Frank J. Geisler, 96 of Wisconsin Rapids, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 14th at Arborwood Lodge assisted living. Friends and family will remember him as a devoted husband, nurturing father, proud grandfather, astute businessman, and a devout Christian.
Frank was born on July 23rd, 1924 in Chicago, IL to Frank W. and Vera (Christianson) Geisler. He attended grade school in Neillsville, WI and completed two years of school at Neillsville High School before he joined the war effort in support of World War II.
As a member of America’s Greatest Generation, Frank joined the U.S. Army in 1943. He earned a battlefield promotion to Sergeant and served with the 91st Infantry Division in Italy where he participated in the Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley campaigns from 1944 to 1945. After completing his military service in 1946, he returned home to Wisconsin Rapids and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1947.
Frank married his wife, Beverly Zager of Wisconsin Rapids, on July 1st, 1948 at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Frank began working at Consolidated Papers in 1946 as a painter but was called back to active duty with the U.S. Army in 1950 to support the Korean War. Frank and Beverly were stationed in Chicago until 1951, where he served as a military police officer. He received an honorable discharge and formal separation from the U.S. Army in 1951 at Fort McCoy outside of Madison, WI.
In 1958, Frank and Beverly opened Geisler’s Paint Store on Eighth Street in Wisconsin Rapids. Throughout the years they operated the store with an entrepreneurial spirit as the business expanded to include a Christian bookstore, framing services and crafts. The paint store remained an integral part of the family for many years.
Frank was a devout Christian and a life-long member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he served as an usher for more than 35 years. He was also an active member and local leader with the Boy Scouts of America from 1946 to 1990 and led multiple trips to the National Scout Jamboree. During one such trip in 1969, he and his Boy Scout Troop encountered a semi-truck accident where they secured the scene, administered CPR, and received a commendation from the Washington State Patrol for their efforts. In 1964, he was honored by the local Boy Scout Council with the Silver Beaver Award.
Frank and Beverly retired in 1987 and during the next twenty-two years they traveled extensively throughout the United States and visited 47 states, missing only Alaska, Hawaii and Rhode Island. Frank and his family spent many of their summers and almost every 4th of July at their cottage in Medford, WI. He enjoyed boating and fishing with his children and grandchildren. Frank was an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed fishing in the Boundary Waters, and was a member of both Ducks Unlimited and the Central Boaters Club.
During the winter months, Frank and Beverly spent their time on the gulf coast in Alabama. For more than twenty years, they enjoyed getting away from the cold Wisconsin winters and meeting new friends and convincing old friends to join them in Alabama. Frank never met a stranger, was a member of the Wisconsin Snowbird Club, and enjoyed organizing the weekly golf outings during the winter months.
Frank was a long-time member of Bull’s Eye Country Club and played regularly well into his 90s. He recorded a hole-in-one on the 15th hole, shot his age many times, and enjoyed golfing with friends and routinely beating his son-in-law and grandsons.
Frank is survived by his daughter, Lisa (Nolan) Dorshorst of Crossville, TN; his daughter-in-law Debra Geisler of Menomonee Falls, WI; four grandchildren, Rebecca (Jamie) Gehin of Hartford, WI; Chad (Lindsey) Dorshorst of Noblesville, IN; Rachel (Tim) Rabideau of Germantown, WI and Jason (Katie) Dorshorst of Valparaiso, IN; and seven great-grandchildren: Bradley, Addison, Parker, Grayson, Maddox, Maxten, and Everett.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister (Alice Gehrt), his brother (Walter Geisler), his devoted wife (Beverly) and his loving son (Bradley).
A public viewing for family and friends will be held on Sunday, May 23rd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home, 2201 Chestnut Street in Wisconsin Rapids. On Monday morning, a viewing will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Frank will be laid to rest at Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Rev. Kevin Ader will officiate. The family requests that facial coverings be worn for the visitation and the service.
Memorials may be made in honor of Frank’s memory to the Immanuel Lutheran School Endowment Fund and Heartland Hospice.
The family would like to thank the staff at Arborwood Lodge along with Heartland Hospice for the wonderful care Frank received.
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