June 17, 2024

Ernest “Ernst” Gutschow, Kiel…age 76,  passed away at Manitowoc Health and Rehabilitation Center on May 14, 2024.

He graduated cum laude in Music Education from Lakeland College and furthered his education at the VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. Ernst entered the United States Navy Music Program where he served at the U.S. Navy School of Music, studying string bass and the art of Drum Major.  He was also in the Great Lakes Naval Training Center Band, serving as musician and drum major.  He then taught band at the Reedsville School District for many years and was a lifelong member of the Kiel Municipal Band where he played cornet, tuba and bass drum plus cymbals.

On June 10, 1978, Ernst married Rae Elizabeth Bonner, daughter of the late Dr. Nelson and Norma (Kempfert) Bonner.

Ernst was a life member of WWOA. He purchased his first parcel of woodlands in 1976. Their next purchase of 13 acres was very special, as the acreage was purchased by Ernst’s great-grandfather in 1905 for his second oldest son and family. From 1977-2004, the Gutschows operated a successful maple syrup operation with 120 taps producing 30-40 gallons of high quality syrup.  In 2010, they hosted the WWOA Annual Meeting’s Sunday field day at their Sugar Maple Acres Tree Farm.  He was an avid woodsman, tree farmer, squirrel hunter, and gardener.