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Gene W. RandersonSeptember 2, 1930 ~ September 16, 2017 (age 87)
Gene W. Randerson, 87, of Freedom, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, September 16, 2017. He was born on September 2, 1930, in Little Chute, WI to C. Lee Randerson and Margaret (Ludwig) Randerson. He leaves behind the love of his life, Margaret Ann (Garvey) Randerson.
Growing up, Gene was a member of St. John’s Catholic Parish. He was baptized, made his First Holy Communion at St. John’s, and attended schools in Little Chute until the family moved to Freedom to take over the Randerson Family homestead farm. Gene attended St. Nicholas Catholic School (Freedom, WI) for seventh and eighth grades, graduating in 1944. Gene celebrated solemn communion and confirmation at St. Nicholas Catholic Church.
Gene attended Freedom High School, graduating in 1948. He was involved in basketball, boxing, baseball and musicals. He was the Junior Prom King and an excellent student. After graduation, Gene continued to farm with his father until he joined the U.S. Air Force. He served his country for four years during the Korean Conflict at Lockbourne, S.A.C. Air Force base, Columbus, OH, and was honorably discharged in 1956, just missing the birth of his first daughter.
Gene and Margaret Ann married during the Korean Conflict on August 4, 1955 at St. Nicholas while Gene was still in the Air Force and made their first home in Columbus, OH. Gene brought his bride back to Freedom after being discharged, and with the help of his father, Lee Randerson, Margaret Ann’s father, Joseph E. Garvey and close friend Lee Kabat, built their forever home on part of the Randerson Homestead.
Gene graduated from Green Bay Business College, holding down several jobs at a time, including the family farm, to keep pace with his and Margaret Ann’s growing family. Gene worked in the Insurance Field and in the Paper industry, using his accounting and supervisory skills, retiring in 1992. He was an active member of St. Nicholas, including singing in the church choirs, a member of the Fox Valleyaires Barbershop Chorus, the Freedom VFW and Knights of Columbus. He was an excellent dancer, learning from his mother in the kitchen of the farmhouse, and loved to hit the dance floor with Margaret Ann, his daughters and granddaughters.
Summers were spent at Kelly Lake, and once the new family cottage was built there, fall, winters and spring were also spent at Kelly Lake. It was all about family with Gene. Especially Thanksgiving; Randerson Family celebrations at Romy’s each and every Thanksgiving were legendary. Gene and Margaret Ann celebrated their 62nd Anniversary this past August. Gene’s 87th birthday party at Kelly Lake, large as usual, ended with him singing a rousing rendition of “I’m 87 years old”! Gene was an avid golfer, traveler, bowler, reader, bridge player and gardener. His experiences on the Old Glory Honor Flight were life changing. Let’s not forget his love of watching TV, especially sports! He passed on his competitiveness, even in dominoes, to all of us.
Margaret Ann has lost her rock, the love of her life. Neither ever wanted to be without the other. After kissing and saying goodnight to his bride, Gene rolled over and went to eternal rest.
Gene and Margaret Ann have six children, who will miss their Dad every day of their lives, especially all of the pranks he pulled: Mary Talbot (Marv), Tom (Jane), Jo Ann, Maureen Vanden Heuvel (Dan), Patti Peters (Randy) and Barb Gerritts (Tommy).
“Grampa’s” death has saddened 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; all a joy in his life: Dr. Lisa Talbot Schmitz & Keith – Colin, Brice & Carter Schmitz; Dena Talbot Richmond & Thomas – Kaelyn, Logan & Colt Richmond; Jon Talbot & Leslie – Eva & Lincoln Talbot; Melissa Talbot Boettcher & Dr. Brent – Harper, Elliot & Pierce Boettcher; Maggie Talbot & Bill Teunissen – Demi Talbot & Maddison Teunissen; Brooke Talbot & Sawyer Schultz; Cait Randerson St. George & Dr. Thomas – Greer St. George; Dr. Edward Randerson; MacKenzie Pecor Connors & Cody; Gard Pecor; Ariana Vanden Heuvel & Nick Tripoli; Kyra Vanden Heuvel; Sabrina Vanden Heuvel; Hannah Peters & Chris Thoenes; Gracie Peters; Joshua Gerritts & Victoria Schultz; Addie Gerritts & Branden Hebert; Cambria Gerritts; Raina Gerritts.
He is further survived by his brother-in-law Joseph D. & Betty Garvey and their sons, nephews Joe (Godson), John & Dan Garvey and their children.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents Margaret E. and Lee Randerson and his brother, Dr. Sherman J. Randerson.
We, Gene’s family, will remember him for his laughter, work ethic and the support he gave to each and every one of us. We will never forget that he was a creature of habit (a doughnut every morning and ice cream every night) how he clearly taught us right from wrong or how much he loved us.
Visitation will take place at the Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home, N3972 Columbia Ave., Freedom, from 3:00 p.m. until a parish prayer service at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Visitation will continue Wednesday morning at the funeral home from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. A Funeral Mass will take place at St. Nicholas Catholic Church at 12:00 noon on Wednesday. Full Military honors will be performed following the Mass by the Freedom VFW. Interment will be in St. Nicholas Cemetery. For online condolences, please visit www.verkuilenfh.com. Those wishing to honor Gene’s memory can make a donation to the St. Nicholas Capital Campaign Fund.