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Bernal 'Gus' Wahlberg, 87

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Bernal Wayne "Gus" Wahlberg, age 87, of Hudson, Wis., died on Saturday, June 22, at his home, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

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Gus was born on July 13, 1925, to Lennard and Geraldine (Johnson) Wahlberg in Marshalltown, Iowa, and was the youngest of four children. He graduated from Marshalltown High School and worked for Lennox Industries. In 1943 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served through WWII, specifically in the Pacific Campaign, with the 2nd Division 6th Marine Regiment HQ Co. His military career saw him in the role of communications alongside the Navajo Code Talkers in the battles of Saipan, Okinawa, and others, and earn the rank of corporal. After his military career, he returned home to Marshalltown and continued working for Lennox where he became a salesman and territory manager. He would work for Lennox until his retirement in 1988. It was while working for Lennox that he would occasionally chat with a local phone operator named Geraldine Rolston. The conversations grew longer and longer and eventually led to their first date on July 8, 1948. The two were united in marriage on Dec. 16, 1949, and were inseparable after that. The marriage was blessed with three children, Greg, Gwen, and Glenn. It was in April of 1957 that the Wahlberg family moved to Hudson, Wis., for Gus' work, where they have since remained, close to friends and family.

Gus was a dedicated family man who led by example. The traits he built on were honor, integrity, and commitment, and he personified those to everyone he met. He instilled that in his children with quotes like, "If you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself," and "We don't know how to quit." He enjoyed time with his family and friends, was a dedicated Twins and Vikings fan, and could often be found spending time at the cabin, which he built from the ground up. He was an active member of the community, serving on the building committees for both the Christian Community Home and the Hudson United Methodist Church. At the end of the day, Gus would proudly tell anyone that his greatest accomplishment was his family.

Gus is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gerry; children, Greg (Melody) of Hudson, Gwen (Dan) of Pittsburg, Calif., and Glenn (Kris) of Hudson; grandchildren, Jon, Nick, Heather, Jason, Ashley, and Ryan; great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Gianni, and Maddox; sister, Maxine Brent of La Mesa, Calif. ; nephews, Ken (Wanda) Brent of La Mesa, Gary Brent of Valencia, Calif., and Lew Wahlberg of Texas, and niece Sue Wahlberg of Texas, as well as many other relatives and dear friends.

Gus was preceded in death by his parents, Lennard and Geraldine; his siblings, Gene and Genevieve; and a daughter-in-law, Kim Huppert Wahlberg.

A memorial celebration of life for Gus will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 27, at the Hudson United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Willow River Cemetery. A visitation will be held for 1 hour prior to services. A time of viewing and visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home - Hudson Chapel.

Services are in the care of the O'Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory, 715-386-3725, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com.

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