Gerald W. Ghiloni, 73, passed away suddenly at his home in Winchester on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Gerry was born Aug. 29, 1945 to Romie and Helen Ghiloni of Port Edwards. He attended Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids where he excelled at football, basketball and track and field. 

On Valentine’s Day of 2000 Gerry married the love of his life Connie Laha. Together they shared a love of the outdoors, their community and most of all their family. The couple’s love and support of one another provided a solid foundation for their three children and set an exemplary ideal of what marriage should be.

Sons Cory and Randy Ghiloni and daughter Chena Trapp will remember a father who instilled morals, values and ethics that allowed them to grow and succeed in life. His infinite optimism and wisdom helped guide them through the trials and tribulations of life not only with a practical approach, but also one of quick wit and humor.

Planting roots in the Winchester area was an easy decision for Gerry, as he had spent many years at his family’s cottage on South Turtle Lake. He co-founded Big G Stables providing boarding and equestrian lessons. His patience and compassion made him a natural teacher to both his students and his animals. Gerry was also employed by CenturyTel and in 2007 after 40 years of service he retired. 

Gerry was a Vietnam War veteran, enlisting in the United States Marine Corp in 1965. He was honorably discharged after serving three years, most of which he was stationed on the USS Constellation. He was a member of Winegar Post 480 of the American Legion and was proud of his service to this country and strongly believed, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” 

The community of Winchester was important to Gerry. He had served on the town board and was a charter member of the Winchester Lions Club. The restoration of the Winchester School was a project he had worked on in recent years and upon its completion he donated the bell. Gerry loved to help people and it was not uncommon for friends and neighbors to stop in seeking advice on how to build or fix something after which he undoubtedly would put his boots on and head out to his shop to tackle the project. 

Gerry lead a life full of passion for the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing. He was head of the Penokee Range Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation which not only was an advocate for the reintroduction of elk to Wisconsin, but also secured grants for local hunter’s education programs. An avid musky fisherman, he participated in every World Championship Musky Classic since 1976, winning the tournament in 1985. 

He is survived by his wife Connie, sons Cory (Elizabeth) Ghiloni and Randy Ghiloni, daughter Chena Trapp and sister-in-law Gail Ghiloni. He was a beloved uncle to nephews Mark (Tracy) Ghiloni, Nic (Angela) Ghiloni; niece Sara (Aaron) King; great-nephews Josh (Lindsey) Ghiloni, Matthew Ghiloni, Philip Ghiloni; nieces Grace King, Cameron Curl; great-great-nephews Samuel Ghiloni, Monte Ghiloni and great-great-niece Gianna Ghiloni. 

Gerry was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Tom Ghiloni. 

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Winchester Garden and History, Winchester Fire Department or the Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation.

“Here’s health to you and to our Corps

which we are proud to serve;

In many a strife we’ve fought for life

and never lost our nerve.

If the Army and the Navy

ever look on Heaven’s scenes,

They will find the streets are guarded by

 United States Marines”

— Excerpt from the Marine’s Hymn