DuWayne “Wayne” Gilchrist, 89, of Kaukauna passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on November 10, 2021, after a lengthy illness.
Wayne was born to Theodore and Emmaline (Beaulieu) on February 17, 1932, in Eau Claire. He graduated from Eau Claire Memorial High School in 1950, then joined the U.S. Navy and served his country during the Korean Conflict. While stationed at the Kingsville Naval Base in Texas, he played on the Navy baseball team. It was here, after a game, that he met the love of his life, Lanell Postert. The couple married on Sunday, February 12, 1956.
Wayne and Lanell moved to Wisconsin, where they raised six children. Wayne earned a Master’s degree in education at Stout State University. He taught electronics and driver’s education at Kaukauna High School, then electronics at Fox Valley Technical Institute until his retirement in 1994. He was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church and taught many of the religious sisters how to drive. An educator through and through, he also helped establish the Holy Cross Catholic School Board of Education and served many years on the board.
Wayne was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends. He loved to hunt, fish, travel, and spend time at his cabin in northern Wisconsin. He also enjoyed gardening and woodworking. As a Boy Scout Scoutmaster, he helped guide several young men, including his three sons, to become Eagle Scouts. A proud veteran, Wayne traveled to Washington D.C. in 2018 on an Old Glory Honor Flight. He was a member of the Freedom VFW and a devoted supporter of the American Legion Friday fish fries in Wrightstown.
Wayne’s family will always remember and cherish his wisdom, humility, bright smile, and great sense of humor. A teacher by trade and by example, he continued to teach compassion, patience, humility, and grace throughout his illness.
He will be deeply missed by his wife of 65 years, Lanell, as well as his children, DuWayne (Jeannie) Gilchrist of Goldsboro, NC; David (Terri) Gilchrist of Cordova, TN; Danny (Carla) Gilchrist of Plover; Cindy (Kelly) Koss of Algoma; Cheryl (Rob) Whitlow of Glasgow, KY; and Cathy (Russ) Heltsley of Bowling Green, KY. He will also be missed by his brother, Charles (Carol) Gilchrist; his brother-in-law, Kenneth (Dorothy) Postert; and fifteen grandchildren. He is now reunited with his parents; brothers, Ted and Gordon Gilchrist; and sisters, Dorothy Backstrum and Viola Hoover.
Wayne had many compassionate caregivers throughout his illness, but none more than his daughter, Cindy. Special thanks to AseraCare, especially Tammy Fox and Jamie Werner, for their exceptional care.
The funeral liturgy for Wayne will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, November 16 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 309 Desnoyer Street, Kaukauna with Fr. David McElroy, O. Praem, presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:00 AM until the time of the service. Military honors to follow the funeral liturgy at church. The burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Algoma on Wednesday, November 17 at 10:00 AM. For online condolences, please visit www.wichmannfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established in Wayne’s name.