Eugene “Gene” Persohn, 70, Green Bay, faced his final challenge and passed away peacefully on April 24, 2019. Gene was born September 13, 1948 to Sarah and Lawrence Persohn in Green Bay. Born blind, Gene explored the world with all his other senses. Hearing became his strength. Gene worked hard to be one of the first blind students to be mainstreamed kindergarten through 12th grade in the Green Bay Public Schools. After his 1966 West High School graduation, Gene studied for two years at the extension campus at UWGB. He went on to graduate with a speech education degree from UW-Platteville. Michigan State at East Lansing was his next challenge, completing a Masters Degree in Special Education of the Visually Impaired. Gene’s career challenge was as a special education teacher of the visually impaired for more than 20 years in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Ham radio became a hobby for Gene, beginning in high school. He also enjoyed bowling with the Blind Bowling Association in his younger days. Along with Aunt Lal, he was able to attend bowling conferences across the U.S. Much of his spare time was spent listening to sports; from the Kentucky Derby, to golf, to Badger Hockey, to Brewers and Packer games. Attending many Packer games with Uncle Rollie were great memories for him.
Trips to Gulf Shores, Alabama to visit Uncle Rodger and Aunt Lois, and Marco Island, Florida with Judy afforded him new experiences, new sounds and so much good food! His summer home near Crivitz with so many fun cousins allowed him some outdoor time and hours of listening to the birds. The highlight of Gene’s summer was always attending the annual cousins’ reunion.
He will be sadly missed by his sister, Judy Persohn (Special friend Tim Kroeff), aunts, Lal Tahlier, Lois Reichardt, Edie Reichardt; special cousins, nurse Treena Messerschmidt and Jamie Kohl; and many loving cousins and friends.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents; younger sister, Kathy Kay Persohn; aunts and uncles, Merlie and Vic Keuer, Eunice and Leonard Watland, Rodger Reichardt, Mitzie Giffen, Roland Reichardt, David and Shirley Reichardt, Lester and Alice Persohn, Geri and Bob Wogsland and Robet Persohn Jr.
A celebration of Gene’s life will take place at the Rock Garden, 1951 Bond Street, on Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Please wear your favorite sports attire, except for Vikings gear. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos may be shared with Gene’s family on his tribute page at www.lyndahl.com.
A memorial fund has been established in Gene’s name at Associated Bank, 200 Adams Street, Green Bay, WI 54301, for a visually impaired student’s future education. Memorials may also be sent to WI Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 754 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703; or a charity of your choice.
A special thank you is extended to the staff of Grancare Rehab and Grancare Gardens for your patience and help during his short stay.