellsworth; aunt and uncle, Delores & Ken Dietzler of River Falls; a host of nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Veronica “Bonnie”; his parents; and an infant granddaughter.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1265 Ridgeway St., Hammond, with Fr. Jerry Harris officiating. Visitation will be held 4:00 – 8:00 PM Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and one hour prior to Mass at church on Wednesday. Interment will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Hammond with his grandsons serving as active casket bearers and his granddaughters serving as honorary casket bearers. Memorials are preferred to Wisconsin Right to Life. Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin (715) 684-3434.