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Gerald "Gerry" R. Hoover

Gerald "Gerry" R. Hoover

October 24, 2017

Gerald “Gerry” R. Hoover entered into eternal life following a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. Gerry peacefully rested during his final days under the cloudy skies looming over the Plum City Care Center, but as he passed, the sun shone through those heavy clouds to light his path home.

Born to William C. and Stella V. (Hover) Hoover in the late fall of 1927, Gerry began his life’s journey humbly. With the challenges of the loss of his mother at four years of age, the Great Depression, being a live/work farmhand, World War II and a tour of duty as a Merchant Marine serving in the Pacific beginning when he was seventeen years old, Gerry understood the meaning of loss, hard work, and sacrifice.

Gerry shared the early years with three siblings: Glen, Russell, and Lucille. Additional siblings Stella, Dona, Kathleen, Vernon, Donald, David, Robert, and William “Billy” joined the family in later years.

Gerry graduated 8th grade with high honors and was recognized as one of the brightest students in Eau Claire County along with fellow student Garth Ryder who later became a lifelong friend.  Through mutual friends, Gerry met and fell in love with Betty (Johnson) and after several years of pursuit, they were wed on December 20, 1947 at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.  Gerry shared 69½ years of blessed marriage with Betty and raised four children.

Gerry was employed for 33 of his working years with Pope & Talbot, Inc. of Eau Claire, beginning first as a machine operator and later moving on to maintenance of the large paper machines. Upon retirement, Gerry was recognized as “Bull” Hoover for his known ability to tighten bolts on equipment very tightly which one fellow maintenance worker referred to as “Hoover-tight”.

His off hours from “the plant” were consumed with helping neighbors and friends by repairing cars, trucks, farm equipment and tractors, and also aiding neighbors with planting crops and harvesting. Gerry also maintained his own hobby farm complete with crops, beef cattle, and, for a short time, a few hogs.

Other pursuits included volunteering on the Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department and being a leader for the Pleasant Valley 4-H Club where he shared his passion for snowmobiling with young riders. An avid fisherman and annual deer hunter, Gerry truly loved being outdoors.

Gerry enjoyed camping with Betty, family and friends.  Following retirement, Gerry and Betty enjoyed trips across the United States while able and then settled the camper at permanent locations until they were no longer able to make the trips to the lake. Card playing with friends and family was always enjoyed.

Gerry is a loving father to Thomas (Andrea) of Wausau, Jayne (Brian) Zich of Eau Claire, Julie (Sterling) Brazier of Hudson and James (Mary) of Oconomowoc. Gerry was the “go to” for his children for anything that needed repairs, and when a good dose of common sense was needed, Gerry led by example by always being hard working, courteous, humble, kind and generous with his time.

Gerry is grandfather to 10: Jordan, Rachel, Sarah, Andrew, Brianna, Jacob, Lukas, Sophia, Carl, and Elizabeth, and great-grandfather to six: Dakota, Grayson, Hadley, Henry, George, and Bella. Gerry loved to engage in Skip-Bo, UNO, and Phase 10 card games with anyone willing to play, especially the grandchildren.

Gerry was preceded in death by his loving wife Betty; grandson Andrew Yaeger; brothers Glen, Russell, Robert, Donald and Vernon; sister Stella; brothers-in-law Charles Anderson and John Johnson; sister in law Lucille Johnson; and many cousins and dear friends.

A special thank you to the nurses, aides, and professional staff of Plum City Care Center attending to

Gerry’s needs throughout his stay at the facility and their attentiveness in keeping Gerry and Betty together as much as possible.

Memorial service will take place at 11 am on Monday, October 30, 2017 at Peace Lutheran Church, 501 E. Fillmore Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701 with Pastor Tim Stein officiating.  Memorial visitation will take place at Peace Lutheran Church on Monday, October 30, 2017 from 10 am until the time of services. Inurnment will take place in the Rest Haven Cemetery in the Town of Washington immediately following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Gerry's name to the Salvation Army, 2211 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire, WI 54701 or to Peace Lutheran Church

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Memorial visitation will take place at Peace Lutheran Church on Monday, October 30, 2017 from 10 am until the time of service.


Memorial service will take place at 11 am on Monday, October 30, 2017 at Peace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire with Pastor Tim Stein officiating.