Michael E. Guisleman, Edgerton, WI
September 11, 1952 - September 3, 2017
Michael E. Guisleman, age 64, of Edgerton, died unexpectedly Sunday, September 3, 2017, at his home. He was born in Dayton, OH, on September 11, 1952, the son of Donald and Myra (Saylor) Guisleman. Mike moved to Wisconsin to attend college, and fell in love with everything about the state. He sought out the natural wonders and landscapes by any means possible, including hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, bicycling and motorcycling (he loved his Ducati), doing so on his own, with family and friends, or the multitude of organizations he supported through volunteerism. Although too numerous to list, they included: Ice Age Trail, Sierra Club, Rock Trail Coalition, Rock River Alliance, Friends of Beckman Mill, Friends of Welty Environmental Center, Friends of Edgerton Library, Edgerton Community Outreach, Edgerton Farmers' Market, Optimists and so many more. Quite simply, he was a Friend.
Mike graduated from UW Madison in 1983 with a Bachelor's degree in Natural Resources, and later from UW Whitewater with a Master's degree in Guidance and Counseling. He was married to Deb Jones on August 27, 1988 at Gibbs Lake County Park. He was a dedicated employee of Rock County for many years, having an inspiring work ethic which began in the Kitchen/Housekeeping departments and led to Administrative positions within Human Services, including Coordinator of Mental Health Services in Rock County. Quite simply, he kept the HUMAN in Human Services. He also served as the County Parks Director until 2007, coming out of retirement as his drive to help others led him to Social Work positions within the Janesville School District at the high schools and the Rock County Jail.
Mike freely shared his passion for Wisconsin's natural resources and environment with all who crossed his path. He championed the Ice Age Trail, and had begun what he dreamed to be a through hike one day. He enjoyed genealogy research, driving his '52 Chevy, watching the Green Bay Packers and cooking for others. Mike had a unique way of connecting with people…meeting them where they were at. From small gestures of striking up a conversation, or helping a child navigate the breakfast program at school, (which he helped found) to offering his truck to provide a ride, his was a life of service…of countless lives made richer, be it a fleeting or lasting connection.
He is survived by his son, Jesse Guisleman of Milwaukee; his former wife, Deb Guisleman of Edgerton; half-sister, Pamela Gorsuch of Dayton, OH; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a half-brother, Donnie Stratton.
Memorial services will be at 12 p.m. on Monday, September 18, 2017, at the APFEL EHLERT FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, 315 Lord St. (Hwy 51) Edgerton. Rev. Jim Salimes will officiate. Private family burial will be in the Fulton Cemetery. Visitation will take place on Monday from 10 a.m. until the hour of services at 12 p.m. at the APFEL EHLERT FUNERAL HOME. Memorials in Mike's name may be made to The Ice Age Trail Foundation. For online condolences: www.apfelfuneral.com