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Deer hunt curtailed when former RF man collapses, dies

Deer hunting gave way to more important things for a pair of River Falls men early Saturday when they wound up attempting to save the life of a friend -- a former River Falls resident -- who collapsed of an apparent heart attack shortly before the threesome would have headed into the woods.

Roger N. Gullick, 68, of Dodgeville, was later pronounced dead at Upland Hills Health, about 15 miles away, according to Iowa County Coroner Bill Finley.

Dave Trebus and Verlyn Armstrong, both of River Falls, have made the four-hour drive south to hunt with friend Gullick for many years -- ever since Gullick moved back to take over the family farm after a career with the Soo Line Railroad.

Trebus remembers 37 years of opening day companionship with Gullick. The men hunted together in northern Wisconsin until Gullick's divorce and relocation some 20 years ago.

The plan was to meet Gullick at a local restraurant for breakfast early Saturday before heading out to hunt on Gullick's property. Armstrong and Trebus were sitting at their table about 6:30 a.m. when someone shouted that a person had collapsed in a hallway which joined the cafe and an old schoolhouse.

A number of women were coming and going, setting up for a craft sale that morning so they didn't get up to become involved until someone said the victim was clad in blaze orange and might be the fellow they were waiting for, Trebus said Tuesday.

Gullick, a diabetic, was down but awake when the men reached his side and even told Trebus his blood sugar was OK but then slipped into unconsciousness and lost his pulse. The men attempted CPR and within a short time, two ambulances were on-scene but caregivers were unable to rescusitate Gullick.

"His wife said (hunting) was all he talked about," Trebus said. "He had his orange clothes on."

The pair spent the rest of the day dealing with ramifications of Gullick's death and never went hunting.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, November 21, at the Lulloff-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home, Dodgeville.

Gullick was born on April 27, 1939 in Dodgeville and graduated from Dodgeville High School in 1957. He worked with the Soo Line Railroad for 26 years and then farmed for five years near Dodgeville. He then worked for the Dodgeville Street Department for 15 years before retiring in 2004. He remarried in 1981.

He is survived his wife, Marsha of Dodgeville; five children, Jana (Doug) Wherry of Prescott, AZ; Lori (Pat) Galvin of Valencia, CA; Paula Gullick of Arizona; Connie (Steve) Isakson of Stillwater, Minn., and Stacey Gullick of Dodgeville, 10 grandchildren; a great granddaughter; and a brother, Eugene Gullick of Dodgeville.

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