Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Ward A. VanGilder, 69
Ward A. VanGilder, 69, of Stoughton, Wis., passed away on May 12, 2009, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wis., after a hard fought battle with cancer.
His wife and family were at his side. Ward was born July 11, 1939, in Black River Falls, Wis., the son of Ralph and Luella VanGilder. He joined the Navy in 1958, spending most of his tour of duty aboard the ship U.S.S. Princeton. After he was honorably discharged in 1962, he returned to Winona, Minn. where he bought his first rental store. In 1978 he moved to Austin and purchased Rent N Save, Inc., which, with his wife, later expanded to include VanGilder Paper Supply and Special Occasions. Ward married Colette on July 27, 1985 at the Congregational Church in Austin. Together they moved to Stoughton, Wis. in l995 to be closer to their grandchildren. He was employed by Stoughton Trailers for 13 years, until the time of his death. Ward enjoyed football, always a steadfast backer of the Minnesota Vikings. He followed NASCAR diligently and enjoyed spending time at the Madison International Speedway. He enjoyed getting together with family and friends for music and dancing. Ward belonged to the Elks Lodge #414 in Austin. He was a lifetime member and Past Exalted Ruler. He loved being an Elk. Most of all he loved his wife, children, grandchildren and family.
Ward is survived by his wife, Colette; three children, David Meyers, Janelle Buhler and Julie Meyers; two loved grandchildren, Jessica Buhler and Colton Meyers; two brothers, Maurice (Lornie), Red Wing, Minn. and Erwin (Betty), Kearney, Neb.; sister, Phylliss Fischer, Franklin, Wis. He has many nieces and nephews that he was always interested in knowing about their lives and cared about them very much. In addition he is survived by two special little ones, Kali and Caidyn. He was their “Poppa”.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Gladys Kleinman.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, May 15, 2009, at 1 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church in Edgerton, Wis., with the Reverend James Johnson officiating. Friends may call at the church on Friday from 11 a.m. until the time of services. Burial will be in Fassett Cemetery in Edgerton. The Elhert Funeral Home of Edgerton is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers a scholarship fund for his grandchildren will be established.