Gerald Nicholas “Gerry” Fercello, age 86, of Rhinelander, died June 20, 2016 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born July 31, 1929 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Nick and Ida (Vechell) Fercello. He spent his childhood in St. Paul, graduating from Johnson High School in 1947. He then attended the University of Minnesota graduating in 1951 and Macalester College, graduating in 1955. He received a teaching degree majoring in History, Spanish, and Geography. His college education was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Upon the completion of his honorable service to his country and his college education, Gerry then taught school in a number of schools in St. Paul.
Gerry moved on from teaching and his employment included a position as a department factory rep for US Rubber, sales manager with the phone company in Iowa and then directory manager for north east Iowa. He moved to Rhinelander with his family in 1967 and purchased H (Heilmanns) and H (Hamms) Distributing which he owned and operated until his retirement.
Gerry was very active in the Rhinelander community as a member of the Rhinelander Rotary Club for 20 years, the Knights of Columbus for 60 years and the Rhinelander Country Club for over 40 years. As a business owner he contributed to many different community events, school projects and fundraisers. He had many hobbies which included golf, gardening, boating on the river, traveling around the world, reading geographical and historical literature, and antique cars, especially his 1962 Studebaker. He was also fond of cooking, mainly Italian dishes and breads.
Gerry led his life valuing friendships, education and most importantly, his family and God. He enjoyed laughing and making people smile. His family wishes to thank all of his family and friends who have helped him throughout the years, especially the last couple.
Gerry married his wife Joanne (Vretstrom) in 1957 and they enjoyed 34 years of marriage. She preceded Gerry in death along with his son Thomas; his infant granddaughter Rachel; his parents; his brother, Joseph and sisters Vivian, Audrey and Beverly. Gerry is survived by his daughter Nancy (Bruce) Laddusire; grandson, Matthew; brother Lawrence Fercello and many nieces, nephews, other family and many friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church – St. Mary’s site, with Father Randy Knauf and Deacon Ronald Bosi officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., with a Rosary service at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23 at the Carlson Funeral Home. There will also be a visitation at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until just prior to the services. Interment will follow in the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery.
You may leave your private condolences for the Fercello family atwww.carlsonfh.com . There will be a memorial established in Gerry’s name and may be directed to his family. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the Fercello family.