Edward Gessner, Jr.

ENDEAVOR  –  Edward Gessner, Jr., age 66, of  Endeavor, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

Ed was born in Portage on March 19, 1958, to Edward and Lura Gessner.  Ed was the eldest of six children.  He graduated from Portage High School, Class of 1976.

Ed married the love of his life, Kathryn North on May 12, 1984.  Together they were blessed with three daughters, whom Ed cherished, Erin Judd (Benjamin), Melissa Schanke (Michael II) and Anna Gessner (Kyle McDermitt).  Ed and Kathy enjoyed 40 wonderful years together – spending time with their family, visiting with friends, traveling and vacationing up north.

Ed worked at Burnstad’s, Owl’s Nest Cheese, and retired from the Portage School District in 2018.  With four girls in the house, Ed learned to love mowing the lawn – so much so that he worked for the City of Portage as his retirement “gig”.  He was a true outdoorsman – hunting and fishing were his favorite hobbies.  If the lakes could be frozen over 9 months out of the year, he would have been thrilled, as ice fishing was his favorite.  Ed enjoyed all Wisconsin sports – always knowing when the games were on and trying to watch them all.  Ed tended a gigantic vegetable garden and was well known for sharing the bounty.  His pies were legendary.  Although he had many passions, Ed found true joy in his family.

Ed’s pride and joy were his grandkids, Eli, William and Loretta Schanke and Roman and Olin Judd.  “Grandpa Ed” was always up for an adventure – fishing, hunting, vacations to Long Lake, attending their school/sports events, “ranger rides”, etc.  Spending time with his grandkids lit up his world and the kids are left with memories overflowing.

Ed’s character exemplified gentleness, kindness, love and generosity.  He will be dearly missed by many, including his special four-legged friend, Lena.

Ed is survived by his wife, Kathy;  mother, Lura Gessner;  daughters;  grandkids;  siblings, Tom (Jeanette) Gessner, Jon (Maureen) Gessner, Jackie Page, Jamie Gessner, and Gus (Dawn) Gessner; mother-in-law, Mona McTier; in-laws, Steve (Gwen) North and Janet (Steve) Banks;  many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Ed was preceded in death by his father, Edward Gessner, Sr., father-in-law, William McTier, infant grandson, Bryce Judd, brother-in-law, Bob Page and sister-in-law, Pat Gessner.  

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, with Fr. Randy Timmerman presiding. Inurnment will be at a later date in St. Mary Cemetery, Briggsville. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.

Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.