Kenneth William Gilster, 87, of Onalaska, Wisconsin, passed away on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at his home in Onalaska, after a long illness.
He was born on August 23, 1930 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin to Alfred D. and Helen L. (Woehlke) Gilster. He was raised on the family farm in Onalaska and attended Fauver Hill Elementary School. He graduated from Logan High School, in LaCrosse in 1948 and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1952. He majored in Biology and German, with plans to become a teacher. He played baseball, football and basketball all of his life. He served in the Army in France, from 1952 to 1954. In 1954, he returned home and was hired at The Trane Company as a laboratory technician and then became a service technician. He traveled the world for Trane Company and retired in 1997. He enjoyed sports, fishing and hunting. He was a member of English Lutheran Church in La Crosse and the American Legion Post 52.
He married DeLaney M. (Hall) Saltz on April 19, 1958, in LaCrosse , Wisconsin.
He is survived by his wife DeLaney, his son Joel K. Gilster of West Salem, his daughter Ellen L. (Anthony) Sletten of Holmen and his step daughter Gail M. Saltz of Onalaska, granddaughter Kendra Mae Gilster of New Mexico, his grand puppy Harley, four step grandchildren and step great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother David Gilster of Holmen and his sister Margery F. (Dale) May of Virginia. He is proceeded in death by his parents, his sister Elaine R. (Clifford Jr) Fossum, in 2014, his brother Philip C. (Lynn) Gilster, in 2011, his step granddaughter, and several in laws and cousins.
The family wishes to thank the hospice system of Gunderson Health System, our wonderful friends and neighbors, and the Coulee Region Cremation Group.
A Celebration of Life will be held by the family at a later date.