Jerrold Meissner, 67, of Chili, WI, passed away December 13, 2021 at home surrounded by his loving family. Jerry was born May 26, 1954 to Norman and Elaine (Ott) Meissner and united in marriage to the love of his life, Diane Dovenbarger in 1975. Together they went on to build a family and legacy full of compassion and intention.
Jerry graduated from Marshfield High School in 1972. After a brief stint at the dairy science program in Madison, he returned home to partner with his dad on the family farm, Norm-E-Lane. In 1974 they began the first of many expansions on the farm and never looked back. To have farmed with his dad and brothers and eventually his son and grandsons was one of the greatest blessings of his life.
In March 1976, he graduated from auctioneer school and got his start in auctioneering with Landini Realty & Auction Service. From there he used his profound auctioneer talents to support hundreds of community events and fundraisers.
Jerry was passionate about everything in his life including his family, his farm, his community, hunting, the mountains, and fishing in Canada. He found a sense of pride and solitude in sharing his love for nature and the wilderness with all he knew. He loved being involved and felt strongly about generously giving back to his community and industry, and encouraged others to do the same. His involvement started young in 4-H and FFA leadership. He served on numerous boards and committees including St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, House of the Dove and Marshfield’s Hope Lodge. He supported many causes such as the National Farm Medicine Center and Auction of Champions, Rich Seubert’s Celebrity Trap Shoot, CureSearch for children’s cancer research and many more. Jerry shared his love of the dairy industry through years of involvement with Dairy Business Association and Edge.
Jerry’s true life’s work was wrapped up in his family, which was always his #1. He was a deeply devoted husband, father and grandpa, showing us all how to work, how to play, and most importantly, how to love. From sporting events to tree stands, pursuing the mountains and beaches, ranger rides and Sunday snuggles, Packer games, and his beloved hunting cabin, time spent with his kids and grandkids was irreplaceable. “Dad didn’t tell us how to live, he lived and let us watch him do it.”
Jerry’s family wasn’t always blood, as is extremely evident in the dear friends around him. Being a business owner has many responsibilities, but people were always his priority. He created a “family first business” and lived by that motto – his employees were absolutely family. His legacy will live on through the many people touched by him.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife Diane; his children Josh (Sheri) Meissner, Jennifer (Matt) Schaefgen, Tiffany (Daniel) Halan and Ashley (David) Welter; his grandchildren Emmett, Jordana, Dawson, Trey, Molly, Drew, Lukas, Easton, and future baby boy Welter. He is further survived by his sister Sandy Garrand, brothers Butch (Sharon) Meissner and David (Tammy) Meissner, and brothers-in-law, Vance Dovenbarger, Eric (Cindy) Dovenbarger and Kurt Dovenbarger as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Norman and Elaine Meissner, his sister Melody Dovenbarger, his brother Steven Meissner, his mother-in-law Betty Dovenbarger, his father-in-law Bill Dovenbarger, and his nephews Jeremy Meissner and Travis Dovenbarger.
A funeral service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, Hwy 10, at 1:00 pm on Friday, December 17, 2021. A celebration of life will be held following the ceremony from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm at RiverEdge Golf Course. Arrangements are being handled by Rembs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Jerry’s memory to two of his favorite causes – the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic and CureSearch for children’s cancer research. The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to Marshfield Clinic Oncology and Dr. Seth Fagbemi, the staff from MMC-Marshfield 5 North, Heartland Hospice, as well as the remarkable team at Froedtert Hospital of Milwaukee.
Jer once said, “Great experiences only become great memories because of the people you share those moments with.” Thanks for the memories…to the good times!