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Dennis Gwidt, 66, of De Pere, died Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at home, surrounded by family, having lost a courageous battle with brain cancer. The son of the late Adam and Ione (Moesch) Gwidt, Dennis was born November 30, 1947 and was a graduate of Pulaski High School. He grew up on his family dairy farm in Pulaski. On January 19, 2000, he married the former Tracy Larsen in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Dennis served his country in the US Army and Army Reserves from 1967 to 1973. He worked for seven years at Packerland Packing Co., and for thirty five years as Transportation Specialist for ShopKo Stores. Throughout these years, Dennis maintained a perfect safety record. He was very proud of this. In his younger years, he was active in the FFA and 4-H. In addition, he enjoyed gardening, landscaping, snow skiing, kayaking, traveling to Florida and the Carolinas, and coffee clutching with anyone who would listen. Dennis always had a story to tell and some words of wisdom to share. If he just met you he would ask where you live and what your parents did, usually finding he knew someone in your life. He amazingly had the gift to remember these details each time he would talk with you.
He took great pride and care of his flower and vegetable gardens. He felt it was important for his children and grandchildren to understand how food could be grown. His flower gardens were immaculate, not a weed to be found. You could often catch him pulling a weed in your own garden, when he would visit. He spent countless hours landscaping. The beautification process was something that was very calming to him, he loved nature and to be outdoors. He had countless varieties of tulips, day lilies, rose bushes, hostas and ornamental grasses. His recent favorites were his sunflowers he would plant with Mitch each year and see how tall they could get. Dennis' landscaping talents were admired by many.
Dennis took great pride in his home, appearance and vehicles. He always left the house as a polished man, never leaving home before all the pieces of his outfit were ironed. His vehicles and home were just a meticulous as his appearance. He expected his children to follow his example. He often reminded his children and grandchildren that there was no excuse not to be clean, organized and tidy. He was proud to see this dominant trait had carried on to all of his children and grandchildren. He hoped, they too, took pride in their appearance and instilled the values of hard work and pride of taking care of yourself and your belongings. Dennis was genetically blessed with OCD tendencies toward cleanliness that he hopes will carry on for many generations to come.
Snow skiing was a hobby he introduced to his children and they shared with their children, too. There are many fond memories of ski trips to the Upper Peninsula with his children and wonderful old memories with his friends Norm and Dean. Dennis continued to explore new hobbies that included kayaking with his son, Mitch. These memories and experiences are invaluable. He loved sharing his stories of traveling to the south and touring as many lighthouses as he could find. He would often get off the beaten track and find "where the locals went" to indulge in southern hospitality. Dennis loved the beach. He would often remark about how he would love to walk the beach for miles. The warmth of the sun, the sounds of the ocean brought him great peace.
Dennis' family includes his loving wife, Tracy, his children: Tiffany (John) Foscato, Pulaski, Lisa (Jeff) Luedke, Green Bay, Mitchell Gwidt, currently residing at home. His grandchildren: Madalyn & Nick Foscato, Westin, Elaina & Harrison Gwidt, Colton Gwidt, Jack, Emma & Adam Luedke. Eight siblings: Pat Gwidt, Gary (Kathy) Gwidt, Sue (Tom) Kapla, Tom (Patty) Gwidt, Mike (Theresa) Gwidt, Tim (Mary) Gwidt, Mary Lynn Gwidt, Steve (Lynn) Gwitt, his in-laws: Carol and Butch Larsen, Mary (Kirk) Feyereisen, Terry (Mitch) Ottinger, Kurt Larsen, Tom Larsen, and many nieces and nephews.
His parents, Adam & Ione , his son, Jeffrey Gwidt, a granddaughter, Claire Gwidt and a brother-in-law, Jerry Pawelczyk preceded him in death.
Family and friends may call at RYAN FUNERAL HOME 305 North Tenth Street, De Pere from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Parish prayer service with family reflection will conclude the service at 7:30 pm. Visitation will continue after 9:00 am Friday, May 2, 2014 at Old St. Joe's Catholic Church on St. Norbert College Campus, De Pere. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am Friday at the church with the Very Reverend James Baraniak, O. Praem., Prior of St. Norbert Abbey, officiating. Full Veterans Rites will be accorded Mr. Gwidt at the church following the Mass. Entombment service will be held Friday afternoon. Please visit www.ryanfh.com to send online condolences to the Gwidt family.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a memorial fund has been established for Dennis' favorite charities and local food pantry, and an educational fund in his honor.
The Gwidt family extends a special thanks to the many friends of the family for all your love, support and prayers as he embarked on his journey. We would especially like to thank the staff at Green Bay Oncology, Dr. Anthony Jaslowski, Dr. Annik Des Jardin at Duke University, his co-workers who supported him throughout his treatment: Richard, Doc, Joe B., Lenny, Kurt, Dan, and Jeff. The staff at Brodhagen Dental Care for your flexibility, prayers and many meals, and the amazing staff at Heartland Hospice, especially Patti and Jenny for the comforting care that you provided Dennis!
Throughout his journey, Dennis never complained or succumbed to self-pity. He was an inspiration of strength, courage and wisdom to everyone around him. May God protect and comfort Dennis in His Arms as he enters Eternal Life.
Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory
305 North Tenth Street
De Pere, WI 54115
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Apr. 27 to May 1, 2014