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W. Eugene Weiss

W. Eugene  Weiss

W. Eugene Weiss, age 92, Durand, passed peacefully on Monday, March 6, 2017 at Chippewa Valley Hospital in Durand surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Lima Township on April 14, 1924 to Alfred and Mary Weiss, Gene attended Sacred Heart Catholic School-Lima where he graduated from high school in May of 1941. 

The name Gene Weiss is synonymous to many in western Wisconsin with polka music. Since the age of 14, Gene was the accordion leader of several dance bands.  First, the Weiss family band that included his mother, father and siblings and later the Gene Weiss Polka Band.  The band played for many weddings and dance hall events including Sunday afternoon performances at Club 10.  At the peak of the band’s popularity, the band played 265 engagements in one year.  The band provided many surrounding communities with wonderful entertainment for many years.

Gene met his wife, Evelyn Radle, at one of his performances at Koller Pavilion in rural Durand.  They were engaged on February 14, 1947, and united in marriage on August 27, 1947 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Arkansaw with a reception at the bride’s family home.

In 1954, Gene and Evelyn purchased a dairy farm in Plum City where they raised their eight children.  Gene was a respected farmer and a livestock feed dealer with Vigortone for 15 years. However, his favorite responsibility and accomplishment during this time was being a present and caring father, a role he cherished.

Gene held great responsibility and regard for his community.  He served on the local ASCS in the Plum City community for many years.  In 1965, he was elected Union Township Supervisor winning by the flip of a card.  He served two years as supervisor, ten years as chairman and 31 years as treasurer. He also fulfilled a term on the county board for one year.

A devoted Catholic, Gene was a member of St. John the Baptist Church in Plum City.  He joined the Knights of Columbus at age 18 and reached the rank of third degree knight. He prayed the rosary daily.  For many years, he provided polka music at local masses and neighboring parishes as requested.

With his passing, Gene has returned to his beloved wife of 56 years, Evelyn, and their son Bruce.  Also preceding him in death are parents Alfred and Mary, brother Alfred  “Fritz”, sisters Mildred, Aileen and Thelma, father and mother-in-law George and Mathilda Radle.

He is survived by his seven children: Jim (Verna); Doug (Nancy); David (Leigh); Nancy (Greg) Saueressig; Michelle Weiss; Kevin (Kari); Brent (Heather) and daughter-in-law Jeannie Weiss.  Gene was a devoted grandfather and leaves 23 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.  Also surviving him are siblings Patricia Webster, Donna Saiki and Carole (Jack) Komro.  Through his marriage he is survived by Galen Radle, Harvey (Blanche) Radle, Lucille (Roy) Valitchka, Arlene Pittman and Norbert (Maureen) Radle.  He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

While we will no longer be greeted with a warm smile or be able to sing along with him at family celebrations, we have had the honor of knowing a great man with a big heart who brought decades of wisdom, leadership, and joy to many through music and kindness.  We extend deep gratitude for the excellent care provided by The Homeplace and Chippewa Valley Hospital.

The Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church-Lima, N6235 Cty Rd V, Durand with Rev. Paul Bosco officiating. Burial will be in St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Plum City. Visitation will be from 4-8PM Friday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Durand and one hour prior to mass at the church on Saturday.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.

Condolences may be made online at www.rhielfuneralhome.com.


  1. Rita Petty

    Mr. Weiss will be remembered by many of us who grew up with his music and enjoyed dancing to it as early as my high school years. Yes, high school. Memories are the Legacy of Love.

  2. Deanna Zuniga

    "I was deeply saddened to hear that your father passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family." My condolences

  3. Joanne Hewitt

    Sympathy to Genes family. His was a good man that will be missed. God Bless

  4. Howard and Mary Martin

    Sorry for your loss. May Gene rest in peace.

  5. audrey biesterveld/martin

    Gene was a very talented, humble and good father.
    Your family was so fortunate to have such a good father.

  6. Dennis & Arlene (Weiss) Forster

    Our deepest sympathy to all the family. Due to illness, we are unable to make it to the wake, but our thoughts and prayers are with your entire family.

  7. Dick & Jan Bates

    Family of Gene Weiss:
    Gene was a good man. Always friendly with a kind word. He will be missed. We will remember him in our prayers.

    Dick & Jan Bates

  8. Colleen Forster Garnevicus

    Our sincere condolences on the passing of your father, grandfather, and friend. He leaves a wonderful legacy in the beautiful people that mourn now. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Colleen & Tom

  9. Marie & Joyce

    A beautiful tribute to a man who made a difference in many ways. Our sympathy to all the family.

  10. Jim Boigenzahn

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I remember many good dance times at his outings. Everyone liked dancing the boogie woogie and the great other dances and old time songs. God bless always.
    Jim and Beckie

  11. Tony Komro

    Gene & his family provided many wonderful memories to my family and me while growing up. Thinking of him and them always brings a smile and will continue to do so. All who knew him will miss him. Prayers go out to him and his family. He is in good hands.

  12. Carol Danzinger

    Dear Family, We have known Gene for many, many years and he still always remembered us when I saw him at the grocery store. He and his siblings played at our wedding dance, 64 years ago. We are sorry for your loss but now he is in the place where he wants to be and will be watching over his loving family.

  13. Stephen Radle

    Jim and Verna our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

  14. Audrey (Fedie) Jaenke

    I really enjoyed talking with Gene when visiting The Home Place. (My mom, Theresa Bauer Fedie, and Gene grew up together.) I can see what made him special to so many. Please accept my deepest sympathies for your family's loss.

  15. Bill & LaNita Dorwin Dorwin

    We had some fun visiting with Evelyn and Gene whenever we saw them. Good memories.
    Blessings to all the families.

  16. Dale and Lorelee Binkowski

    A good man has passed through Heaven's gates to
    help the angels with more music for all up there to enjoy. I know we have had many a good time doing the polka and waltz to tunes provided by Gene's band. We are out of the country, but extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends and are thinking of you. God Bless!

  17. Twylah Ottman

    Jim and Verna my deepest sympathies on the loss of your father. Thinking of you at this time.

  18. Kathy Hutter-Messier

    Gene was a wonderful man-always so cheerful and friendly. Cherish your memories. Prayers for you all.

  19. Kris Polzer

    So many wonderful memories of Gene at the HomePlace. The Valentine party where he and my Mom were King and Queen. Listening to his beautiful piano playing for the residents.
    Sending our sincere sympathy on the loss of a wonderful gentleman who will be missed by many.
    Dave and Kris Polzer

  20. Deb Case

    My condolences to the Gene Weiss family. Uncle Gene gave love and joy freely to everyone he encountered. I have many fond memories of him. My thoughts and prayers are with you during your loss.

  21. Janie Andrews

    I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your Father and recent passing of Bruce. I enjoyed reading the obituary of Gene ~~~ alot of things I didn't know about him and think it was the most loving tribute to him. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Hugs to all of you.

  22. Leo and Faye

    Our deepest condolences to your family Nancy and Greg. Take care all.4

  23. Marcia Cox

    Our deepest sympathy to the family.So many wonderful memories,of such a great man.You are so lucky to have shared so many years with Gene.A life well lived with kindness,love and a smile.May he always be playing his music and having a great time!

  24. Sister Deborah Scheab

    My sincere sympathy in your loss of Gene. May you find comfort in knowing he will continue to watch over you.

  25. Pat Rosenberg

    Gene was such a wonderful man. Was always so enjoyable to talk to him. I had heard he was not doing so well. Now he is at peace with the Lord. My condolences, love and prayers to his family.jiki

  26. Jeanette Brunner

    I'm saddened by the news. I have many fond memories of Gene especially him being my god father. He will be dearly missed. Deepest sympathies to his family and friends. God Bless his soul.

  27. Patrick

    Our deepest condolences from Patrick Pittman and family. May his memory bring us joy for all that he has given this world.

  28. Scott Watkins

    My deepest thoughts, sympathy & prayers go out to the family.

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