Gahart “Gay” Phillip Sannes, 96, a humble man with a gentle soul passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2015.
The son of Emily nee Phillips and Knut Sannes of Scandinavia, he was a farmer, construction worker and father for most of his life. He met Henrietta Oyen at the soda fountain in the Rexall drug in Waupaca and they were married in 1944. They would be life-long friends who enjoyed entertaining and traveling together through 68 years of marriage. Hennie passed before him in 2013 and Gay passed on their 71st wedding anniversary.
They were parents to four boys, three girls. Some family by blood, others family by choice. He is survived by: Owen and Marlene Sannes, Gary and Pam Sannes, Mary Sannes and John Mosey, Jerry Hansen and Colleen, Bob and Roseanne Kent, Bob and Sandy La Mantia and Julie Hansen. Special nieces and nephews, Valerie McAuliffe, David Sannes and Kathy Tillman hold warm memories of summers spent on Gay’s farm. Gay had 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, a special great-niece and a close family friend that he counted among his family. His daughter, Kathy Hill, passed before him as did an infant grandson. He will also be kindly remembered by the 18 foster children whom he and Hennie sheltered in their time of need. He is also survived by siblings, Gordon (Joanne) Sannes and Nancy (Irwin) Johnson. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Kenneth, Truman and Norman.
Gay was a quiet man, but his passing left a moment of deafening silence until the good memories flooded in. He was a reader of all kinds of materials. Often better informed than those who were generations behind him. He was a man who loved to travel and his favorite destination was the western states. He was a brave man and his trips included one 1994 adventure to Wyoming in a 17 passenger van with 3 generations of Sanneses including combined in-laws and “out-laws”. He was a life-long Brewers and Packers fan and he enjoyed a yearly trip to a Brewers game with his grandchildren. His last game was this fall where the Brewer’s beat the Reds, 4-1. He was a horse lover and responsible for the equine addiction that runs in a strong streak through his family. He grew up driving horses on his parent’s farm. His brother Kenneth, referred to him as the “The Master” when it came to teamstering a difficult pair. He was a model for his family. His patience, stalwartness and kindness are traits that are to be strived for. He reaped a reward here on earth in the careful attention that he received from his daughters-in-law, Marlene and Pam, and his daughter Mary and his sons, Owen and John. He was cared for by them and was able to pass while in their loving care.
The funeral service will be Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 163 Laconia St, Amherst WI. The visitation will be immediately before the service at the church beginning at 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will be in the lower Amherst Cemetery. The Maple Crest Funeral Home of Waupaca is assisting the family with arrangements.