Verland Harvey Erwin Kasten
On October 30, 2020 we lay to rest a man that will be remembered for the love he poured into his faith and family, the service he gave to his country during World War II, the small businesses he owned in southeastern Wisconsin, and the way he told (then retold) jokes — often laughing at his own punchline before delivering it.
Verland Kasten was born to a family of farmers in Grafton, WI. He inherited the same passion for agriculture that ultimately led him to open Dwarf Acres in Howards Grove, a family owned and operated produce store. But this wasn’t his only entrepreneurial endeavor. In his early thirties, he also owned Verl’s Cheese & Custard in Plymouth, WI, which was the perfect compliment to his Wisconsin roots.
He served in the 88th Blue Devil (Motor Pool) and 132nd Divisions of the U.S. Army while stationed in Italy. And he didn’t just come home with stories, he also returned with a new level of grit, dedication, and perseverance that would drive him for years to come. In fact, in recent years, Verland was lovingly referred to as “The Energizer Bunny” because he just kept going, no matter how unfavorable the circumstances seemed to be — nothing got him down for long.
When Verland wasn’t spending time with family or tending to his crops, he enjoyed woodworking, bowling, dancing, bingo and sweeping the table while playing cards. (No one stood a chance against him with Canasta.) He also traveled to Branson, MO each year to experience the live music and shows, oftentimes pulling new joke-telling material along the way.
Verland is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Clara (Clausing) Kasten, sister Loraine (Arnold) Doman, first wife Dorothy (Koehn) Kasten, and other extended family members.
He is survived by his second wife Marilyn (Guenther) Kasten, two daughters Dr. Jane (Dr. Stan Jolly) Kasten-Jolly and Sharon (Craig) Rezin, step-daughter Karen (Phil) LeClaire, two sons James (Karen) Kasten and Kenneth (Terry) Kasten, grandchildren Heather (Mike) Meinolf, Jason Kasten, Melissa (Scott) Maurer, Helen and Carolyn Jolly, Kim (Scott) Kennedy, Kate (Dustin) Bukowski, Megan Kasten, Brittany Yoder, Matthew Rezin, Rachel and Marian LeClaire, and great grandchildren Emmalee and Terrick Meinolf, Kaitlyn Maurer, Rhys and Ashlyn Kasten, Gabe, Asher, Addison and Madeleine Kennedy, Miles and Rebecca Bukowski; along with many nieces and nephews.
Verland’s family would like to thank everyone at Benedictine, Rennes, Wausau Manor, and Aspirus Hospital who cared for him over the years. He was able to live until 96 because of the medical attention and mental stimulation you provided.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Audio Fund or a charity of your choice.
The funeral service for Verland will be at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Wausau, WI. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until the time of service, which will be officiated by Pastor Eric Hauan and livestreamed at brainardfuneral.com on Verland’s obituary page. Face masks and social distancing are respectfully requested for all those attending the visitation and funeral service. Burial will be at 12:00 PM on Friday, October 30, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery in Howard's Grove, WI. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements and you may sign our family guestbook at brainardfuneral.com.