Gilbert “Gib” Frederick Pahl, age 83 of Pelican Lake, died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 with his wife Marsha by his side. Gib “fought the good fight” these last few years and is now at peace and no longer in pain.
Gib was born Nov. 20, 1933 in Kenosha to William and Marie Pahl. He graduated from Bradford High School in 1951 and married Laura (Harmsen) in 1955. Together they had three children, Bruce, Debra and David. Gib joined the United States Navy in 1956 as a Seabee at the urging of his brother-in-law, Stanley Valentine and was stationed in various locations including California, Rhode Island, Cuba and Puerto Rico. He proudly retired from the Seabees as a Command Master Chief of the Sixth Reserve Naval Construction Regiment in 1987 after having served thirty years. He was very proud of his civilian career as well, having worked alongside his father, William, in the early years, learning the building trades and building many homes, which led him to his career of a Building Inspector for the city of Kenosha during the early 1960’s, from which he retired as the Inspection Chief of the city’s Building Inspection Department in 1989. Gib was also very proud of his Danish heritage, which was strong within his family. Many a birthday was celebrated with the infamous “Danish Layer Cake!”
Gib married Marsha Kimmel in May of 1979. Together they had many wonderful journeys which often took them down south where Gib enjoyed Gulfport, Miss. and the many casinos, of which he was a fan. Gib and Marsha renovated their first vacation home in Pelican Lake and later moved up the road and tirelessly built their beautiful retirement home, virtually by themselves. Gib took great pride in his ability and ingenuity to build and design. His father taught him well. Gib and Marsha enjoyed snowmobiling, visiting casinos, traveling, hosting “Christmas in July” and enjoying the lake with their combined families. After retirement, Gib was lead carpenter of the 1st Habitat for Humanity House in Rhinelander on River St. He and Marsha delivered many meals through the Oneida County Meal Program. Gib was a member of the Carpenters Union in Kenosha, Local 161.
Gib is survived by his wife of 38 years, Marsha; his three children, Bruce (Debbie) Pahl of New Glarus; Deb Kohl (ex Jeff) of Appleton and David (Amy) Pahl of Merrimac; his two step-children, Jay Kimmel (Diana Ketes) of Valparaiso, Ind. and Kelly (Mike) Eryman of Westville, Ind. Gib was extremely proud of his nine grandchildren, Ben (Nicole), Christopher (Kari), Nate (Sara), Mandy (Matt), Jared (Kate), David (Melissa), Jonathon (Jenny), Alan and Miles, along with eight great-grandchildren, niece, Louise Valentinusen and family, and sister-in-law, Sharen Muha of Hammond, Ind. Annie, his canine companion and “the boys,” his feline companions will also miss him greatly.
Gib was preceded in death by his mother and father, Marie and William; his sister and brother-in-law, Grace and Stanley Valentine; mother-in-law and father-in-law, John and Jean Muha; brother-in-law, Ron Muha; a niece and nephew, Susan and Larry Valentine, along with various other family members throughout the United States and Denmark, and Ruffles…his favorite furry companion!
Gib will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. Although he often challenged those around him to see things through his eyes, he loved deeply and had a soft heart. He bantered with and appreciated his nephrologist and nurse, Dr. Rassier and nurse Deb and the many nurses at DaVita Dialysis. Also, many thanks to Dr. Nelson and the nursing staff at Weston Hospital who made his last days more comfortable.
The visitation and the celebration of Gib’s life will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Full military honors will take place at 1 p.m. followed by the sharing of memories.
Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Celebrating lives and healing hearts. You are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, post a photo or an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com.