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Gerald E. Kitzberger

Gerald E. Kitzberger

September 9, 2017

Gerald Edwin Kitzberger

Born July 13, 1928 – Passed September 09, 2017


Gerald Edwin Kitzberger passed away peacefully with his loving wife of 71 years by his side.


Gerald, also known as Gerry, G. E., and Grandpa, was born as the only child of Edwin Anton and Emma Marie (Metzen) Kitzberger of New Ulm, Minnesota.  Gerald fell in love and married Esther (Tudy) Louise Reinhart, “the prettiest girl in the world” in 1946.


Gerald and Tudy worked together to create their life. They owned a business and farmed for several years working in the cities of Cortland and New Ulm, Minnesota.  In 1957, they started looking for a new city where they could open a business and grow their family. Finally, settling on Eau Claire, Wisconsin, they relocated everyone including Edwin and Emma in 1958. Gerald and Tudy, rented space and opened the Bottle and Barrel.  Eventually, the family grew their business and were able to purchase the building and the neighboring 3 buildings.   He was known for being quick with a joke and singing a personalized little ditty to brighten your day.


Additionally, Gerald was active in the community and was a respected contributor.  He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, and volunteered with voter registration through 2016.


Gerald took great pride in being a successful business man but there was no greater joy to him than his family.  Gerald, being an only child, always wanted a large family and Tudy, being one of 13, agreed on 6.  One of Gerald’s favorite sayings was “if you don’t have family, you don’t have anything”.  He felt blessed to be able to work most of his life with his parents and his sons and also travel to the states of Florida, Indiana, and Minnesota to spend time with his daughters and their families. He always said, ‘I am 5 times richer because I have 5 kids”.


For leisure, Gerald enjoyed traveling.  He and Tudy ventured to all United States except Alaska.  They also traveled to Mexico, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, and Germany. He loved meeting people, having conversations, watching football, playing a game of cribbage, and taking his bride for a ride out to Lake Wissota. Whether it was throwing a line off the dock, jumping in the pontoon with the grandkids, or just sitting on the deck, it was “always a good day at the lake”. Gerald always noted, “The important thing is to enjoy your life”. 


Gerald, devoted Husband, Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa, is survived by his wife, Esther Louise; his children, Susan (Rockland) Burr, Gary (Mary) Kitzberger, Patricia (Larry) Lloyd, Lori (Dan) Johnson and Timothy (Paula) Kitzberger; his Grandchildren, Melissa, Gary (Maria), Edwin (Kim), Adam (Rebecca), Andy (Miranda), Rebecca (Chris), Leah (Adam), Tammy, Brandon (Liz), Bradley (Brianna), Brittany, Travis (Jocelyn), Jonathon, Benjamin, and Samuel (Brigit).  Also by his Great Grandchildren, Lauren, Joey, Callaway, Lucas, Aliya, Colin, Elliott, Scarlett, Lily, Tristen, Harper, Keegan, Kyle, Kelton, Kaci, Declan, Teddy, Skylar, Gage, Rian, and Elias.


Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Emma Kitzberger; a son, Donald Anthony Kitzberger; and granddaughter, Michelle Burr.


Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on Thursday September 14, 2017, at 12 p.m. with visitation at 11 a.m. and lunch following the mass.  All are welcome.  Burial will be private.


Gerald will be missed dearly but will forever “Kitzelwander” through our hearts and our minds.  We take great comfort knowing he is sitting at the right hand of the Lord and will be looking out for and guiding each of us.



We'll always remember 

that special smile,

that caring heart,

that warm smile 

you always gave us.

You being there for Mom and us

through good and bad times.

We'll always remember

you, Dad, because

there will never be another one

to replace you in our hearts, 

and the love we will always

have for you...


Chippewa Valley Cremation Services, Altoona is serving the family.


11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Eau Claire.


12 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Eau Claire.