Obit: Ruesch, Gordon J. (1936 - 2018)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Gries, Johnson, Mauer, Miller, Palmer, Ruesch, Treu

----Source: The Hemer Funeral Home (Medford & Rib Lake, WI) 9/29/2018

Ruesch, Gordon “Gordy” J. (9 NOV 1936 - 26 SEP 2018)

Gordon “Gordy” J. Ruesch died on September 26, 2018 at Clark County Care and Rehab Center, under the care of Hope Hospice and Palliative Care.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday October 13, 2018, from 12:30 to 3:00 PM, at the Chelsea Conservation Club.

Gordy was born November 9, 1936, to George G. and Dorothy L. (Miller) Ruesch. He was a graduate of Medford High School and the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Gordy’s degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation reflected his lifelong love of the outdoors and the natural world. From the time he was very young, he spent many hours with his father and mother at the family cabin, exploring the woods and learning about the plants and wildlife. He was not just a visitor to the woods, he was a part of the woods.

His love of the outdoors extended far beyond the hunting he did as a teenager and young man. He enjoyed canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, winter camping, and wildlife photography, and he was happy to share his knowledge and joy with others, including his grandchildren. Not only did he treasure the northwoods of Wisconsin, he traveled to other areas of the country, especially the west, and to Costa Rica. He made almost yearly trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where his favorite trip started with a 2 1/4 mile portage into the first lake. Glacier National Park in Montana and Denali National Park in Alaska were two of his most loved places, with Denali offering wonderful opportunities and challenges for taking wildlife photos. He also enjoyed the challenge of getting good bird photos and made multiple winter trips to Florida and Texas in pursuit of the perfect bird photo.

Making firewood was a perfect reason to be out in the woods, especially in fall and winter. He treasured his daily strolls through the woods that he and Cathy shared for over twenty years, but he was equally happy just sitting in the woods enjoying the natural world around him. He was rarely without the company of his beloved dog, Sadie.

When he was not outside, Gordy was usually listening to Wisconsin Public Radio and reading, especially tales about Alaska and the Arctic. He often expressed his thoughts and feelings about nature as poems, written in his beautiful handwriting.

Gordy was a member of the National Guard. After teaching for several years, he drove truck and worked in the office of Bauer Trucking before retiring. He was a long-time member of the Chequamegon Bird Club and many other environmental organizations.

He is survived by his companion of many years, Cathy Mauer, his son, Parke (Krista) Ruesch, grandchildren, Maya Ruesch and George Ruesch, and his sister Ethel (Jack) Treu. He is further survived by his second wife, Janet Palmer, and stepchildren, Linda Palmer and Max Gries, and his first wife, Judy Johnson, as well as many other relatives and friends.

Protecting our natural world for future generations was especially important to Gordy. Donations in his memory may be made to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, (; the Friends of Boundary Waters Canoe Area (; or the Denali Education Center (

Hope Hospice provided support for him and his family and friends, as did the caring staff of Clark County Rehabilitation and Living Center.

Hemer Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.

Online condolences can be left at



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