H. Gene Edwards

LODI – Westby


Harold ‘Gene’ Edwards, age 66, of Lodi and formerly Westby, died Wednesday June 13, 2018.



Sample Image     Gene died at home near Lodi on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. He was under the care of his wife and Heartland Hospice of Madison.


     Gene was born in southern Missouri on November 4, 1951 to the late Andrew and Mary (King) Edwards. He served in the U.S. Navy for nine years which included a tour off the coast of Vietnam during the last part of the war. After his service, Gene completed his B.S. degree at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. This was one of his proudest accomplishments. However, his biggest accomplishment was being the best daddy a little girl could hope for.


     Gene's career began at the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission in LaCrosse. This was followed by several jobs as Department Administrator for Walworth, Portage, and Vernon counties. He loved his work and was committed to providing garbage disposal and recycling services in an environmentally conscious, yet cost effective way for county residents.


     In his spare time, Gene could be found catching trout from one of Vernon County's many streams and rivers. He also loved tending his organic vegetable garden every summer. Mostly, he enjoyed playing with his and his wife's many rescue dogs. In fact, his last audible word was 'puppies', his term of endearment for the dogs. He became a firm advocate for pet rescue versus buying from breeders. The large number of animals euthanized every year because of lack of homes bothered him a great deal. He also

live-trapped feral cats at the landfill for a local rescuer. As a devout follower of PBS programming, Gene’s love of animals grew into an appreciation for the rich emotional lives of animals. As this grew, his interest in hunting lessened. This was a struggle for him, having grown up in a hunting culture. Nevertheless in recent years, he came home empty-handed even though he had spotted prey and was an excellent marksman. Relaxing while wandering the woods and fields had become the ultimate goal.


     Gene believed strongly in equal education for all, equal healthcare for all, and tolerance for all. His gentle demeanor was demonstrative of these values.


     Gene is survived by: his wife of forty years Catherine, his dog-kids Keesha and Timmy, his siblings Galvin (Ronda), Roger (Joleen), Linda (Jake) Hoover, and Ron (Nanci), his brothers-in-law, Richard Bennett and Gary (Dolly) Bakken, a sister-in-law   Kathy Bakken; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

     Gene was preceded in death by; his parents, his parents-in-law, Maynard and Evelyn Bakken, his sister Shirley Bennett, an infant brother, his niece Alecia, his brother-in-law Wayne Bakken, as well as many uncles and aunts; and many pets.

Gene’s most heart-wrenching loss was of his nine-year-old daughter, Melissa.

     A graveside service with Military Honors for Gene will be held Friday June 29, 2018, at Coon Prairie Cemetery in Westby at 2:00 PM. Gene will be interred next to Melissa.

     The families and friends of Gene will be having a Celebration of Life to honor him over the Labor-Day weekend this September, in southern Missouri. All are welcome.

     In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials would be appreciated and will be distributed to Gene’s favorite charities later.

     On-line condolences may be offered at www.vossfh.com.

     The Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Main in Westby, is serving the family.


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