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Nature 28


Gary Edward Buerstatte

October 4, 1948 ~ December 29, 2018 (age 70)

     Gary Edward Buerstatte, 70 of the Town of Egg Harbor in Sturgeon Bay, formerly of Milwaukee, passed away at home, Saturday morning, December 29, 2018.

     He was born October 4, 1948 in Manitowoc, the son of Edward Charles Buerstatte and Ruth Dorothy (Pasewalk) Buerstatte. Gary’s father passed away before he was born. Gary graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967 and went on to study at Carroll College in Waukesha. Upon graduating from Carroll in 1971, he studied academic administration through the master’s program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Gary returned to Carroll to work in Admissions for several years. In 1977, he joined ProHealth Care, Inc. retiring as senior vice president of strategic planning after 33 years. In his retirement, Gary established his own strategic planning agency, Gary Buerstatte Consulting LLC, advising local nonprofits.

     Gary first met Anna Marie Pepelnjak in October, 1980. They were married on May 31, 1982 in the chapel at Holy Hill Basilica in Hubertus, WI. Gary and Anna shared over 36 years of marriage. Most recently, they lived in Milwaukee and moved to Door County full-time in December, 2018.

     Gary was a member of Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay and Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee. He liked to read, especially about political history (FDR and Bobby Kennedy were two of his favorites). He loved to play golf and once made a hole-in-one while playing with his son, Nathan, on hole 17, at Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee. Gary was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Boston College Eagles.  He enjoyed many interests, including travel and the theater, and served on several nonprofit boards. Gary embraced life with enthusiasm and strength. He was a proud liberal and pacifist and was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. First and foremost in Gary’s life was his family.

     He will be deeply missed by his wife, Anna Pepelnjak; son, Nathan Edward (Lauren) Buerstatte of Westborough, MA; his grandson, Garrett Michael Edward, and twin granddaughters, Annabelle Love and Quinn Olivia; sister, Gail (Alan) Meindl of De Pere and their family; and many well-loved friends and colleagues.

     Gary was preceded in death by his father, Edward Buerstatte, his mother, Ruth Kunish, and his stepfather, Lester Kunish.

     His life will be honored with a memorial service held at 11:00 am. on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay with Reverend Richard D. Feyen and Reverend Jean Dow officiating. Burial will in Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc. Memorials may be given in Gary’s name to the Door County Land Trust (P.O. Box 65, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235), the River Revitalization Foundation (2134 N. Riverboat Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53212), or Immanuel Presbyterian Church (church office at 1105 N. Waverly Pl., Milwaukee, WI 53212).

     A special thanks goes out to the staff of Unity Hospice for the compassionate care provided to Gary for the days prior to his death.

     Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay are assisting the arrangements. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Gary may be shared with the family through his tribute page at

Donations may be made to:

Door County Land Trust
P.O. Box 65, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235
Tel: 1-920-766-1359

River Revitalization Foundation
2134 N. Riverboat Road, Milwaukee WI 53212
Tel: 1-414-271-8000

Immanuel Presbyterian Church - Milwaukee
1100 N. Astor Street; Church Office at 1105 N. Waverly Place, Milwaukee WI 53202
Tel: 1-414-276-4757

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