Patrick F. Gilson, 56, West DePere resident, died Sunday, May 6, 2012 at his home. Pat defied the odds and survived longer than predicted because his work here was not finished. He was born March 10, 1956 in DePere to Clarence "Pete" and Jean (De Bauche) Gilson. Pat attended St. Joseph Grade School in DePere and graduated from West DePere High School in 1974. He entered the U.S. Air Force serving during the Viet Nam era from 1974 until his discharge in 1978. While serving in the Air Force Pat received the Air Force Commendation Medal. Pat continued his education in Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, graduating in 1982. Upon graduation he began working with the Oshkosh City Police Department. Pat married the former Mary Brault on June 30, 1984 at St. Willebrord Catholic Church. In March of 1984 Pat began his career with the Brown County Sheriff's Department and remained with the department until his illness forced him to retire in 2011. Pat retired as a Patrol Sargeant, a position he considered to be the best job on the force because he loved working with his fellow officers. He served on the SWAT Team and the Honor Guard as well as the Snowmobile and Boat Patrol. In 1988 Pat received the officer of the year award for his dedication and service. Pat was an instructor at NWTC in the Criminal Justice Program and their Motorcycle Safety program. He enjoyed over 25 years at Lambeau Field, protecting the players, the fans and the visiting owners box. Pat was a member of the Viet Nam Veterans Post #224 and Old St. Joseph Parish. He was very humbled to be honored at the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer in 2011. Pat enjoyed spending time with his family, especially the family camping trips. His pride and joy were his children, Zachary and Rachel.
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He is survived by his wife Mary and their two children, Zachary and Rachel, all of West DePere; his parents, Clarence "Pete" and Jean Gilson, West DePere; his brother Tom (Jane) Gilson, Osceola, WI; two nephews and a niece, Scott (Megan) Gilson, Matt (Jenna) Gilson, and Sarah (Ryan) Gilbert. He is also survived by Mary's family.
He was preceded in death by his in-laws, Bill and Carol Brault.
Friends may call at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason Street from 4 to 8 pm Thursday. Visitation will continue after 10 am Friday at Old St. Joseph Church, on the St. Norbert College Campus, until the time of Mass. Funeral Mass, 11am Friday at the church with Rev. Jim Baraniak, O.Praem. officiating. Online condolences may be sent to Pat's family at www.prokowall.com. In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established for the children's education.
Pat's family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Green Bay Oncology, especially Dr. Thomas Saphner and Ruth Bloesel, NP, the nurses and staff at St. Mary's Hospital, the Heartland Hospice staff, especially Heidi Browne. A special thank you to Pat's sister-in-law, Sue Van Oss, for being there whenever the call was made and the many lifelong friends, neighbors and co-workers who supported them during this journey. Their prayers, care and consideration will always be remembered.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from May 7 to May 10, 2012