Albert Christopher Gehl, 102
Albert Christopher Gehl passed away Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at the Milwaukee Catholic Home at the age of 102. He was born Aug.17, 1909, in West Bend, the fifth child of John and Mary (nee Thoma) Gehl. He attended Holy Angels grade school and graduated from West Bend High School in 1927. During the summer of 1927 he attended the Citizens Military Training Program at Ft. Sheridan, IL.
He served an active and involved life in the community. In 1931 he graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration and a major in accounting from Marquette University. He began working at the Gehl Bros. Manufacturing Company. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served 3 years, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
On May 26, 1945, he married Lorraine Winter. After returning to West Bend he became the general manager of Gehl Bros. and was named to the board of directors in 1952. He served as president of the company from 1969 until 1972 at which time he retired from the company and became Chairman of the Board until 1977.
He led Gehl Company involvement in the community programs and promoted employee involvement in civic and service organizations. He was active in the Farm Equipment Institute, was the past Secretary of the West Bend Rotary Club, past Grand Knight of the Fr. Casper Rehrl Council 1964 Knights of Columbus and served as a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank (M&I Bank) in West Bend from 1950 until 1980. He was the past Treasurer and Trustee of St. Frances Cabrini Church for many years. Al promoted drives for Marquette University in Washington County. In 1982 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow.
Albert has been a resident of the Milwaukee Catholic Home since 1996.
He is survived by his 2 daughters: Kathy Knutel and Carol Gehl, his granddaughters and their husbands: Lori (Fred) Wells and Lynn (Rob) Villaflor and his great-grandchildren, who were a delight to him in these last years: MacKenzie and Ty Wells and Maia, Cole and Kai Villaflor. Another great-grandchild is expected in December. He is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Al is preceded in death by his wife Lorraine in 1980, his parents, John and Mary Gehl, his brothers Richard, Mark, Frank and Carl, his sister Anita and his son-in-law Ron Knutel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in West Bend with the Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding. Burial will be in Holy Angels Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, at the church only from 9:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Albrecht Free Clinic, the Milwaukee Catholic Home or St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.
The family wishes to express gratitude for the devoted home health aides who cared for him in his last years: Elouise, Joyce, Betty, Juanita and Kattie and to the Milwaukee Catholic Home.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family.
Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.