Gerald Guldan

Longtime local barber Gerald J. Guldan of Saukville died Wednesday, July 17, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. He was 83.

Mr. Guldan, known as Jerry, opened Jerry’s Barber Shop, at 245 E. Green Bay Ave., across from the downtown triangle in 1963.

In a 2013 Ozaukee Press article marking his 50th year in business, he commented that he was able to survive the Beatles era when boys let their hair grow long.

“The kids with the long hair had to cut it off eventually,” he said.

Mr. Guldan was born on Dec. 21, 1935, to Irwin and Celeste Pesch Guldan in Lomira.

The family moved to Kewaskum, where he graduated from Kewaskum High School.

While in high school, he met Joanne Metz, who worked as a carhop at the A&W drive-in in Barton, just around the corner from where she lived.

“He asked if he could take me home and after several requests, I said yes,” she said. “My back yard butted up against the A&W yard, but he didn’t know that when he asked me. It was a short drive.”

At the age of 19, he attended Moler Barber College in Chicago. On April 27, 1957, the couple were married.

Explaining why he chose the barber trade, Mr. Guldan told the Ozaukee Press: “I was too lazy to work and too nervous to steal, so that narrowed the field down quite a bit.”

He completed his apprenticeship with a barber in West Bend before purchasing his own store in Campbellsport.

About a month later, in 1961, he was called to serve in the Army Reserves during the Berlin crisis. He sold the business for $100 before leaving the state.

He was stationed in Colorado and brought his family, which by then included daughter Beth, said Mrs. Guldan.

“We made many lasting relationships there that have lasted to this day,” she said.

When Mr. Guldan finished his tour of duty, he returned to the area and opened his shop in Saukville.

Fifty years later, he said operating Saukville’s only barber shop had been rewarding.

“Every community has its characters, but I think Saukville had more than a lot of other communities, and they were my source of entertainment,” he said.

“The thing I like most about it is I never mind coming to work. Just being with people on a one-on-one basis, I never felt like I had a job. I’d come down here and get entertained.”

Mr. Guldan’s hobbies included Sunday pontooning on Long Lake, where his father owned land.

“It was a party barge” for family and friends, said Mrs. Guldan, who operated a beauty salon out of the family home.

Mr. Guldan also enjoyed fishing for salmon in Lake Michigan, hunting, golfing and playing cards.

Mr. Guldan is survived by his wife Joanne; daughters Beth (Phil) Sasso of Melrose Park, Ill., Pam Guldan of Grafton, Debbie (Steve) Brahm of Waterford and Meg (Tom) Minette of Wauwatosa; grandchildren P.J. Sasso, Isaac, Sam and Eli Brahm and Tess, Jayce and Abe Minette.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Jerome Guldan.  

A funeral was held on Monday, July 22, at Eernisse Funeral Home in Port Washington. Deacon Tom Surges presided.

Burial will be at a later date at St. Matthias Cemetery in New Fane.

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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