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Obituary for Dr. George P. Gersch

Dr. George P. Gersch, 87, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 16, 2023.

Dr. Gersch was born in his house to Luella (Sauer) and George S. Gersch in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 2, 1935. He attended St. Adalbert and St. Anthony Catholic Schools as a child, then went to West Catholic and graduated from Catholic Central of Grand Rapids in 1953.

After graduating from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1957, he went on to attend Marquette University Medical School (now Medical College of Wisconsin) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was at this time that he met the love of his life, Marlene (Sierakowski) Gersch whom he married on October 1, 1960.

After his graduation from medical school in 1961, he completed a rotating internship and one year of obstetrics-gynecology residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

In July of 1963, Dr. Gersch joined the West Salem Clinic as a Family Practitioner joining Drs. Lloyd and Morris. At that time, all three doctors made house calls and rotated to give 24 hour a day coverage, seven days a week. In addition to weekday office hours, they had extended hours on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. They made rounds each morning at Grandview Hospital and St. Francis Hospital of La Crosse.

Dr. Gersch was drafted into the U.S. Army Medical Corps in the fall of 1965 at the age of 30. In January of 1967, he was deployed to Vietnam and served the majority of his time as a doctor for the 77th Artillery Regiment mostly near Cu Chi. In his final months in Vietnam, he was attached to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) at Long Bin. In January of 1968, he was honorably discharged and returned to practice medicine in West Salem.

At age 60 (1995), Dr. Gersch retired from private practice and joined the Urgent Care Clinic at Franciscan-Skemp-Mayo in LaCrosse. He later retired at age 72 in 2007. He also regularly volunteered for the St. Clare’s Health Mission. One of his favorite aspects of doctoring was delivering babies, and he was delighted that he had even delivered second generations of children.

His Catholic faith was a great source of inner strength and comfort for him throughout his life. In his spare time, he was an avid fisherman, hunter and gardener. He was also a very talented singer and pianist.

Above all, Dr. Gersch’s greatest joy was his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Marlene (Sierakowski) Gersch; his six children, 13 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren: Greg Gersch (Maryanne Simonitsch) - Trevor and Casey Gersch; Joe Gersch (Laura Fuhrman) - Steven (Iona) with Stephan, Shawn, and Scott, Alex Gersch, and Zachary Gersch (Lisa); Susan Pursey - Bryn and Beckett Pursey; John Gersch (Nicole) - Elizabeth and Christy Gersch; Nancy Gersch - Bailey (Carlos Bustamante) and Sawyer Hanson; Karen Gersch (CB) - Quinn and Cameron Gersch; his brother-in-law Frederick Schweitzer; many cousins, nieces and nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Luella and George S. Gersch, his sister Janice Schweitzer (Gersch), and his dear cousin Bette Van Dyke.

The family would like to extend their thanks to all of his caregivers throughout his life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to St. Teresa of Kolkata’s (formerly St. Leo"s) building fund.

A Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, January 27, 2023, at St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish (formerly, St. Leo the Great Parish), 210 W. Hamlin St., West Salem. Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill and Deacon Bob Zietlow will officiate. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery. A visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish, West Salem. A visitation will also be held from 9:30 a.m., until the time of Mass, Friday, at the church.

Online condolences may be offered at this website.