Gerald "Gerry" Olav Fosdal, 87, of Stoughton, died on June 6, 2023, supported by family, friends, pastor and caregivers at Agrace hospice. Gerry was born in Stoughton, WI on September 6, 1935, to Olav and Mildred (Slinde) Fosdal. He graduated from Stoughton High School in 1953 and two years later attended the Culinary Institute of America in Connecticut. He also served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard for twelve years, where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 1963, Gerry met Beverly Mickelson at a local ski hill where he shared with her both his charm and his newfound faith in Christ. Married soon after, with “love God, love people, love each other” engraved into their wedding bands, the couple developed a passion for pointing others to Christ through relationships.
With Gerry as visionary and Bev in charge of details, the two labored to serve others with their home, business and energy. Settled on the banks of Koshkonong Creek in Rockdale, Gerry was a wise and creative father to his three children, while serving as father-figure to countless others. Gerry began his lifelong association with Willerup Church where he and Bev taught AWANA and Sunday School. They also encouraged countless adults through marriage seminars and small group Bible studies in the surrounding area. From fattigman to frycakes, Gerry continued the Romnes-Fosdal baking tradition on Stoughton’s Main Street. Fosdal Home Bakery came to represent personal growth and second chances due to Gerry’s capacity to care for each individual. Recognized for his business acumen, Gerry was an active member of Rotary and Wisconsin Bakers Association and served on the national board of Retail Bakers of America. He won numerous awards for his baking creations, most notably, the cream-cheese brownie. In 1985, Gerry acquired the Village Bakery in Cambridge, relishing the fact that he finally owned a “chain of bakeries.”
After selling the bakery to his capable manager and retiring in 2005, Gerry redirected his energies to a mulch pile and a riding lawn mower. A self-proclaimed one-man beautification committee, Gerry left a wake of tulips, freshly mown grass and power-washed gravestones wherever he went. Remaining devoted to his relationships with others, he continued to meet in small groups to study scripture and discuss life – always with much laughter. Gerry met his most difficult trial as he cared for Beverly in her five-year battle with cancer. Recognizing this as an “opportunity to live what we believe,” Gerry’s trust in God’s goodness was challenged and then deepened by this severe hardship. A beautiful chapter in his life was ushered in with his marriage to Charlene “Shelly” Menzer in 2011. Sharing his passion for Christ and love for people, Shelly breathed new life into Gerry and his family by bringing kindness, beauty and tranquility to their home, marriage and relationships. Shelly’s loving nurture not only brought delight to Gerry’s later years but eased his departure from this earthly life. Gerry is best remembered for his provocative wit, active compassion and deep joy in bringing others to scripture. He was a friend to all. His memory will be carried on through the communities he loved and served.
Gerry is survived by his wife of 12 years, Shelly; children/grandchildren Scott (Lauren), Griffin and Sydney Fosdal of Bozeman, MT; Mark Fosdal of Kirkland, WA; Kristen (Sean), Jacob, Will, Mim and Henry Marsan of Eden Prairie, MN; step-children/grandchildren Carolyn (Dustin), Ally and Ethan Barels of Whitewater; Tom (Laura), Lucas and Owen Menzer of Waukesha; brother Norris Fosdal of Stoughton, father to Eric and Kathy; sister Kären (Eric) Bakken of Mt. Horeb, mother to Kaia, Mollie, and Erica; and the congregational family at Willerup Church.
Visitation 4-7 p.m. June 16, with time of sharing 7-8 p.m. Funeral 11 a.m. June 17, with brief visitation 10 a.m. Burial in church cemetery and light lunch to follow. All events held at Willerup Church in Cambridge. Funeral service livestream https://youtube.com/live/V0AQr9Tr1bI. Memorials may be made to Dane County Parks https://www.danecountyparks.com/get-involved/donate, Willerup Church https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco_ver3.vps?appver3=wWsk24ZWJSTZKsGd1RMKlg0BDvsSG3VIWQCPJNNxD8upkiY7JlDavDsozUE7KG0nFx2NSo8LdUKGuGuF396vbdYM5abTC1VwhfCY0PICzW2XHubq5Z7ap5JVmPErc4ZeYHCKCZhESjGNQmZ5B-6dx0AqpyQvIdH3IlIBuem35mU=&ver=3, or Agrace HospiceCare Inc. https://www.agrace.org/donate/donate-today/ . The Fosdal family would welcome your messages and memories on Gerry’s Guestbook.