Eugene Filus, 84, Baraboo

December 20, 2018

Eugene “Gene” J. Filus, 84, of Baraboo, passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at Oak Park Place in Baraboo, after living with dementia for several years. His son, Matthew, was spending the night with him when he died.

Gene was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 25, 1934, to Angeline (Kendzior) and Joseph Filus. He was raised by his mother and stepfather John Olsen, and nurtured by his large Polish family consisting of his maternal grandmother and many aunts and uncles.

Gene enlisted in the United States Army in the summer of 1952 and spent most of his three years of service in France at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in the Transportation Division. After his service, he attended DeVry Technical Institute and found his calling as a proud card-carrying member of Pipefitters Local Union 597. Gene was employed in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration field.

On Feb. 22, 1958, Gene was united in marriage to Karen May Frogner. Together Gene and Karen raised four children and he often said “everything I do is for the kids.” Gene was a devoted husband, loving father to his children and a doting grandfather to his five grandchildren.

In 1977, after recovering from a serious accident, Gene achieved a lifelong dream to live in the country and moved his family from the suburbs of Chicago to rural Baraboo. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by the Baraboo School District as its director of Buildings and Grounds, work he truly loved. Gene officially retired in 1996, but was soon hired back as owner’s representative for the many building additions and improvements the district was undertaking at that time.

Gene was seldom idle and he was always there to help his family, neighbors and friends during their times of need, often leaving his own projects unfinished. Gene was a very giving person, always sharing his time and knowledge. Gene was a man of integrity and always “told it like it was.”

Gene will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his wife, Karen; his children, Laurie (Russell) Hasenbalg, Peter (Darcy) Filus, Catherine (Rod Johnson) Filus and Matthew (Tiernee) Filus; his grandchildren, Christian, Natalie, Grant, Dominic and Addison; his brother, John B. Olsen; sister-in-law, Denise Olsen; extended family and many friends.

Gene was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Kenneth Olsen.

Gene’s family would like to thank all the wonderful caregivers and other staff at Oak Park Place for their kindness and compassionate care, his Agrace Hospice Care team and Dr. Randy Krszjzaniek for his attentive care and guidance in helping Gene live through this devastating disease.

To honor Gene, there will be a celebration of his life from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the Baraboo Arts Center, Gollmar Room, 323 Water St., Baraboo. There will be an informal program at 3 p.m. Friends are encouraged to share their stories and memories of Gene. We all know that he loved a good story or joke, so don’t be shy.

If you are so inclined, memorial gifts may be directed to Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care, c/o Agrace Foundation, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, agrace.org; or the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, Columbia/Sauk County Office, 2825 Hunters Trail, Portage, Wisconsin 53901, alzwisc.org; or a charitable organization of your choice.

The Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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