Harry W. Kasten

Harry Walter Kasten, 90, a longtime resident of Cecil, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on May 15, 2018. Harry was born in Gillett on Aug. 13, 1927, to Harris and Evelyn Brown Kasten. After his mother’s passing shortly after his birth, Harry was raised for his first six years by his aunt Nora Kasten Larsen and her husband, Warner, of Gillett, before returning home to work the family farm in the Town of Gillett. He graduated from Gillett High School in 1946 and married Ora Fuller of Oconto Falls in 1950, having four sons. In 1978, he married Nancy Strassburg Rogge, of Gillett, and enjoyed an adventurous, loving 40-year marriage.

Harry was employed in trucking and sales throughout his working life, starting as a driver for the old Oconto Brewery and then as an OTR driver, delivering military aircraft wing panels from a production plant in Upper Michigan to California. For many years, he owned Kasten Oil Company of Gillett, a Mobil Oil distributorship, and later leased trucks to lumber mills in Suring and Long Lake and to the then-Country Gardens canning company of Gillett.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman, roaming the corn fields of Oconto County and the forests of Florence and Forest counties for over 50 years. Harry was also an enthusiastic backer of the World Champion Green Bay Packers. He was deeply involved in his community, including the Gillett Sportsman’s Club, the Gillett City Choir, and the Gillett Parent Teachers Association. For 11 years, he was scoutmaster for Gillett’s Troop 35, Boy Scouts of America. Five young men achieved Eagle Scout while he was their leader. Harry also served as chair of the city of Gillett Board of Public Works and mayor of the city of Gillett for five terms. He was elected to the Oconto County Board of Supervisors and for many years served as undersheriff for Oconto County. For five years, he was president of the Oconto County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Following his retirement, Harry and Nancy began journeying south to Wagon City North Park in Mission, Texas, during the cold Wisconsin winters, and for 29 years enjoyed warm Texas winters and warm Wisconsin summers. While in Texas each winter, he again became involved in his park community, serving as activity director, vice president, and then president of their subdivision governing body.

Harry is survived by his loving wife, Nancy; their beloved dog, Calli; three sons, Ronald (Chris) of Eagle River, Alaska, Dean (Judy) and children and grandchildren, of Verona, and Bruce, of Dodgeville; sisters, Velma Yancy, of Kiel, Leola Schneider, of Gillett, and Lynn (John) Seiltz, of Greenleaf; brother George (Carol) Kasten, of Columbus, Kansas; sister-in-law, Marge Kasten, of Gillett; and a host of cousins, and generations of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Norman; brothers, Ernest and David; brothers-in-law, Bud Yancy and Kenneth Schneider; and sister-in-law, Kathy Kasten.

Harry’s family wishes to thank the many family and friends who came to sit, talk and keep them company, as well as the staff at ThedaCare At Home hospice for keeping him at home. We would also like to thank Gruetzmacher Funeral Home of Suring for their care and compassion.

Harry was a lifelong member of the former Immanual Lutheran Church, Town of Gillett, and a current member of the Faith United Lutheran Church of Gillett, where he loved singing in the choir. Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Faith United Church from 9 a.m. until the funeral service at noon with Pastor John Laatsch officiating.

Gruetzmacher Funeral Home in Suring is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at www.gruetzmacherfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Faith United Lutheran Church building fund in Harry’s name are requested.