John “Wally” W. Geske


John “Wally” W. Geske, 90, of Altoona, passed away June 11, 2021, at his home, while under the care of Mayo Clinic Hospice.

John was born April 2, 1931, in Merrillan, the son of Arthur and Beulah (Waterpool) Geske. John graduated from Eau Claire High School and later UW–Eau Claire. He later achieved his Masters Degree in Psychology from UW–Milwaukee. John was proud to serve in the Wisconsin National Guard from 1955 to 1958.

John married Jackie Anderson in 1954, in Eau Claire. She passed away in 1986. In 1988, he married Stephanie Snashall in Hartland. She passed away in 2015.

John worked at Stanley High School as a teacher & coach for two years before moving on to Hartland-Arrowhead where he progressed from teacher up to being part of the administration team. After retirement from teaching, John moved to his hunting property in Blair, and was elected to the Trempealeau County Board and the Board elected him Supervisor. When his wife’s health required it, they moved to Altoona, where he has resided the last decade.

John played Minor League Baseball and is a member of the Eau Claire Baseball Hall of Fame. He was an avid sportsman. John loved his hunting & fishing trips to Canada. He also enjoyed hunting on his property in Trempealeau County. John was a woodworker and was well known for his decoy carvings. Collecting coins was also a fun hobby of John’s.

John wintered for more than two decades at The Tiki on South Padre Island. Traveling occupied much of the decade of his 80s. He traveled numerous times to Europe. He also explored the Caribbean, Central America and South Africa. John enjoyed the Senior Center in Eau Claire, and loved having conversation with his many friends there.

John is survived by his five children: Mark (Karen) Geske of Independence, Lynn (Frank) Zetzman of Appleton, Scot (Cheryl) Geske of Amherst, Anne (Gary) Mielke of Hallie, and John (Jill) Geske of Watertown; also four stepchildren: Tracy Thiem of Eureka, CA, Darrin (Amy) Thiem of Franklin, Michael (JoAnn) Gerlach of Hartland, and Julie Gerlach of Humbird; also by his special friend, Virginia Erickson of Eau Claire; 18 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two wives: Jackie and Stephanie; his special friend, Sally LaRose; one brother; and two sisters.

Memorial Services will be held Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 12:00 p.m., at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona with Pastor Tim Stein officiating. Memorial Visitation will be held two hours prior to service at the church on Saturday. Inurnment will be private at a later date at Lincoln Cemetery in Whitehall.

Memorials received will be split among John’s favorite charities.

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center in Altoona is serving the family. To express condolences online, please visit

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