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Allen Gresch

1942 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Allen Gresch Obituary
Gresch, Allen

Allen J. Gresch "Al", 73, passed away at his home surrounded by loving family on March 5, 2016. At the time he was under the care of Interim Hospice after a year-long fight with a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Al was born on September 20, 1942 in Marshfield, but moved to Antigo at age two where he was raised. He was active in 4-H and forestry clubs, attended Peace Lutheran Elementary School and graduated from Antigo High School in 1961. He grew up in the midst of his family's agricultural implement business and started working in the company by sweeping the shop floor in grade school. By his senior year of high school he was known as one of the best baler mechanics in northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan. He went on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating in 1966 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering and in 1967 with a degree in Business Administration. He was active in Delta Theta Sigma, an agricultural professional fraternity, throughout his college years. During his last year at the University, he served as a research assistant in the College of Agriculture helping to develop equipment that would detect salmonella in factories that produced powdered milk. He also received an award for a foreign internship by the international business club, AIESEC.

Upon graduation, Al joined Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Illinois. He served four years covering Austria, Germany, and Switzerland as a service representative, living in Geneva and Munich. Upon return to Caterpillar Peoria, he continued to travel throughout the United States as a trouble shooter service engineer.

From 1977-1983 he returned to Antigo to join his brother in managing Gresch Implement Company, helping to move the dealership to a new location, build a much larger facility, and expand services. In 1983 he returned to the Caterpillar product by becoming the Engine Sales Account Manager for Fabco Equipment in Milwaukee. Upon moving to Wausau in 1998 he formed his own remodeling company, Renovation Services, restoring and remodeling homes from Wausau to Antigo, a pre-retirement job he dearly loved.

Al met his beloved wife Anna (Kramolis) in his second year at the University, marrying in 1966 at Dauby in Bayfield County. Together they teamed to form a most highly interesting and creative life, traveling the world, hosting foreign students and teachers, gardening, hosting dinner parties where Al became known as Anna's "sous chef," and especially spending time with children and grandchildren. When living in the Milwaukee area, Al served several years on the board of directors of the Milwaukee Jazz Experience, helping to bring famous jazz musicians to teach workshops to students in inner city schools. Throughout his life, Al fostered life's path for several young people, often either finding them jobs, teaching them how to work with tools, or hiring them directly so they could gain confidence in their abilities and expand to other careers.

Al was a creative person who enjoyed working with his hands, from building artistic pieces of furniture from the 20 species of wood in his beloved family forestland, to doing creative landscaping at his Rib Mountain home, to designing new inventions. He especially loved spending time at his Pickerel Lake cottage or in the Pickerel "200" (acres) as he referred to it, where he reveled in teaching his children and grandchildren about identifying the species, managing the forest, and preserving the environment. He enjoyed opening fishing weekend on the Cisco Chain of Lakes with the same group of friends from 1979 to 2014, having to miss this past year's weekend due to his illness. He will also be missed by his nephews in both Bayfield County and in Pickerel during deer hunting season. He was a voracious reader especially interested in history and engineering feats, with reading becoming a saving grace when he could no longer actively design and build projects during his cancer treatment. He was also an avid Packers and Badgers fan.

Al is survived by his wife of 50 years, Anna (Kramolis), his children Aaron (Kristi), Urbana, Illinois, and Elise (Chad Sachs), San Francisco, and five grandchildren, Samuel and Kate of Urbana and "Indy", Colter, and Yasmin of San Francisco; his brother William (Carol) Gresch, Antigo, and several nephews, nieces, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Helen (Hubatch) Gresch of Antigo.

A memorial service to celebrate Al's life will be held on Saturday, April 2, at 11:30 at the Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:30 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be contributed to scholarships for the Wisconsin Land and Water Youth Conservation Camp (for high school students) or the Sand Lake Conservation Camp (for middle school students) in Al's name.

Condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.

The family would like to commend the Interim Hospice team of Wausau and Dr. Ahuja, Dr. Barton and all the wonderful nurses and staff of Aspirus Wausau Cancer Center and oncology unit for their utmost caring and professionalism.
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from Mar. 30 to Apr. 1, 2016
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