Emil Gene Gratz, age 93, of Hudson, WI, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2023 with loving family by his side. He was born on April 2, 1930 with his twin sister Emily to parents Virgil and Cleda (Swankhouse) Gratz. He graduated high school from Beaverdam, Ohio, attained his degree in accounting at Ohio Northern University, and would later attain his CPA. Emil married his high school sweetheart Betty Bushong on March 25, 1951. A marriage that would last 72 years and serve as an example of a loving and faith centered marriage for all to witness. Together they were blessed with five children. Emil served proudly in Korea in the 2nd Division HQ (rear) of the US Army. Upon his return he and Betty moved to Wisconsin to work with his father in the food service industry and later began his career as an auditor for the State of Wisconsin.

Emil was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and active member of His church. Alongside Betty he served many roles in leadership and service as a member of First Baptist Church, now Living Vine Church, of Hudson where one of his passions was to be the first to meet and greet anyone new to make them feel welcome and included.

Emil loved to travel-camp with family and friends and be out on the lake fishing. Alaska was one of his favorite places but camping in Cornell, WI will always hold a special place in his heart. His teenage summers on his extended family’s farm in Indiana shaped his strong value of family gatherings, whether for the evening meal, camping or special celebrations. He was especially proud of his grandson Jacob’s recent commissioning as Lieutenant and admittance to flight school in the US Army Reserve.

Emil will be remembered as a wonderful and fun loving husband, father, grandpa, and great grandpa who was always thinking of ways to help his family and will remain in the hearts of his wife Betty; children Larry (Susan) Gratz, Michael (Angela) Gratz, Kevin (Kathleen) Gratz, Christine (James) Krusell, and Jeffrey (Michele) Gratz; grandchildren Colleen (Shane) Quiram, Amy (Roger) Barker, Bryan Gratz, Jennifer (Cyprian) Mendelius, Michael (Jesse) Avant, Erik (Amy) Gratz, Bethany Gratz, Jonathan (Briana) Krusell, Benjamin (Rachel) Krusell, Jacob Krusell, Christianna (Josh) Gratz Carlin, and J. Adam (Sarah) Gratz; great-grandchildren Joey, Charlotte, Bobby, Emma, Leo, Holly, Elijah, and Sloane; twin sister Emily (Richard “Kent”) Stonehill, brothers Samuel Gratz and David (Debby) Gratz.

He is preceded in death by his parents Virgil Gratz and Cleda Jones, step-mother Margaret Gratz, sister and brother-in-law Marilyn and Louis Fett, sister-in-law Nadine (Samuel) Gratz and grandson Matthew Krusell.

A visitation for Emil will be held on Thursday, June 8 from 4-6pm and a Memorial service will be Friday, June 9 at 11 AM, with visitation one hour prior at O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, WI, with a luncheon to follow.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to the Parkinson’s Foundation at Parkinson.org or to Living Vine Church at lvhudson.org.

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