Gerald C. “Jerry” Arenz
Gerald C. “Jerry” Arenz, age 75, of Chilton, died on Saturday, June 11, 2016 surrounded by his family at St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan. He was born May 1, 1941 in Manitowoc County, son of the late Gilbert & Merla (Holst) Arenz. Jerry married Carol Jean Behnke on December 29, 1962 at St. John – St. James Lutheran Church in Reedsville.
From a young child on, Jerry always and only wanted to be a carpenter. He began working for Hemauer Cabinet Shop while he was still in high school where he began honing his carpentry skills. He later worked for Parson Builders and later Arenz & Kolbe Builders before going out on his own operating Arenz Builders. With such a strong passion for construction, Jerry was never fully retired. He continued to share his talents any way he could with those who needed it. His handiness and creative helpfulness was always appreciated with building projects at his church, and in the construction of the many displays at Ledgeview Nature Center outside of Chilton.
In his free time, Jerry enjoyed the great outdoors hunting and sturgeon spearing. He also looked forward to rest and relaxation at the cabin he built in Forest County. He was a big race fan and traveled throughout the area to catch the Sprint Car Races at local tracks. Although he was a fan of racing, he was an even bigger fan of his grandchildren; Jerry looked forward to the many events they were involved in and made it a priority to be there to support them in their endeavors.
He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in New Holstein where he had held various past and present offices, the Rockea Hunting Club, the Winnebago East Shore Sportsman Club, Friends of Ledgeview Nature Center and the Mid Shores Home Builders Association where he was named builder of the year in 2006.
Survivors include his wife: Carol; his children: Tammy (Michael) Pethan, Terry (Carrie) Arenz, 6 grandchildren: Jordan, Tyler, Preston & Daynen Pethan, Lexi & Austin Arenz; brothers-in-law: Glen (Geraldine) Behnke, Charles Lemke; a niece: Shirley (Daniel) Dallmann, 2 nephews: DuWayne (Renee) Behnke & Dean (Rose) Behnke; and his 3 cats: Oliver, Peanut & Buffy. Jerry is further survived by numerous cousins, many friends, neighbors and acquaintances he made throughout his life and career.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Raymond & Viola Behnke; and a sister-in-law: Viorene Lemke.
Funeral service will be at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 17, 2016 at Zion Lutheran Church (1702 Vanburen St.) in New Holstein with the Rev. Azor Cigelske officiating. Entombment will be in the Shrine of Rest Mausoleum in Fond du Lac. Friends may call at the church from 2:00 pm until 4:45 pm on Friday, June 17, 2016.
Jerry’s family would like to thank Jeff & Dawn Schmahl, Jerry & Donna Steenport, the staff of Sheboygan County Fair Park and their race fans, as well as the staff at St. Nicholas Hospital for all of the kindness, compassion, and help they provided during this difficult time. They would also like to thank Pastor Azor Cigelske for the spiritual support that he has provided and the prayerful attention shown to his family.