Gene Emil Musolf Ph.D.
1929 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Gene's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Gene Emil Musolf, PhD

Wausau - Gene Emil Musolf, PhD, of Wausau, WI, died at age 91, on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at Chelsea Retirement Community-Glazier Commons in Chelsea, MI. He was born on January 8, 1929 in Altoona, WI to Emil and Marjorie (Paddock) Musolf. After graduating from Altoona High School and Eau Claire State Teachers College, he earned a Master of Science degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He served in the Army from 1953 to 1955 at Fort Knox, KY and Fort Story, VA. From 1955 to 1991, he taught Geography and Geology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and University of Wisconsin - Marathon County in Wausau. In 1970, he earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. On August 13, 1958, he married Beatrice Ann Harck of Chippewa Falls, WI, and she preceded him in death in 2015. Survivors include his sister, Mary Martin, of Ionia, WI; children, Karen Musolf-Mortensen (Richard) of Dexter, MI, Wayne Musolf (Micky) of Chula Vista, CA, Janet Guyette (David) of Santa Monica, CA, and Gail Hansen (Del) of St. Paul, MN. He was the grandfather to Alex and Christine Mortensen, Brett and Marc Musolf, Sam and Jake Guyette, and Evelyn Hansen. Gene was preceded in death by his brother, Jack Musolf, sister-in-law, Donna Musolf, and brother-in-law, Frank Martin. Gene was deeply involved in the Wausau community, serving both on the school board and on the Birch Trails Girl Scout Council Board of Directors. He was a long-time member of the Elks Lodge #248, where he ran the Elks' Hoop Shoot for many years. He was actively involved in the building of the Marathon County section of the Ice Age Trail, and led informational hikes along the trail. Gene and Bea were also long-time members of the Nature Conservancy, Friends of Rib Mountain, and the Door County Land Trust. He greatly enjoyed golfing and did it frequently until his last few years. A Memorial Service will be arranged at a later date. Memorial contributions for Gene may be made to the Door County Land Trust, Arrangements by Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home, Chelsea, MI,

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Wausau Daily Herald from Apr. 6 to Apr. 12, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home Inc
Not sure what to say?
8 entries
April 10, 2020
I was a student of Dr. Musolf's from 1976-78 at UWMC. He was one of the VERY best educators I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was tough, his classes were extremely rigorous, and he expected his students to know everything he taught. Everything. It was that German mentality, I guess. Being German myself, I took to it. He taught me more in those four geography classes than anyone else ever could have.

Since then, spurred on by Dr. Musolf's enthusiasm for the field, I have become a Geography professor and now I am (proudly) the Gene Musolf of my Geography faculty. I still tell my students and colleagues that those classes he taught were far more thorough than anything taught today in geography departments (mine included!).

I offer my condolences to the family, and especially to Karen, who I got to know as a friend so many years ago. Your father, brother and grandfather was a really special guy. Kind of like a kaiser roll - tough on the outside but soft on the inside.

Gene was a great man, and even though it was 30 years or more since I last saw him, I still think of him often - just last week in fact. We can all aspire to a life as full as his must have been. My only regret is that I live so close to Chelsea now and I never knew he was there, or I surely would have been an occasional visitor.

Rest in Peach Dr. M. You had so much to do with making my life what it is today.

OK. One last story; I tell my students in every class I have ever taught, on Day 1, how I came to be a Geography professor. I tell the story of that underachieving high school graduate on his very first day of college, with Dr. M at the front of the room - my very first class. So, class gets over. I go home and tell my dorm roommate Steve that I had figured out what I wanted to be in life - a Geography professor. He said, "What?! Why?". I responded, "Hey, this geography professor I just had seemed really cool and so I checked it out, he only teaches two classes a semester. I can do that!"

Thank you thank you thank you Dr. Musolf.
Randy Schaetzl
April 9, 2020
I spent many many hours playing basketball with Gene. He was an intense and very good player just as he was an intense and excellent teacher. But we did joke around a lot also. The proudest moment of my college career was when he broke decorum and called me by my nickname in class. Everyone was stunned. I am proud to have known him and extend my condolences to the family.
Donald Midlikowski
April 9, 2020
I spent many many hours playing basketball with Gene. He was an intense player just as he was an intense teacher but we also joked around a lot. I was proud to have known him. I extend my condolences to the family.
Donald Midlikowski
April 9, 2020
Spent many Sunday's at the elks watching packer football games with Gene and friends, always entertaining and rarely a dull moment. Will miss him and Bea.
Jim Beese
April 8, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the family of Gene. We became acquainted with Gene and Bea when Dale was teaching at Wausau East High School many years ago. Sincerely, Jean and Dale Langbehn, Weston WI
Jean Langbehn
April 8, 2020
My deepest condolences. Dr. Musolf was a teacher of mine at the University of Wisconsin - Marathon County. He was one of my best teachers. His loss will be surely felt by many.
Sheila Duranceau Stafford
April 8, 2020
RIP Gene. You were always there when needed. You & Bea did so much for and with the Elks. Please say Hi to Tom for me. The memories I have will help to ease the pain of your loss.
Jean Finley
April 8, 2020
It is with great sadness that we send our sincere condolences to Gene's family. May Gene RIP
A"s a long time fellow Elk Mary Lou and I share many memories on the local and State level.
richard kohlbeck
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences