John E. Gerner, 86

John E. Gerner, 86, of West Bend passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. 

He was born on June 4, 1925 in West Bend, the only child of Walter and Rose (nee Kieckhafer) Gerner. John graduated from West Bend High School in the class of 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Following his return from the war, he attended Carroll College. On June 21, 1947, he was united in marriage to Carol Yahr. 

John joined the family business (Bend Industries) and played a key role throughout his 39-year career in the growth and success of the company. 

In his earlier years, he was an avid snow skier, water skier and tennis player. More recently his interests were focused on his woodworking. John was always eager to get involved and lend a helping hand at any time. He loved spending time with his family and friends. John was active at St. Johnís Church and School, Kiwanis, and volunteered with Bethesda and the Full Shelf Food Pantry. He led by example and will forever be remembered for his strong work ethic, generosity, humility and his ability to have a good time with any group. John was well respected, loved and viewed as a role model by his children. 

He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol Gerner of West Bend; five children, John (Karen) Gerner, Doug (Diane) Gerner, Mike (Claudia) Gerner, Jean (Dan) Daley, and Terry (Liz) Gerner; 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; three brothers-in-law, Fred (Mary Ann) Yahr, Allen (Audrey) Yahr, and Tom (Lora) Yahr; other relatives and friends. 

Funeral services in remembrance of John will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church, 809 S. 6th Ave., West Bend. Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the MyrhumĖPatten Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend and again on Thursday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. A lunch reception will follow the service. Entombment will follow in Washington County Memorial Park. 

Memorials in Johnís name to St. Johnís Ev. Lutheran Church or School are appreciated by the family. 

Online guest book and condolences may be found at