Granton “Honored Citizen”

Awarded to Marge Garbisch

Marge Garbisch honored in the Granton Parade

Marge Garbisch, long-time Granton resident, was named 2008 honored citizen of the Granton community.  She was chosen for this honor by the Granton Rotary Club. As recipient of this award, Marge will lead the Granton Fall Festival Parade Sunday Sept. 7.

The announcement of her selection came as no surprise to her family and friends. She represents the epitome of an outstanding community focused woman.  Rotary is proud to recognize her accomplishments.

Garbisch attended Marathon Schools and graduated valedictorian of her class.  She recently attended her 60th class reunion.  Garbisch moved to Granton when her parents, Laurence and Mabel Kirk, purchased the grocery and general merchandise store on the corner of First and Main streets in July 1948.  A young Granton man, Marvin Garbisch, caught her eye; they were married June 10, 1950.  The young married couple partnered with her parents in running the Friendly Way Store, which became a Gamble Store and Red Owl Grocery Store.  Garbisch fondly remembers the pleasant customers.  The store closed July 11, 1959, -- exactly 11 years to the day from when her parents purchased the business.  Besides running the store, Garbisch was doing bookkeeping and income tax counseling and preparation from their residence.  Garbisch Accounting was and is well known throughout central Wisconsin.  In 1961, Marge and Marvin bought the building from her parents.  The store was remodeled into living quarters and the family made this their home.

The Garbischs’ raised five children in Granton: Kirk (Katrina) Garbisch, Wrangell, AK; Elise (Steve) Wallick, North Bend, WA; Scott (Beth) Garbisch, Cornell; Vida Menne, Wayzata, MN; and Zoe Miron, St. Paul, MN.  They have 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Marge and Marvin Garbisch became licensed insurance agents, selling insurance coverage from their home office.  By this time, they had a diversified business.  Shortly after running for Clark County Clerk, she became village assessor in 1969.  Both Garbischs’ became real estate brokers in 1976 and Garbisch Realty was created.  The innovation of computers and better visual aids made it possible for Marge to continue the bookkeeping and income tax counseling and to add the sale of securities in 1985.  During tax season, Garbisch Accounting has as many as eight employees.

Poor eyesight didn’t diminish Marge’s spirit or determination to live her life to the fullest.  Marv, her husband and business partner died in 1989. She sold the accounting business in 1992 so she could be a candidate for Assembly seat representing the 69th Assembly District of Wisconsin. She is still called upon for tax advice by many clients, neighbors and friends.  Her service is certainly appreciated by many community residents.  She still owns and operates Garbisch Realty and Garbisch Accounting, Inc.  Her plans include expanding the number of tax returns she prepares this coming year.

Garbisch remembers with pride her 19years (1973 – 1992) as a Granton Public School Board Treasurer.  Marge said “I loved being a school board member; it was always a challenge and pleasure to accomplish projects that benefited our community students.”

During those years, the school board developed and oversaw two large building projects.  Marge enjoyed working with school administrators preparing and implementing yearly budgets and analyzing financial matters.  Laughingly, she said that a former Granton instructor told her that she signed his payroll check, assessed his home and prepared his income taxes so there couldn’t be much she didn’t know about him.  Garbisch fondly remembers attending the 1980 National School Board Convention in San Francisco.  Her board colleagues selected her as their representative for her expertise in handling the financial aspects of the building projects. Ordinarily a consulting firm would have been hired to prepare the report.

Besides being on the school board, she has always been considered a willing and ardent worker for community and Church organizations, from Granton Women’s Civic Club to Granton Rotary Club.  She is a member of Granton Lutheran Missouri Synod Church and assists Granton United Methodist Church whenever possible.

At the time the Granton Park was developed, Marvin and Marge donated the first electric score board for the ball park.  Then in 2000, the Garbisch families constructed a gazebo near the entrance of the park in honor of Gertrude Garbisch’s 100th birthday.  The community enjoys the air conditioning of the Southern Clark County Sportsmen Club that was given in memory of her outdoor sports loving husband.  She can always be counted on to support, promote and contribute to community events.

Garbisch stated her first love is bowling.  This year she bowled both the winter and summer league at Neillsville.  She also enjoys walking, biking and pottery wheel.

“We all (the Kirk family) loved Granton when we came to look at the store back in 1948 – because everyone was so friendly,” Garbisch shared.

“I have always believed that God put us on this earth to help each other.  I still enjoy doing tax papers because I love a challenge and it has always been a challenge – doing the best I can to help others with their tax situations.  Granton represents security to me.”


Granton Honored Citizen Marge Garbisch stands at the entry of Granton Public Schools where she was a member of the school board.  (Contributed photo)


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 3, 2008, Page 4

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, September 9, 2008

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, September 20, 2008

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