Gerald G. "Jerry" Backhaus, 79

Gerald G. "Jerry" Backhaus, 79, of St. Michaels, passed away on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at Kettle Moraine Gardens in Kewaskum with his family at his bedside.

He was born on June 19, 1929, in New Fane, the son of the late George J. and Frances (Staehler) Backhaus. The family later moved to St. Michaels where he grew up on the family farm.

On July 19, 1950, Jerry was united in marriage to Shirley M. Weber at St. Mathias Catholic Church in Nabob. The couple made their home in St. Michaels and raised six children. Shirley preceded Jerry in death on March 6, 1978. On August 15, 1987, Jerry was united in marriage to Betty (nee Berg) Jansen at St. Michael's Catholic Church in St. Michaels.

Jerry was employed by Pick Automotive of West Bend until 1978 and was a member of the 25-Year Club. He was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in St. Michaels, where he served on the church council and as a member of the building and maintenance committee. He was a member of Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend, the Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus Father Casper Rehrl Council 1964 West Bend, Our Lady of Holy Hill Assembly 1677, Moose Lodge West Bend 1398, Modern Wood-men, Boltonville Sportsman’s Club and a member of the Boltonville Fire Department and the water fight team, retiring after many years of service.

Jerry will fondly be remembered as an avid deer/turkey hunter and fisherman. He especially enjoyed spending time at his lake cabin up north fishing, visiting with the neighbors and just sitting on the deck either bird watching, feeding the ducks, feeding "chipper" the chipmunk or "taking 5." Jerry loved the game of baseball and was an avid Milwaukee Brewers fan, a loyal Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers football fan. He enjoyed woodworking and was quite a craftsman and artist in his day. Most of all, Jerry loved his family and will be deeply missed by all his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Betty; six children, Robert (Joanne) Backhaus of the town of Farmington, Steven Back-haus of St. Michaels, Joseph (Debra) Backhaus of Camp-bellsport, Michael (Laura) Backhaus of Cambridge Springs, Pa., Mary (Morris) Belger of Kewaskum and Christine (Kevin) Fay of Boltonville; nine grandchildren, Michelle Backhaus, Brian Backhaus, Melanie Backhaus, Mike (Melinda) Belger, Matt Belger (special friend, Rebecca), Marcus Belger, Korey Fay, Carissa Fay (special friend, Craig) and Colten Fay; three stepchildren, Gary (Julie) Jansen of West Bend, Sue (Mark) Hammen of Slinger and Carol (Paul) Zwack of West Bend; six step-grandchildren, Brad Jansen, Melissa Jansen, Aaron Hammen, Andy Hammen, Mathew Zwack and Peter Zwack; a brother, Harold Backhaus of St. Michaels; a sister, Marlene (Charles) Schaefer of Cedarburg; a brother-in-law, James I. Zautner of St. Michaels; a sister-in-law, June Somerfeld of West Bend, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

In addition to his first wife, Shirley, and his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by his stepfather, Teddy Schneider, a sister, Joanne Zautner; a sister-in-law, Frieda "Tootie" Back-haus; an infant brother, James; a nephew, David Backhaus; a niece, MaryAnn Schaefer; his parents-in-law, Joe and Anna Weber; two brothers-in-law, Kenneth Weber and Mark Somerfeld; two sisters-in-law and their husbands, Katherine (Lloyd) Roden and Erna (Alphonse) Peters.

A Mass of Christian burial for Jerry will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2009, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in St. Michaels, preceded by a Knights of Columbus Third Degree Memorial Prayer Ser-vice at 6:45 p.m. Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the parish cemetery.

Relatives and friends may call at the church on Friday from 4 p.m. until the time of the prayer service at 6:45 p.m. The Boltonville Fire Department will be present for an honorary walk through.

Memorials to KEYS (Kewas-kum Youth Scholarship) Fund or the charity of one's choice are appreciated.

The Miller Funeral Home in Kewaskum has been entrusted with Jerry’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at

Jerry’s family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of Kettle Moraine Gardens and Cedar Lake Health Care Center for the compassionate care provided to Jerry.