James Edmund Gilgenbach

James Edmund Gilgenbach, age 71, of
Fond du Lac, WI was rewarded with the ultimate
project in Heaven on Wednesday, March 4th at St. Agnes Hospital with his loved ones around him.  He was born in Fond du Lac, WI
on May 30, 1943 to Edmund and Irene (Steffes) Gilgenbach.  His values were instilled in him at a young
age through hard work on his family’s dairy farm.  In 1961, he graduated from St. Mary’s Springs High School.  On May 9, 1964, he married the love of his
life, Marilyn “Mary Lou” Nett at St. Joseph’s
Catholic Church in Fond du Lac,

While raising his five children, he
graduated from the Giddings & Lewis apprentice program and earned an
associate degree in mechanical design from Oshkosh Technical Institute.  He went on to graduate from UW-Oshkosh with a
bachelor’s degree in business administration. 
During his life, he made a life-long dream come true, by getting his
private pilot’s license and traveling to new locations weekly.  He also enjoyed designing and building model
airplanes and subsequently designed his own full-size airplane.  He held numerous technical and managerial
positions over a 31-year career at Giddings & Lewis Machine Tool Co.  He then went on to become the director of
manufacturing and eventually the president at Monarch Machine Tool Co. in Sidney, OH.  After a brief retirement, he pursued a new
adventure with his son and brother in the music business as co-owner of Mike’s
Music and Sound of Fond du Lac,
.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus,
Giddings & Lewis Oldsters and Fondy Vintage Auto Club.  He was the
lead singer and guitarist in two bands, the Stingrays and the Stagemen, during
the 1960’s.  During his “retirement”
years, he kept busy with many design projects along with his “adult supervisor”
and best friend, Bill Paquin.

James is survived by his wife, Mary
Lou, and sons, Daniel (Julie) Gilgenbach, of Fond du Lac, WI and Karl (Kristin)
Gilgenbach of Rochester Hills, MI and daughters, Barb (Troy) Baalke of Plover,
WI, Jeanne (Joe) Biber of Cedarburg, WI and Jayme (Jon) Bosler of Bronx,
NY.  He is further survived by 14
grandchildren (Eric, Maya, Sam, Kayla, Emma, Josef, Wyatt, Lucy, Phineas,
Elliot, Alexa, Brooke, Carson, and Drew) and many nieces and nephews. He is
also survived by his sisters, Diane (Larry) Hammang of Fond du Lac, Janet (Al)
Halvorson of Hillsboro, OR, and Cathy (James) Burr of White Sulphur Springs, WV
and brothers, Ronald (Cathy) Gilgenbach of Ann Arbor, MI and Edmund (Christine)
Gilgenbach of Fond du Lac and in-laws, Laurel Nett of Fond du Lac, Helen (Bill)
Paquin of Fond du Lac, Grace Schroeder of Mount Horeb, WI, Darlene (Steve)
Eisenhut of Elgin, IL, and Eugene Nett of Milwaukee, WI.  James is preceded in death by his parents and
his brother-in-law, Glen Schroeder.

Visitation will be held at Zacherl
Funeral Home at 875 E. Division
, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935
on Friday, March 6th, 2015 from 3-6:00 pm.

Service: A Mass of Christian Burial
will follow at 6:30 pm at Sacred Heart Church of Holy Family Parish, 200 S. Peters Ave., Fond du Lac, 54935. Reverend Robert
Stiefvater will officiate.

Memorials may be directed to
Agnesian Healthcare Hospice Hope, 239
Trowbridge Dr.
, Fond du Lac, WI, 54937

We would like to thank all the
nurses and staff at Agnesian Healthcare for caring for James these last few
months.  Their tender compassion will
never be forgotten.


Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the family. www.zacherlfuneralhome.com