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Kenneth “Ken” C. Gilles

Kenneth “Ken” C. Gilles Kenneth “Ken” C. Gilles


Kenneth “Ken” C. Gilles, 85, of Medford, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 at Aspirus Hospital in Medford. A funeral mass for Ken was held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 at 11 a.m. with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Burial followed at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation took place at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. until the time of the mass.

Ken was born in the town of Halsey, in Marathon County, on Jan. 13, 1934 to Joseph and Helen (Fink) Gilles. He later grew up on Hwy C where he farmed and logged with his father, mother, brothers and sisters. On Feb. 11, 1953 he married his wife Bonita Heier and they went on to have 11 children together. Bonita preceded him in death on Nov. 25, 2015. During Ken’s career he farmed with his wife until 1972. He went into the logging business, Gilles Brothers, with his brother, Manny, and their sons. After selling the logging business in 1990, Ken went on to be an operator engineer for Strue, Mannix, Hanz, Hoffman, Reliance, and other construction companies until his retirement. Ken was a member of the local union No. 139. Ken loved the outdoors, especially the woods, ask him anything about trees and he would tell you about the history of that species. Ken also loved going on daily walks.

Ken will be remembered for his amazing stories he wrote and told his children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. He talked in great depth about his childhood memories and always stated he would not change one day of his life. Before his death he wrote and had a notebook printed called “North Of North” some stories true from his childhood and some fictional, all of which are great stories. In Ken’s thirties he wrote two songs that were recorded and put on vinyl, “Crying All Over” and “Dream So Blue.”

Ken loved watching sports, especially because he played baseball as a pitcher in his younger days. He loved his family, his children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and his brothers and sisters, who he talked about quite often. Ken was a wonderful father and will be missed and loved by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Ken is survived by his children, Deb May, Kenny Gilles, Peggy (Ken) Lichtl, Kelly (Mark) Schmitz, Pat (Darla) Gilles, Susan (Mark) Staab, Tami Bansemer, Todd Gilles, Amy (Bud) Hahn and Lee Gilles; 17 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; siblings, Manny Gilles, John (Loretta) Gilles, Aggie (Ervin) Graf, Mike (Sherry) Gilles and Judy (Art) Pernsteiner. Ken is further survived by many other family and friends.

In addition to his wife and parents, Ken was preceded in death by a son; Timothy Gilles; grandchildren, Jeremy Gilles, Joshua Schmitz and Abraham Gilles; brother, Joseph Gilles; and sister, Margie Sperl.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

Paid Obituary 81332