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Louis "Louie" Francis Gerzic Jr.
November 15, 1932 ~ October 17, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Louis “Louie” Francis Gerzic Jr., 90, of Superior, WI, formally of Allouez, WI, passed away peacefully on Tues. Oct. 17, 2023 at Vita-Care Assisted Living Center in Spooner, WI. Louie was born on Nov. 15, 1932, to Frances and Louis Francis Gerzic Sr.
Louie loved the game of football! He played during high school and lettered his senior year. Louie graduated from Superior East High School in ‘51. His parents owned and ran Dreamland Supper Club in South Range, WI and Louie worked there during high school. After graduating, he joined the Navy and served active duty from ‘52 – ‘55. One of his positions was bartender in the Officer’s Club during the Korean War. Louie also served in the Naval Reserve from ‘55 – ‘59 and was honorably discharged in ‘59. Louie married Joyce McArthur in ‘57 and they had one daughter, Susan, together.
Louie started his career working on the railroad before finding his passion in sales. He started selling appliances with Ross Electric and he was referred to as “Lucky Louie” in their advertisements. He also bartended as a second job for several years. Louie started working at Arrowhead Supply, Inc. at its inception and is credited with helping to get the company started.
In ‘81, he moved to Eagle River, WI with his companion, Betty Lutzka. Together they ran a distributorship of Arrowhead Supply, Inc. until ‘84. They purchased the Green Door in Three Lakes, WI in ‘83. They changed the name to LBJ’s Tavern and quickly turned that business into their full-time work. They served hamburgers, pizzas, and had a Friday Night Fish Fry along with the usual tavern libations. The tavern was surrounded by many lakes and was located on a snowmobile trail through the Nicolet Forest. They spent summers and winters serving the steady influx of visitors. Patrons loved to watch football at LBJ’s because Louie was an ardent Vikings fan and Betty was an ardent Packers fan; smack talking was always on the menu!
In their retirement, Louie and Betty started another business, “Backwoods Arts”, where Louie built chests, stools, bird houses and other wood items. Betty painted Rosemaling, wildlife and other nature scenes on many of the items built by Louie. They sold these items at flea markets around WI and MN.
Louie was preceded in death by his parents; Susan’s mother, Joyce McArthur Gustafson; life partner, Betty Lutzka; Betty’s son, John Lutzka; grandson, Micah Askew; and Betty’s parents, Russell and Theodosia Sawyer.
Louie is survived by his daughter, Susan (Todd) Lucas; son, Michael (Jennifer) Hartling; grandchildren, Jamie and Katelyn Olaf, Julie Chen, and Carter & Avery Hartling; sisters, Geraldine and Patsy; Betty’s children, Beverly (Jeff) Kile, Denise (Steve) Hanson, Deborah (Lannie) Askew, David Lutzka, and Sandy (Greg) Sauve; daughter-in-law, Kathy Kissell; grandchildren, Ashley (Josh) Williams, Brooke (Jake Haley) Kile, Nathan (Stephanie) Lutzka, Ryan (Shelley) Lutzka, Janna (Ian) Ebeling, Jonathan (Allyson) Askew, Joseph Askew, Bryton (Baily) Lutzka, Cira Lutzka, Chelsea (Eric) Schmidt, and Kayla Sauve; great-grandchildren, Madison, Sawyer & Teddy Lutzka, Jack Lutzka, Logan & Lola Ebeling; as well as many friends.
Thank you to the wonderful staff at Vita-Care Assisted Living Center, Spooner and St. Croix Hospice for your compassionate care to Louie during the last years of his life.
Military Honors and Interment at Spooner’s Veteran Cemetery. Private Celebration of Life to be held.