Obit: Gilberg, Michael J. (1952 - 1975)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gilberg, Albrecht, Gordon, Gorski, Johnson, Haller, Anderson, Hake, Zank, Eddy, Gress, Pagenkopf, Counsell, Madland

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/15/1975

Gilberg, Michael (3 January 1952 - 1975)

His love of hot cars and especially that for the 1970 Mercury Cougar he drove was the death of Michael J. Gilberg, 23-year-old Neillsville milk hauler.

Gilberg was injured fatally shortly before midnight last Thursday when he lost control of his car on a curve on County Trunk B, six miles southwest of the junction with Highway 10 at Wildcat Inn. The car rolled over twice, and he was found lying 512 feet from the first skid marks at the beginning of the curve at the Edlen Cranberry marsh entrance and 24 feet from the wreckage.

County Traffic Officer Louie Albrecht, who investigated, reported his opinion that the accident was the result of “excessive speed.”

Gilberg was removed by ambulance to a Marshfield hospital, where he was reported “dead on arrival.” He suffered a crushed head and chest injuries.

Gilberg’s friends reported that he was “a nut” on the use of safety belts. The belt which had held him in the car had been pulled from its floorboard moorings, indicating that there had been an extreme amount of pressure.

A number of stereo tapes which he carried in the car were spilled and thrown in the area. Their plastic cases were cracked and broken, and traffic officers reported that the tapes “looked like birds’ nests.”

A number of local friends who had ridden with Gilberg since he got the hot 1970 Mercury, said that he liked to travel fast. He was reported to have told a friend in a Humbird tavern just before he left that evening that he would “telephone you from Neillsville in five minutes.” It is about 11 miles from the Humbird tavern to the Wildcat Inn and six miles farther into Neillsville.

While Gilberg had spent some time in a tavern just before the accident, and there was some odor of alcohol, it was not believed that alcohol played any part in the accident. He was known as a moderate drinker who was careful about the amount of liquor or beer he consumed because of the severe effects it had on him afterward.

Funeral services were held in Black River Falls Tuesday afternoon, with the Rev. Herman Madland officiating. Burial was made in Riverside Cemetery there. Pallbearers were: Johnny Hake, Dale Zank, Ronnie Zank, Dennis Eddy, Monte Gress and John Pagenkopf, all young friends of the Neillsville area.

A former resident of Sunburst Home here, Gilberg was born January 3, 1952, in Eau Claire. He lived in Neillsville for the last five years, graduating from Neillsville High School and working on the Jack Counsell farm during much of the time he was here. He bought his milk route from Counsell.

Surviving are: his mother and step-father, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Gordon of Black River Falls; his father, Palmer Gilberg of Centerville; four sisters: Mrs. John Gorski of Hawaii, Mrs. Lance Johnson of Blair, Judith and Vicky Gilberg, both of Black River Falls; three brothers: Donald, serving with the Army at Fort Riley, Ks., and Timothy and Thomas, both at home; a half-sister, Lori Gordon, at home; and two half-brothers: Larry Haller and John Gordon, also of Black River Falls; his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mabel Anderson of Chippewa Falls; and his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Emma Gilberg of Centerville.




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