Eugene Edward Traxler – Born November 10, 1929, Died June 12, 2022
Gene Traxler (age 92) was born and raised in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He attended St. Joseph’s grade school and Menomonie High School, graduating in 1947. He then attended UW-Stout and graduated in 1951 with a degree in Manual Arts (now Technical Education). He had just accepted a job at Boys Town in Nebraska, when the death of his brother, required him to remain on the farm to help his father.
He married Patricia Krause in 1951 and together they raised three children who, armed with his ability to fix anything, and tuition money from the timely sale of members of their beef herd, all earned engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gene built one of the first raised milking parlors in the area and continued dairy farming until 1964, when he converted the farm to a polled Hereford beef operation until 1985. In 1964, Gene started teaching Industrial Arts at Menomonie High School and taught for 25 years. Gene loved learning and continued his education with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Technology.
Gene and Pat hosted an annual Memorial Day picnic on the farm for over 50 years. This picnic included hayrides, softball games, beer, and music for family and friends. In his retirement years, he and Patricia put 100,000 miles on their RV motor home traveling around the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Gene’s love of learning and technical abilities led him down many different paths including the construction of two ultralight airplanes (both of which he piloted and successfully crash landed, walking away with only dirt in his shoes). He loved photography and in the early years used the bathtub as part of a darkroom to develop black and white photographs. As a writer for the Dunn County Rural Electrification Cooperative newspaper he also put his photography skills to use.
Gene and Pat spent 28 years wintering in St. Petersburg, Florida at Club Chalet Senior Living. There they met many good friends gathering fond memories from their time together.
Gene was a member of the Knights of Columbus for 72 years and served on the boards of the Teagarden Cheese factory, St. Joseph’s Catholic school in Menomonie, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and Club Chalet in St. Petersburg, Florida.
He and Pat loved to go boating on Lake Menomin and also took trips on the Mississippi to go through the locks. They also traveled to Norway, Germany, Australia, New Zealand. The family will miss the excellent ice creams drinks he liked to make as well as the boat parties on the docks.
Gene was preceded in death by his father John Traxler, his mother Olga (Peterson) Traxler, infant brother Harold, his sister Irene McKeever, and his brother Robert.
He is survived by his wife Patricia, sons; Daniel (Julie), Richard (Eva), and daughter Diane (Scott Fredrick). Gene and Pat have five grandchildren – Derek Traxler, Mary Beth Small (Dane Small), Daniel Schmoller (Jenn Schmoller), Megan (Travis Jury) and Kyle Hardman and three great grandchildren, Addison Schmoller, Drake and Declan Jury.
Visitation will be Friday, June 17. 2022 at 9:30 am at Rhiel Funeral home at 2317 Schneider Ave. SE Menomonie, WI 54751 followed by a service at 11 am and lunch at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Dunn County Historical Society (www.dunnhistory.org).