Alton G. Gigstead
Alton G. Gigstead died on October 31st, 2013 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, WI. Alzheimer's crept into his fit and healthy body in his late 70s. It spent over a decade devouring his intelligence, his memory and decision-making, his gregarious personality and his ability to care for himself. Alzheimer's took the light out of his bright blue eyes, kept them closed, and erased his smile. Although speech was lost for Al, when being touched and talked to, he responded with comforting sighs and a firm squeeze of his hand.
Al was born to Mabel and Oscar Gigstead in Door County, WI, January 3rd, 1923. He was a pilot in the Air Force during WWII
. In 1946 he married Myrtis Brown of Great Falls, S.C. They had one child, Enid Rae. Al and Myrtis spent most of their married life in the Fox Cities. Myrtis preceded him in death on Valentine's Day of this year. Al loved antique cars, reading, music, and crossword puzzles. He collected and read classic literature. If you were lucky, he would have his harmonica in his pants pocket. Al memorized poetry, always ready for a challenge to recite. His daughter and granddaughters were quickly and lovingly corrected if their grammar slipped by his high standards. When he wasn't working he would scout rummage sales for treasures such as trumpets, guitars and an accordion, always convinced that one day he would learn to play. Throughout his life he remained a devoted husband, the world's number one daddy, coolest grandpa, and loving great-grandpa. Everyone loved Al.
Alton is survived by his daughter Enid McNeely, granddaughters Kate Kassien (Josh Lenius) and Emily (Erik) Hooverson, and two great-grandsons Henry and Elliot Hooverson. He is also survived by his sister Betty (Mark) Stoeger, brother Earl (Bud) Gigstead, and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Alton made many friends at the Veteran's Home in King, WI. The staff commented on his clever witticism, sunny personality, and love of singing. The family thanks the caring staff of MacArthur Hall, second floor. In particular, thank you to Ginny who sang and played guitar to Al just hours before he died.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM at the Wisconsin Veterans Home - Main Chapel in King, WI, with Chaplain Wayne Schwanke officiating. A visitation will be held at the Main Chapel from 12:30 - 1:30 PM on Tuesday. Military Honors and interment will follow in the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, WI.