Herbert Gard Jr.

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Herbert Gard Jr., 84, Lena, was called home to God’s merciful presence on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at Unity Hospice, surrounded by his family.

Herb was born on Dec. 1, 1934, in Wauwatosa to Herbert and Edna (Pelczynski) Gard, grew up in Oconomowoc and was one of 16 children. Herb graduated high school from St. Francis Seminary and attended two years of college at the Seminary. Herb volunteered for the U.S. Navy and served the United States in the Navy for four years from 1954-58. He served aboard two destroyers, the USS De Haven and USS Frank E. Evans, which served extensively in the Pacific.

Herb deeply loved his wife, Dixie, whom he married on Aug. 19, 1961. Herb and Dixie lived in Milwaukee until they chose to raise their family on a farm in a small town and moved to Lena in December 1969. Herb and Dixie raised their eight children on their farm.

Herb absolutely loved fishing, especially with his kids or grandkids whom he taught many skills and life lessons about catching the big one. He was a deeply loving husband, incredible dad and joyful grandpa. Herb had a larger than life sense of humor and always wanted people to smile.

Survivors include Herb’s eight children, Kathy (Tom) Delwiche, John (Cate) Gard, Joe (Karen) Gard, Fred (Julie) Gard, Marie (Thad) Rezin, Ed (Michelle) Gard, Paul (Debbie) Gard and Deacon Peter (Sarah) Gard. Herb had 19 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren. Siblings Thomas (Linda) Gard, Jerome (Kim) Gard, Loretta (Mike) Repp, Claudia (Robert) Mooney, Gregory Gard, Theodore (Glenda) Gard, Daniel (Nora) Gard.

In addition to his loving wife Dixie Gard early this year, Herb was preceded in death by his father and mother and siblings Norbert Gard, Sr. Jane Marie Gard SSND, Clare Matteson, Dennis Gard, Johannetta Millot and three infant siblings.

Visitation was held at Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home, 438 W. Main St., Lena, from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation continued at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Lena on Friday morning from 9 a.m. until time of service. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. Friday morning at the church with Fr. Celestine Byekwaso officiating with numerous priests concelebrating and the assistance of his son Deacon Peter Gard. Herbert will be placed to rest at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Lena, where military honors will be given. Please visit RhodesCharapata.com to express online condolences.

In lieu of flowers, the family would ask memorials be offered to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion. Dad loved the Shrine, and a statue of the Sacred Heart of Mary from the Shrine was his guiding image on his final journey. Dad repeatedly prayed the Hail Mary and prayed for Mary’s intercession.

The family would like to thank Dr. Cynthia Lasecki and Dr. Saied Assef for their many years of exceptional love and care. Herb believed Dr. Hassan Tahsildar is one of God’s greatest gifts to him and that God gave dad extra years through these doctors love and care. We would also like to express our heartfelt love and respect to the staff at the Unity Hospice – some of God’s guardian angels on earth.