Gene B. Wittenberger

Gene B. Wittenberger, born Aug. 6, 1927, in Hartford, passed away Oct. 21, 2015, at the age of 88. Gene was the son of Calvin and Clara (nee Zimmerman) Wittenberger. Gene was a Hartford resident all his life. He graduated from Hartford High School in 1945, and went into the Army Air Force for 20 months. After service, he went to the University of Wisconsin. In 1949, he married his beloved wife Marjory (nee Matson) and they had four children, Cheryl (John) Greene, Wendy (Richard) Becker, Calvin (Linda) and Fred (Betsy). He was the grandfather of Shannon, Erin, Jay, Joel, Calvin, Kim, Luke and Adam. He was the great-grandfather of Abbey, Alena, Katelyn, Carter, Brooklyn, Lauren, Alyssa, Rachel and Payton. Gene is survived by his only sister, Lila Hayes. Gene was preceded in death by his great-grandson, Trystan, and brother-in-law, Ralph Hayes.

After serving in the Air Force in World War II, Gene joined his father in the automobile business in 1948. His father was a Chevrolet dealer since 1928. While in the automobile business, he became active in civic organizations. He was a charter member of the Hartford Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the original members of the Emergency Squad. He was an original member of the Hartford Foundation. He was a member of the American Legion from 1949. He was a 33rd degree Mason and belonged to the Hartford Lodge from 1954. He was a member of the Wisconsin Consistory, and a member of the Tripoli Temple. Gene was a proud member of the Hartford Rotary Club since 1956, and had the honor of most years of service. He was also a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also active in several automobile organizations.

In 1942, his father started the School Bus Service for Hartford and the surrounding area. Gene became manager of the school bus business and active in the Wisconsin School Bus Association for which he served on the board of directors for more 20 years, and served as president for two years. He was recognized in 1989 with a golden merit award, a highly honorable award for excellence of service, safety programs and outstanding demonstration of community responsibility.

Gene loved the automobile business and selling cars and trucks. He had a wonderful reputation of being fair and honest, and people had fun dealing him as much as he enjoyed selling.

Gene was a devoted husband and father. He loved his wonderful Margie, his wife for more than 66 years, and he was equally proud of his children. He and Marge enjoyed traveling, and loved their winters in their Arizona and Florida homes. They loved to dance and especially jitterbug, but had to slow down when they reached their 80s.

Gene was also a sports enthusiast, mainly as a spectator of football and baseball, but a participant of golf since he played on the high school golf team when he was 16. He still played well in his 80s.

Visitation will be Sunday, Oct. 25, from 1-4 p.m. at the Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home (226 S. Main St., Hartford). Funeral service will follow at 4 p.m. at the Funeral Home, with the Rev. Mike Bausch officiating. Interment will be 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Hartford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations could be made to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington County or the Hartford Rotary Club.

Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home is assisting the family: 262-673-4700 or online at