Gene D. Dempsey

June 18, 1927 — Oct. 14, 2014

A Mighty Oak in the Dempsey family tree fell on September 27, 2014. Gene D. Dempsey, 87, of Helenville, was received into the peace of eternity on October 14, 2014, at University Hospital in Madison.

Born on June 18, 1927, in Everly, Iowa, to Francis and Mabel (Jelden) Dempsey, he married LaVerne Lannewehr on September 16, 1950, in Milwaukee. She preceded him in death on April 4, 2008.

They started their life together on Honeymoon Hills Mink Ranch in Eagle. They moved to Helenville in 1966 to establish what the family knows as “The Farm.” For Gene, the harvest is done at the farm, he loved to share the produce of his garden and fruit trees, along with conversation, auctioning, bartering and “stuff like that.” He will be missed by many.

He was a member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sullivan.

He served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, serving first in the Atlantic Theater in France, then passing through the Panama Canal on his way to the Phillipines in the Pacific.

Gene was employed by Stoppenbach Meats (now Tyson Foods) in Jefferson for many years.

Surviving branches of the family tree are four sons, Peter (Cheri) Dempsey, Mark (Kathy Munro) Dempsey, Brian (Cindy) Dempsey and Eric (Sandra Carmichael) Dempsey, all of Jefferson; one daughter, Jessica (David) Clark of Waukesha; 19 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; sisters Doris Talmadge of Milwaukee and Alli (Harry) Pierce of Texas; brother Russel (Rene) Dempse of Texas; sister-in-law Sandy Dempsey of California; brother-in-law Milton Baas of Muskego; and many nieces and nephews. Gene will miss the arrival of two great-grandchildren and his first great-great-grandchild.

He also was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Gary Dempsey; one sister, Joyce Rehfeldt; sisters- in-law Audrey Baas and Bonnie Christianson; brother- in-law Roger Christianson; and great-grandson Keegan Peter Kienbaum.

Funeral services will be held 5:00PM Friday, October 17, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sullivan with the Rev. Dean Zemple officiating. Following cremation, burial will take place in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Friday, Oct. 17, from 3:00 PM until the time of services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the church or the charity of one’s choice.

Many words of thanks to the caring staff at University of Wisconsin Hospital Neuro ICU and Palliative Care Services.

The Olsen Funeral Home in Jefferson, 920-674-4300, is assisting the family.