Elsie A. Gerhardt, 81
April 7, 1935 ó Dec. 18, 2016
Elsie A. Gerhardt, 81, of West Bend, entered eternal life Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016.
She was born April 7, 1935, to the late Edwin and Viola (nee Benicke) Gerhardt on the family farm in Jackson. Elsie grew up in West Bend where she attended McLane School (K-6), St. Johnís Lutheran (7 and 8), and West Bend High School. She continued on to Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, for a bachelorís degree in education and later to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for masterís degrees in elementary education and as a reading specialist. For 53 years she taught in Lutheran schools in Chicago, Milwaukee and West Bend at St. Johnís Lutheran as well as seven summer sessions at McLane and Barton public schools. In 2008, the American Red Cross named her the Education Hero of Washington County.
During her teaching years she also started the Forensic Program at St. Johnís Lutheran and directed many student operettas, church programs and productions such as ďThe Sound of MusicĒ for Musical Masquers Community Theater. Her interest in drama also included acting on stage in high school, college and for community theatre. Elsie also spent 30 years (1982-2013) as the director of the West Bend Childrenís Theatre as well as serving on the Board of Directorís as the treasurer. Elsie also found time to travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and as many as nine trips to Europe. She also loved to travel to Door County and throughout the United States.
Those Elsie leaves behind to cherish her memory include her sister, Sandra Schupbach (Oshkosh); her brother, Arthur Gerhardt (Fond du Lac); nephews and a niece, Scott (Bonnie) Schupbach (Little Chute), Kirk (Valerie) Schupbach (Pulaski) and Amy (Jack) Coe (Oshkosh; great-nephews and great-nieces, David (Jessica) Schupbach (Little Chute), Kristin Moritz (Little Chute), William Schupbach (Pulaski) and Holly Schupbach (Pulaski); greatgreat- nephew and -niece, Brady Moritz and Jovie Schupbach: her longtime friend, Elfriede Bachmeier; and other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Clifford Schupbach and great-nephew, Gavin Schupbach.
A funeral service in remembrance of Elsie will be held at noon Thursday, Dec. 22, at St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church (809 S. Sixth Ave., West Bend). Burial will be at 3 p.m. at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Pleasant Valley Road, Jackson.
Visitation will be from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Myrhum-Patten Miller & Kietzer funeral Home (1315 W. Washington St., West Bend). On Thursday, Dec. 22, visitation will be at St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Bend from 11 a.m. until the time of service at noon.
Memorials to the George Mumm Scholarship fund, Lutheran hour, or the Aurora Health Care Foundation in Elsieís name are appreciated.
A special thank you from the family to the nurses and staff at the Aurora Medical Center, Hartford for all their help and care The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with Elsieís arrangements. Additional information and guestbook may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.