Ed Greschner, 99, of Clear Lake, WI, passed away on November 18, 2021 at home peacefully surrounded by his family.
Edward John Greschner was born July 23, 1922 in Turtle Lake Township on Route 2, Clayton, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of six children of Joseph and Elizabeth Greschner. Her father could not read or write, and Lizzie sold homemade beer to pay off the mortgage. He grew up on a 60 acre farm with three sisters and two brothers. They didn’t have a car so the family either walked or used horses to get to town in a cart. He attended Longfellow, a one-class elementary school, and although the youngest, was the first member of his family to attend high school. He graduated from Turtle Lake High School in 1940 and worked on his brother-in-law’s farm for $ 25 a month in Deronda, WI. He also grabbed frogs with his bare hands and sold them to a restaurant in Star Prairie. This, along with the scholarship for tuition and odd jobs at River Falls, enabled him to enroll in the fall term classes in 1940 at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He enlisted in the United States Army the day after Pearl Harbor and ended up in the South Pacific with General Douglas MacArthur’s 25th Infantry Division. After the end of the war, he returned to university and in 1947 obtained a license in agriculture. His first “teaching” job, in July 1947, was to educate veterans on the farm through weekly classes at Turtle Lake High School and two monthly two-hour visits to the farms of the 30 enrolled. He became engaged to Gloria M. Fredrick before accepting the post of professional agriculture teacher at Marshfield Senior High School. He married Gloria on August 19, 1950 and they moved to Marshfield. The sudden death of Ed’s father prompted him to seek employment closer to his widowed mother and closer to Gloria’s relatives and friends. They moved to Rice Lake where Ed was finishing his work with the veterans farm program. Most WWII veterans had already received their qualifying training. Ed was invited to be part of a two-man AG. Department which also included science education and even Freshman English. It didn’t suit him very well, so he decided to look elsewhere to take his wife and two sons, Steve and Brad, to greener pastures. In July 1954, they moved to Clear Lake, WI, and returned to professional farming again. Now Gloria was really happy, being only 12 miles from her childhood home. They added another boy, Allen, and two daughters, Cheryl and Connie, to the family. Ed had finished moving and had settled in Clear Lake for the rest of his life. He was very dedicated to his job and was asked to be a junior / senior high school principal in 1967. He was known as Mr. G or Mr. Ed by his students. As the manager, his many tinkling touches were remembered as he made his way down the hall at high speed. The kids really respected him. He was a very good performer and was spending so many hours at school that Gloria threatened to bring him a cot so he could sleep. He held this position until he retired from school in 1985. Ed was one of the great storytellers of all time and recapped his childhood stories for his grandchildren. When she retired, Nancy Bergman presented a “It’s Your Life” skit recounting all of her many accomplishments. After retiring, he and Gloria decided to focus on volunteering and giving back to the community. He has become very active in the community of Clear Lake. His first priorities were his church and the restoration of Clear Lake Park, thanks to his wife Gloria, who was the main influence on these two projects. He also started community education with Heidi Paulson to organize it. In 2004, at the age of 82, he retired after 50 years of service as the superintendent and teacher of the Grace Lutheran Sunday School. He still kept the duties of recording church services for television and took care of the shrub chores and landscaping of the church grounds. Ed didn’t fish, hunt, or bowling, but he did golf a lot! Ed was also a life member of VFW Post 5828, American Legion Post 108 and Clear Lake FFA Alumni. He was a Melvin Jones member of the Clear Lake Lions and was involved with the Clear Lake Veterans Memorial, the Clear Lake Community Center, and submitted monthly articles to the Clear Lake Museum Chronicle. He has also taken hundreds of photos, although photography is not one of his specialties. The Greschner farm has always had a large garden, a large lawn and lots of flowers and shrubs. Ed did the mowing and the cultivation and Gloria took care of the remaining 95%. The exception being the massive ‘pay for ahead’ landscaping update undertaken last year by Greg Hose.
He is predeceased by his son Brad, his parents, Joseph and Elizabeth, his sisters and brothers.
Survived by children, Steve (Donna) Greschner, Allen (Lori) Greschner, Cheryl (Pete) Paulson and Connie (Rick) Wallberg; grandchildren Alicia (Derek) Campbell, Jon Greschner, Mark (Erin) Greschner, Josh Greschner, Elizabeth (Adam) Greschner-Bihn, Rachel (Dan) Gerber, James Wallberg and Jacob (Frances) Kalin, as well as 12 great-grandchildren -children.
A private family funeral will be held at the Grace Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, WI on Monday December 13, 2021. There will be an open house visit at Scheuermann Funeral Home on Saturday December 11, 2021 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Interment will be in Clear Lake Cemetery with full military honors.
Scheuermann-Hammer Funeral Home will take care of the arrangements.