Gary Brian Gorlen, 59, of Milwaukee and formerly of Stoughton, Wisconsin, and North Riverside, died on Aug. 31, 2016 at the Aurora Zilber Family Hospice in Wauwatosa.
He was a 1970 graduate of Mater Christi School and graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School in 1974 where he was an Illinois State Scholar and a boys physical education leader.
He played on RBHS’ golf and track teams as a sophomore. In the 1974 Rouser yearbook, Mr. Gorlen considered geometry with Mr. James Swanson as one of his favorite classes.
Mr. Gorlen worked for the state of Wisconsin as the director of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and in the Bureau of Weatherization before retiring. He was also the weatherization manager for La Casa de Esperanza, a not-for-profit organization in Wisconsin that provided cost-effective, energy-saving measures and education as part of its mission. He later he was an associate at Home Depot.
He was a member of the Council of State Community Development Agencies and co-workers remembered him “as a great man with a kind heart.” He also was noted for his ability to inspire others, especially young people.
His nephew, Gregory Gorlen, recalled his uncle as “a welcoming and charming person, always with a sharp wit, clever insight, or joke.”
Mr. Gorlen was a noted handyman, doing the remodeling of his kitchen and bathroom as well as installing the drywall by himself in his home. He also enjoyed fixing cars. Family members remember the elaborate decorations he made to celebrate Halloween with his children, and he enjoyed preparing hams, turkeys and fish on his smoker.
Mr. Gorlen is survived by his wife, Pam Toth-Gorlen; his children, Adrienne and Dr. Daniel Gorlen; his stepchildren, Cathi (Michael) Harmeyer, Tami (Michael) Olszewski, Jeff (Will) Taege and Justin Barak; his siblings, Keith (Carol Weisner) and Mary Ann (Jim) O’Connell; and his many nieces, nephews, and step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Anna Gorlen.
Arrangements were handled by the Schaff Funeral Home in West Allis, Wisconsin.