WAUKESHA

John Rocco Gerstl

Aug. 12, 1961 - Aug. 3, 2007

John Rocco Gerstl of Waukesha was born to eternal life Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, at his home at age 45. After a six-year battle with cancer that was courageously and valiantly fought, John left peacefully to be with the Lord. John was born in Milwaukee on Aug.12, 1961. He grew up in Pewaukee and graduated from Pewaukee High School in 1979. In 1981, he met Sheryl Ann Hagerstrand, and on April 28, 1984, they were united in marriage at Peace Lutheran Church in Sussex. John also attended Waukesha County Technical College and in 1988, earned his real estate license.

John will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 23 years, Sheryl; his precious children, Laura Beth, 21, Julie Ann, 17, and Paul Bryan, 15, of Waukesha; his father and stepmother, John and Evelyn Gerstl of Lomira; his stepmother, Sandra Campbell of Phoenix; his sister, Heidi (Michael) Doughty of Waukesha; his mother and father-in-law, Milton and Marilyn Hagerstrand of Waukesha; his brother-in-law, Brian (Marie) Hagerstrand of Waukesha; and his aunts, Renee (Bill) Shopp of Island Lake, Ill., and Karen (Chuck) LeDuke of Phoenix. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Lenore Gerstl and Violette and Harry Jaeger; his aunt Lois Picciolo; and his godfather, Vic Picciolo.

For nearly 26 years, John worked for Empire Level Manufacturing as a manufacturing supervisor. Additionally, he formerly worked part time for Bielinski Reality in Waukesha. John was a member of St. Lukeís Lutheran Church in Waukesha, where he loved to attend the early service and volunteer as a van driver.

John was always involved in his childrenís lives with coaching, volunteering as a 4-H leader and many other activities. Since 2005, John and Sheryl have been caring foster parents for special needs children.

In his free time, John loved to watch sports, especially football and basketball. He was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers athletics and Marquette basketball. For the past 10 years, John loved participating in a fantasy football league, where he always came in first or second place. He loved to go camping with his family, take his dogs for a walk, play card games and play basketball. John was always known as a very fun, competitive person. John is known to his family, friends, co-workers and neighbors as a generous, caring, thoughtful and dedicated spirit. John was a very hard-working person who was proud that during his first 20 years at Empire, prior to being diagnosed with cancer, he never missed a single day of work. The strong and faithful way John fought and persevered throughout his illness had been a source of encouragement and hope for others.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. today, Aug. 7, at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. A second visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the noon funeral service Wednesday, Aug. 8, at St. Lukeís Lutheran Church, 300 Carroll St., Waukesha, with the Rev. Gary Liedtke and the Rev. Brad Brown officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Prairie Home Cemetery. Everyone is invited to return to the church after the burial for a catered lunch from Johnís favorite restaurant.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the family to be used for an education fund for Johnís children.

For more information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035, or visit www.waukeshafunerals.com to leave an online tribute.