David C. Bletsoe
David C. Bletsoe, 72 of Marathon, died peacefully Monday, March 19, 2012 under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at his home after a brief but valiant fight with liver cancer.
He was born October 15, 1939 in Prescott, son of the late Earl "Ken" and Ann (Stoffel) Bletsoe. David was a 1957 graduate of Columbus Catholic High School, Marshfield, WI. On September 7, 1962 he eloped with his true love, Bonnie Solinsky to Pine City, Minnesota.
Survivors include his wife, Bonnie Bletsoe, Marathon; children, Michael Bletsoe, Neenah, Mark (Jaclyn) Bletsoe, Marathon and Christine (Randy) Hanke, Marathon; grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He is survived by his sister, Charlene Karau, Minocqua.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Dave was a cheese maker for over 50 years and currently owned Bletsoe's Cheese, Inc of Marathon. He first began his career partnering with his father, Ken at Cloverhill Dairy, Rozellville, WI. In 1965, David managed the Pittsville Creamery, Pittsville, WI. David later moved his family to Cleveland, OH and managed Miceli Dairy processing Italian cheese. Dave moved back to WI and once again partnered with his father at York Dairy in Granton, eventually purchasing Bletsoe Dairy Inc in Christie, WI and operated until his father's retirement. David then managed Frigo Cheese in Symco, WI manufacturing Italian cheese. In 1983, David and Bonnie purchased the former Pauly Cheese currently known as Bletsoe Cheese, Inc located in Little Chicago, WI. Cheese making was David's career, but it was truly his passion.
David's youthful attitude, "work hard/play hard" philosophy and genuine interest in others gifted him with an infectious personality allowing him to make new friends easily and keep long held friendships. David could strike up a conversation with anyone. He had an uncanny ability to find a link from one person to another, often knowing a relative or friend that linked them together no matter where he went. David was blessed with a great sense of humor and mischievous smile which made spending time with him a joy and he lived a life filled with many friends and laughs. He loved to chat and visit, and especially enjoyed drives to see the countryside. He loved to tease his grandchildren who affectionately called him "Papa Cheese".
In his youth, David enjoyed spending summers with his grandparents in Prescott, WI swimming in the St Croix River. He enjoyed boating, waterskiing and fixing cars to street race with his buddies, usually narrowly escaping trouble. He could often be found helping out his parents at their business, The Paris Avenue Supper Club (now The Buccaneer) in Rozellville, WI. Dave also served one summer as a U.S. Merchant Marine.
Some of his many recent hobbies included motorcycling, snowmobiling, and boating. He loved spending time at his cottage, socializing and cocktails with friends. He often filled the saddle bags of his Harley or Goldwing Trike with cheese curds and stopped at various establishments to provide new and old friends with the fresh, squeaky treats. He enjoyed watching wildlife out of his living room window; birds, turkeys, deer, coyotes and an occasional bear. He had a soft spot in his heart for his Bichon Frise dogs, Queso and Angel.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2012 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon. A 'Celebration of Life' will be 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Memories Ballroom, Marathon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can he directed to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services; New Life Pet Adoption Center, Marathon or Northcentral Technical College Agricultural Center of Excellence, Wausau.
David's family would like to thank his nurse practitioner, Lori Schutte for her excellent care and the wonderful staff at Aspirus Marathon Clinic. Special thanks to Stephanie K, RN and staff at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice for providing such compassionate care during David's final days.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com