Dr. George F. Shiroda

April 28, 1930 - Aug. 17, 2009

Dr. George F. Shiroda, 79, of Sparta, passed away Monday, Aug. 17, 2009, under wonderfully kind care at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. George was born April 28, 1930, in Madison, the only child of George and Helen (Gonia) Shiroda.

He graduated from St. Ambrose High School and Gogebic Junior College in Ironwood, Mich. He received his bachelor and master degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and earned his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additional post graduate studies were taken at the University of California-Berkeley and Marquette University.

George and Beverley Deverell were married at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Ashland on Feb. 21, 1952.

George began his career as a teacher/coach in Barron. He also taught biology and coached in Baudette, Minn., Olivia, Minn, Edgerton and Neillsville before going into school administration. He was superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools from August 1964 until June 1966. At that time, the family moved to Sparta where he became the superintendent of the Sparta Area School District. He stayed in Sparta until January 1972 when he became a professor in the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee while he finished his doctorate studies in Madison. In 1974, he became assistant superintendent for business of the Waukesha School District. In 1983, he became superintendent of the Waukesha School District, retiring in 1990.

After retirement, he and Beverley moved to their new log home on Lake Nakomis that George had designed and helped build. In August 1994, he became interim superintendent of schools of Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua and stayed there until August 2000. After his second retirement, he and Beverley moved to Sparta to be closer to family.

During his career in education, George belonged to many service and professional organizations, which included nine years on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, as well as past president of the Waukesha Training Center Board of Directors. Most recently, he served as treasurer of the Sparta Public Education Foundation.

In his younger years, George played high school and college football, basketball and track. He enjoyed water skiing, downhill skiing and ski jumping. In his teen years, he worked and performed in a rodeo with his cousins in North and South Dakota. He also grew up working in his parents’ hotels with stints as a water safety instructor during the summer for several years. George was a member of the Michigan National Guard during his college years.

As a teenager, George started his lifelong hobby as an HO gauge railroader. He enjoyed more than 40 years of Canadian fishing trips with friends and family. George also enjoyed gardening, reading, creative writing, traveling with his wife, playing chess, cribbage and his harmonica. He was a very loyal Packers and Badgers fan.

George is survived by his wife, Beverley of Sparta; two daughters, Toni (Anthony) Polkoski and Tracey (Tom) Eddy, both of Sparta; two sons, G. Timothy (Cindy) of Elkhorn and Todd of Ripon; nine grandchildren; five stepgrandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several cousins; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Jayne Terese; his parents; and mother- and father-in-law.

Friends may call from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, at Lanham-Miller Funeral Home, Sparta.

A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with the Rev. James Leary, O.F.M. Cap., officiating. A celebration of life will follow the service at Jake’s Northwoods, Sparta. Burial will be at a later time in Holy Family Catholic Cemetery, Bayfield.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Sparta Public Education Foundation or the charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.

The Lanham-Miller Funeral Home, (608) 269-6666, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.