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Obituary for Gordon Phetteplace

It is with great sadness that the family of Gordon Wayne Phetteplace announce his passing. He was finally released from his years long struggle with Parkinson's Disease, which he battled bravely to the end. Gordon is deeply missed by his wife of 63 years, Edith; and their children Gordon R. (Louise), Kim, Rose (Linda Rogers), Thad (Kirsten Carter), and Jeffrey Faas; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by and missed by his sister, Connie; his brother, Larry (Donna); and many nieces and nephews. Gordon was born to Oliver and Fern Phetteplace on April 27, 1932, and grew up in the Lone Rock area of Wisconsin. He graduated valedictorian of his high school and went on to study engineering at Platteville University. He married the love of his life, ‘his Eda’, on May 29, 1955. He was among the last group drafted under the Korean War Bill and served several years in the Army while his wife served in the Navy on the opposite coast. The story of their cross-nation romance is an inspiring chapter of the Phetteplace family history. Gordon spent much of his time in the Army as an instructor at the Ordnance School of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a civil engineer for Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation for forty years, in his words “saving the state of Wisconsin millions of dollars”. Together, he and Edith joined Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of LaCrosse in 1959, shortly after it was founded. Gordon was very active in scouting. He chartered Cub Scout Troop number 222 at Good Shepherd and was also a scoutmaster in Boy Scouts of America Troop Number 22. Over the years Gordon made many amazing handcrafted leather items that he gave to family, friends, and even casual acquaintances. In later years he began designing e-cards that he sent to those he loved. His creativity was surpassed only by his immense heart. He was a respected engineer, a skilled artisan, a heartfelt writer of love letters, and a devoted family man. His childlike sense of humor and boundless compassion was a constant gift to those who knew him. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4141 Mormon Coulee Rd., La Crosse. Rev. Harald Bringsjord and Rev. Bruce Iverson will officiate. Immediately following the memorial service military honors will be rendered outside the church by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post 52 of La Crosse and the United States Army Funeral Honor Guard. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., Friday, at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, Woodruff Chapel, 4239 Mormon Coulee Rd., La Crosse. There will be no visitation prior to the memorial service at the church. In lieu of flowers, you are encouraged to make a donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Online condolences may be sent at And in the words of Gordon himself, “Never give up! If everyone keeps smiling, the world will be a better place for everyone.”