Gene Basil Edgette

July 8, 1921 - July 14, 2007

Gene Basil Edgette of Pewaukee passed away peacefully with his wife by his side Saturday, July 14, 2007. He was born July 8, 1921, in Lake Nobagamon.

He was the beloved husband of 58 years to Beatrice; devoted father of Mark (Dianne), Michael (Mary Kay), Bonnie Colle and Joy (Todd Lapacz); proud grandfather of 10 grandchildren, Crystal (Nate Curry), Daniel, Michael, Emily (Christopher Scheffelman), Kathryn, Tamara, Heather, Joshua, Ryan and Ryley; and one great-granddaughter, Ella Scheffelman. Gene turned 86 on July 8, 2007.

He loved fishing. Born in a log cabin on the Brule River, and the son of a fishing guide, trout fishing was part of his family life. His parents, Ray and Agnes Edgette, had nine children. During World War II, there were five Edgette brothers serving at the same time. The sixth younger brother served in the Korean War and died in service to his country. Gene was a decorated Air Corps man and his name and his brothers can be seen at the Bong Memorial Center in Superior. Gene played baseball with Dick Bong when they were kids!

Gene received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and spent his junior year at Columbia University in New York. He obtained a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did post-graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Gene came to Pewaukee in 1951 as an eighth-grade teacher. He had 35 students (including eight repeaters). The superintendent of schools was L.E. Houle and the county superintendent, Winston Brown, supervised the schools through CESA, the Cooperative Education Service Agency. There was no elementary principal at that time. In 1953, Gene became the first elementary school principal. In 1954, rooms were added at each end of the elementary school building. Up until then, children had classes in the Baptist church, the Masonic Temple, the Methodist church and the Episcopal church. In 1960, Duplainville was added to the Pewaukee School District. The Wisconsin Legislature placed all school districts into high school districts, so plans for a new high school began. The school rented a room above what is now the Aurora Pharmacy for planning with the architect. In 1968, the new high school was completed and the old high school became the middle school in the early 70s.

In 1967, Gene had two jobs in one: the first assistant superintendent and curriculum director. Orrin Voigt was the superintendent at that time and Gene remained there until 1975 when he became the superintendent of schools. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1982.

Gene was a charter member of the Zion Presbyterian Church on Silvernail Road. He served on many positions in Church Life. He served for many years on the Pewaukee Lay Council and on the Pewaukee Police Commission, as well as the Kiwanis Club.

Bea, a Hartland first-grade teacher, and Gene spent many weeks traveling the states with Elderhostel programs after they retired. The last 20-plus years they spent June and August weeks at their beloved timeshare in Door County near Baileys Harbor.

Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until the 3 p.m. memorial service Saturday, July 21, at Delafield Presbyterian Church on Highway C.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Zion Presbyterian Church, Pewaukee, and the Gene Edgette Scholarship at the Pewaukee High School Scholarship Fund would be appreciated.

Our heartfelt gratitude is extended to the wonderful nurses, certified nursing assistants and staff at Care-Age of Brookfield Nursing Home and the caring, loving helpers from VITAS Hospice. Both gave Gene and Bea spiritual and physical help during the past two years. Thanks to the many loyal friends in our lives!

Harder Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 781-8350 or visit online at