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Gary R. Spettel

Apr 11, 1944 - Sep 07, 2023


Gary Richard Spettel, 79, of Sheboygan, passed away suddenly Thursday afternoon, September 7, 2023, after falling from a ladder.

Born April 11, 1944, at Sheboygan Memorial Hospital, Gary was a son of the late Elmer and Meta (Schilling) Spettel. He attended Sheboygan area schools and graduated from Sheboygan North High School in 1963. Gary was a lifelong Sheboygan resident. On May 6, 1967, he was united in marriage to Karen A Wagner at Holy Name Catholic Church.

Gary enlisted in the Navy while still in High School and after graduation and basic training he went on active duty on the USS Putnam from 1963 to 1965 and in the Naval Reserves until 1967. Following his discharge, Gary apprenticed as a union carpenter in 1969 with Joe Schmitt & Sons. He was a proud union member with Local 731 Sheboygan Carpenters and was an officer in the union for over 30 years. Gary believed strongly in trade education and wanted to make sure others had the same apprenticeship opportunity that changed his life, so he served on the Lakeshore Joint Apprenticeship committee. During his 30-year career, Gary worked on many construction projects around the area, including hospitals, nursing homes, factories, homes, garages, and cabinet shop work. Some of the more notable buildings include the Brickner Woolen Mills Apartments in Sheboygan Falls and the American Club in Kohler.

Gary volunteered his time, training, and construction talents to many local community projects and causes. Some of these include the restoration of the Islander Fish Tug, projects at REINS Therapeutic Riding Program, Rebuilding Together, and projects at RCS Empowers. At RCS, he created the outdoor raised garden beds and for over 17 years he built many of the set pieces and props for the yearly musical.

Outside of volunteering, Gary enjoyed bicycling with his wife of 56 years, Karen. Together they would take trips all over Wisconsin and the surrounding states to experience the bike trails. Any great weather day or nice night would be reason enough to get the bikes out and take a ride. Gary also loved lighthouses – the history, purpose, construction, and symbolism. Besides touring many of the area lighthouses, he also collected lighthouse models as well as many history books about them. He truly loved spending time with family as well as keeping active with Union events. Recently, Gary was part of the committee that organized the 50th North High School reunion this past August. He was also a current member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church.

Gary is survived by his wife, Karen of Sheboygan; sons Scott of Sheboygan and Timothy (Michelle) of West Bend; and two granddaughters (of whom he was very proud), Madeline (Ian) Scott of Madison, and Lydia Spettel (Oliver Paddock) of Chicago. He is also survived by his aunt, Elda Hagenow; brother, Leroy Spettel, Sheboygan, sisters Bonnie (Nick) Schmitz of Sheboygan and Becky (Barrett) Paasch of Cleveland; sisters-in-law Luann Spettel (Bill Curry) of Howards Grove and Barbara Dassow of Sheboygan; brothers-in-law Gary (Alice) Wagner of Ohio, and Jerry (Nancy) Wagner of Florida. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nephews, great-nieces, other relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, Alex, and Petronella (Renzelmann) Wagner, sisters Betty Mae (Eugene) Jeske, Audrey (Wesley) Ross, Barbara Lalley, Laverne (Howard) Boeldt, and Marilyn Pentek; brother, Jeffrey Spettel; sisters-in-law Caryl Spettel, Donna (Roger) Anhalt; and brother-in-law Lyle Dassow.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 1439 S. 12th Street, Sheboygan. Family and friends may gather at the church on Thursday morning from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11:00 a.m. Burial will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery. VFW Post 9156 will be providing full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Gary’s name and may be directed to the “Reins, Inc Equine Assisted Services” W2647 County Road O, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085.

Mass of Christian Burial

Date: Thursday Sep 14, 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: St. Peter Claver Catholic Church [map]


Date: Thursday Sep 14, 2023
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Location: St. Peter Claver Catholic Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Judy Hake

Our deepest sympathy to the family of Gary, especially Scott. Randall and Judy Hake and Tyler Hake

Ruth Weigel

Our deepest condolences to everyone. Gary was a treasure and a gift to so many who worked with him. We could always rely on his creativity and knowledge to make our RCS projects succeed. We shared tons of moments & laughs on trips, plays, & projects. I am thankful & blessed to have known him.

Denise & Craig Omohundro

We love you all. You are in our hearts and prayers🙏

Laura & Dave Griffin

We are so sorry to hear that Gary has passed on. So many good memories of Gary volunteering at RCS for the plays and art show, building the sets and creating the first panels to display artwork. Gary had a great sense of humor and enjoyed working with all. Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

William Schlegel

Very sorry to hear about Gary passing away.. We were long time union carpenter brothers, who worked together on several projects. He will be missed by many. You have our deepest sympathy.

Amanda and Ryan Wehse

We are so sorry for your loss. Gary was a such wonderful man and I know that we and so many others have fond memories of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you

Jodie & Dennis Vogt

We are keeping the family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. As Tim's wife Michelle's sister, our families gathered together on many occasions. Gary always had a huge smile, was quick to laugh and showed his pride to his family. His love for all was never questioned. He was so proud of his beautiful grand daughters and loved watching them grow up. So many great memories to remember when celebrating his life together. Blessings