David F. Gerlach of Hartland, Wisconsin passed away January 20, 2017 in Venice, Florida, age 77, of complications from pneumonia.
He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 29, 1939 to Frederick and Carol Gerlach. David is survived by his loving wife, Sally (nee Ruby) of 27 years, and his children, Darrin (Amy) Thiem and grandchildren Jaiden, Daniel, Mia and Macy of Franklin, Wisconsin; Tracy Thiem of Petaluma, California, Julie Gerlach of Humbird, Wisconsin and Michael (JoAnn) Gerlach and grandchildren Jura and Ireland of Hartland, Wisconsin; his stepson Kevin (Susan) Hough and grandchildren Alecia and Nicholas, of New Berlin, Wisconsin; and stepdaughter Victoria (Hough) Kennedy and grandchildren Madison and Kathryn of Durham, North Carolina. He is also survived by his sister, Gretchen (David) Bremer, and nieces Wendy (David) Bolland, and Heidi Bremer (Glenn Goudy).
David was a graduate of Milton College and of Valparaiso Law School, where he received his law degree, and was admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar as a practicing attorney in 1965. Following the footsteps of his father, he went to the World Wide College of Auctioneering to become an auctioneer, and in 1966 joined his father’s firm as both lawyer and auctioneer. Gerlach Companies, which was founded in 1941, is the oldest family run auctioneer and appraisal firm in Wisconsin. David’s son, Michael, has also followed his father’s footsteps as an auctioneer and appraiser in the family business.
David held the offices of Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President in the American Society of Appraisers Local Chapter 57 from 1999 through 2003. For the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association, he was a Board of Directors member from 1999 through 2003, and was President Elect in 2003, President in 2004, and Chairman of the Board in 2005. In 2008 David won the Senior Bid Calling Championship. On Monday, January 31, 2017 at the WAA winter conference, he will posthumously be inducted into the Wisconsin Auctioneer’s Association Hall of Fame, where his son Michael will accept the honor.
Upon “semi-retiring” in 2010, Dave and Sally enjoyed dividing their time between summers in Door County, winters in Florida, and family time in Hartland. They enjoyed having company come visit them. In earlier years, David was actively involved in Boxer Rescue, having provided a good home for several boxers. He was an avid golfer and reader, and enjoyed playing cards with his friends. He loved Harley Davidson motorcycles and vintage cars. He was also a big fan of the political and financial climate in the U.S. and around the world.
David will be affectionately remembered for his kindness, strength of character, his sense of humor, dedication to family and company, and as “Da Boss” and “Fearless Leader” by his employees.
Memorial visitation will be held at the Evert-Luko Funeral Home, 170 Warren Avenue, Hartland, Wisconsin on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be appreciated to Arrowhead High School Boy’s Golf, ATTN: Liz Arsow, 700 North Avenue, Hartland, WI 53029.