Gerald F. Barden, 95, formerly of Amherst, died October 3, 2011 at Iola Living Assistance with his granddaughter holding his hand. He was born on December 29, 1915 in Buena Vista, Wisconsin, the son of Forest and Pearl (Fletcher) Barden. Gerald attended Pleasant Valley School and Flemming’s School. He graduated high school in 1933. On November 5, 1941 Gerald married Esther Teschner in the Town of Amherst. Together they enjoyed many years of gardening, camping, and fishing. Esther preceded him in death on March 12, 1983. In 1980, Gerald retired from the Tomorrow Valley Co-op as a fuel truck driver after 37 years. Many long-time friendships were formed with Gerald delivering fuel to Rosholt, Waupaca, Scandinavia, Ogdensberg, Plover, and the Amherst area. After retiring he continued his hard work dehorning cattle for local farmers and traveling to Nebraska to visit his daughter, Barb, and her family. Gerald was awarded many trophies for his horseshoe throwing and pool shooting skills while partnering with his brother-in-law, Leonard Teschner, at Junction Bar. Perhaps Gerald’s most loved sport was deer hunting. With 75 seasons of deer hunting, Gerald enjoyed heading out to the woods with his daughter, Janice, to his nephew, Charles Barden’s land. Along with deer hunting, he enjoyed taking his granddaughter, Jenny, squirrel and rabbit hunting with one of his prized beagles. In 1984, Gerald began dating Pearl Patoka. For 24 years, Gerald and Pearl enjoyed each other’s company by square dancing, bowling, gambling, and taking trips to California, Las Vegas, and Florida. Pearl preceded him in death on March 17, 2007. Gerald was a lifelong member of Peace Lutheran Church, Amherst and of the Tomorrow River Conservation Club. Gerald is survived by his two daughters, Janice (Syl Kvaley) Calvey of Amherst, Barbara (Kevin) Hatch of Omaha, NE; four grandchildren, Jennifer (David) Tovar of Oshkosh, Shawn (Christina Kelly) Elkins, Shane (Leesa )Elkins, and Tiffany Hatch all of Omaha, NE; four great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; his brother Franklin “Bud” (Ann) Barden of Almond and numerous nieces and nephews. Gerald has also been blessed with a wonderful extended family consisting of two daughters, Carol (Ronnie) Shulfer of Amherst and Bonnie (Bob) Patoka of Minocqua; two sons, Wayne (Bonnie) Patoka of Amherst and Tom Patoka of Florida; five grandchildren Steve (Nikki) Shulfer of Middleton, Rebecca (Nate) Menzel of Stockbridge, Chad (Hayley) Patoka of Stevens Point, Jeremy Patoka of Stevens Point, and Karmen Patoka of Fremont and seven great-grandchildren. In addition to Esther and Pearl, Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Wayne, Roy, Charles; six sisters, Mae, Myrtle DeLong, Viola Lorek, Gladys Floistad, Hazel Teschner and Lorraine and his son-in-law, Tom Calvey. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11 AM at Peace Lutheran Church in Amherst, with the Rev. Dwight Anderson, officiating. Interment of cremains will be held at a later date at the Oak Grove Cemetery, Town of Amherst, Portage Co., WI. Visitation will be held on Saturday, from 9 AM until the time of the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Peace Lutheran Church. The Jungers-Holly Funeral Home of Amherst is assisting the family with arrangements.
The family would like to thank Iola Living Assistance and Pastors Gretchen and Dwight for their thoughtfulness and compassion in his last hours. Also thanks to the staff at Living Oaks, neighbors, family and friends who visited Gerald the last three years he was no longer in his home. Gerald will be remembered for the twinkle in his eye, the smile on his face, and the sunshine he brought to those around him.