Gerald C. ‘Jerry’ Leistikow

Gerald C. ‘Jerry’ Leistikow, 88, of Merrill, passed away Saturday, February 24, 2024, at Bell Tower
Residence, Merrill.

Jerry was born March 24, 1935, in the Town of Corning, Lincoln County, son of Clarence Sr. and Minnie (Bartelt) Leistikow. He met the love of his life, Sally Ingersoll, and the two lovingly exchanged marriage vows on January 7, 1956, at St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill. In 1961, Jerry and Sally relocated their family to Fort Lewis Military Base in Washington when Jerry was called to serve in the National Guard during the Berlin Crisis. Thankfully, they only spent a year away from the Merrill area and returned home as soon as they could. In total, he was proud to serve as a Staff Sergeant in the National Guard for twelve years.

In younger years, Jerry worked at Laabs Dairy and Page Milk. He then took a job as a millwright at Ward Paper Company in Merrill. After the mill closed, Jerry worked for Wausau Coated until 2000, when he retired. Jerry also owned and operated ‘Jerry’s Small Engines’ for about eight years, worked as a mechanic at Park City Motors for a few years, and did logging work.

Serving and providing for his family was where Jerry found his purpose. He could build or fix anything. Jerry built both of their family homes and was always present to help his family with anything, but especially with handson projects.

Above all, Jerry lived his faith and loved his family. He enjoyed the time he spent with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; gentle teasing was often his way of connecting. Though Jerry was quiet, he cherished time with his family and friends; camping resulted in exceptionally fond memories. He loved living on the Wisconsin River and watching the wildlife, especially the deer. Jerry and Sally sought many opportunities to travel. They had been to Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, California, and Alaska. Their trips also included Germany and Switzerland.

Survivors include his children, Vicki (John Kilgust) Leistikow of Merrill, Randy (Ann Bohun-Leistikow) Leistikow of Barron, WI, and Shari (Brian) Samuelson of Merrill; four grandchildren, Kally (Eric) Jehn of Weston, Brianna (T.J.) Morris of Scott AFB, IL, Krista Leistikow (Logan Wardean) of Eau Claire, and Ryan Leistikow of Colorado Spring, CO; five great-grandchildren, Boone, Ryker, Ember, Marceline, and Jeremiah; sister, Lavera Hildebrand of Merrill; brother, Clarence Leistikow Jr. of Merrill; sister-in-law, Cynthia (Mark) Leubner of Superior; and brother-in-law, Stanley Rothmeyer of Merrill.

Jerry was preceded in death by Sally Leistikow, his wife whom he dearly missed; parents, Clarence Jr. and Minnie Leistikow; sisters, Geraldine (Lyndon) Oelke and Verna (Edlor) Kleinschmidt; sisters-in-law, Dawn Leistikow and Sandra Rothmeyer; and brother-in-law, James Ingersoll.

The funeral service for Jerry will be held at 11:00 A.M., Monday, March 4, 2024, at St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill. The Rev. David Szeto will officiate. Interment will take place in Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery with graveside military rites conducted by V.F.W. Post 1638 – Merrill. Visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M., Monday, March 4, 2024, at the church. Taylor-Stine Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Merrill, is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be made at

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