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Obituary for Gerhardt J. ‘Gary’ Bublitz

January 1, 1945 – July 5, 2023

Gerhardt “Gary” Bublitz, 78, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. Gary grew up in South Milwaukee and graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1962

Gerhardt J. “Gary” Bublitz
Gerhardt J. “Gary” Bublitz

Immediately after graduation, at the age of 17, he joined the United States Coast Guard and traveled the world, serving four years on active duty as a Sonar Technician. In 1966 he began working for AT&T and also joined the Coast Guard Reserves, where he achieved the rank of Chief Boatswain Mate, and was simply known as “Chief” to many of his friends. In his career with the phone company, he went from a line technician to playing an integral part in the new field of fiber optic communications.

A few years after beginning his new career he met his amazing and beloved wife, Fran. The two of them were married in the winter of 1968 and recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary. After his retirement, Gary became a corporate driver for J.I. Case and loved interacting with the interesting mix of executives and dignitaries he transported daily.

Gary was actively involved with the Sturtevant youth baseball program in the ‘80s where he coached numerous teams, umpired, and took a leadership role in the program. From there, volunteering and being active in his community became a big part of his life.

His love for the military and military families turned into his passion. For over 20 years he organized and recruited hundreds of volunteers to place flags on every veteran’s gravesite in Racine’s West Lawn Cemetery. He served as the post commander for Sturtevant’s local VFW post # 9948, was a member of the Somers American Legion David Leet Post 552, and was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

He sold poppies every year in support of veterans and their families, worked with funeral homes to make sure our veterans were given a proper military service, spoke at, and participated in numerous Memorial Day ceremonies, and took time to visit local high schools to educate kids about military service and the importance of remembering and respecting those who have served our country. He shared with them his personal stories and experiences of his deployment to the Persian Gulf in 1990, where he took part in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

In 2018, he flew to Washington D.C. on the Honor Flight and was honored for his military service. In a way, it was also recognition of his selfless service to his country and the families he touched throughout the years.

In his personal time, Gary loved completing his Sunday crossword puzzles, Friday fish fries with his wife, Fran, watching the Rose Bowl Parade every year on his birthday, watching Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers football games, golfing, telling jokes, playing cribbage, representing the Coast Guard in Racine’s annual 4th of July parade, visiting Austin and attending University of Texas football games, hanging out at local bars socializing and making new friends, and yelling at the neighborhood kids telling them to stay off his grass!

He is survived by his wife, Frances, son, Jayson (Yolanda Pantonial), daughter, Denise Cave (Aaron Cave), and two grandchildren, Matthew, and Abigail. Gary was preceded in his death by his father, Edwin, his mother, Gertrude, and sister, Lucille.

His booming voice and big personality will be missed by all who knew him.


Funeral services, including VFW Post 9948, will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at noon at the Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home. A visitation will take place on Tuesday at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Interment with full military honors will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2023, at 9 a.m. in Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to

Obituary and photo courtesy of Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home.

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