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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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August 12, 2020

7/3/2020 7:30:00 AM
Geraldine (Slavia) Mary Kucaba (Veselsky)

Geraldine (Slavia) Mary Kucaba (Veselsky), age 102, of Rhinelander, passed away Sunday, June 28, 2020 at Friendly Village in Rhinelander. She was born in Cook County, Ill., Nov. 5, 1917. Her parents were Karl and Mary (Vovotny) Veselsky.

She is survived by her sister, Adeline Blim (Veselsky) 92, her daughters Carol Hoerchler (Kucaba), Geraldine "Chickee" (Kucaba) (Alvin) Bunkoske, son Dennis (Sandy) Kucaba, her grandchildren Tracy (Samantha) Kucaba, Tammy (Tom Griffith) Kucaba, Tanya Kucaba, Susan (Chris Galtress) Hoerchler, Mike (Beth) Hoerchler, Catherine (Edwin) Nance, Erik Bunkoske, Jayson Bunkoske, her great-grandchildren Kevin Kucaba, Jimmy Kucaba, Callie Hoerchler, Lindsey Hoerchler and Henry Griffith. She was preceded in death by her 7 brothers, husband Edward Kucaba and son-in-law Fred Hoerchler.

Her father was a stone cutter and the family raised pigs, geese, and turkeys. For fun, Gerry and her brothers would fish and meet friends to dance at the local ballroom. At 19, Gerry met her future husband, Edward, while they both worked in a laundry. They married Oct. 13, 1940 and started a family.

When their children were young, Gerry and Edward made sure to pass down their love of fishing and began taking weeklong fishing trips to Canada, a tradition that continues to this day. Her son-in-law once said she was the best fishermen we had, she was always so patient. And it was true; she landed the most and biggest walleyes with her trusty Zebco. In fact, she said that her secret to longevity was don't smoke, don't drink (well, maybe a little) and fish...a lot.

In 1970, Edward and Gerry moved to Wisconsin from Lombard, Ill. and bought the Three G's Resort on Lake George, with their daughter Carol and son-in-law Fred, which they operated together for many years. In their motor home, the pair traveled to Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky, to, of course, fish. Edward passed away 17 years ago, but Gerry remained in their home until age 97, when she moved to Friendly Village. As a resident Gerry enjoyed the horse racing game, #6 always wins, and getting her hair done. She got out often to spend time with family at their homes, shop, mani/pedis, and go out to dinner.

Gerry was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, but also a card shark, always ready for a game of Rummy 500, especially in Canada after a day of fishing. She volunteered at the senior center, and was a fantastic cook and baker, passing down many cherished family recipes.

Gerry had two big birthday bashes for her 90th and 100th birthdays, envious milestones for many. Her life touched so many people in a century plus and she will never, ever be forgotten as her legacy lives on in all of us.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. You are invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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