|Member Since||Name||Years of Service||Div/Bureau|
|January||Robert Rolley||25||Science Services|
|January||Jack Sullivan||36||Science Services|
|February||Don Faith||26||Air Mgmt|
|February||Larry Landsness||37||Water Mgmt|
|March||Joe Brehm||40||Air Mgmt|
|April||John Lyons||26||Air Mgmt|
|July||Sue Jones||20||Dane County|
|July||Gary Heinrichs||27||Water Mgmt|
|August||Susan Sylvester||27||Water Mgmt|
Susan Sylvester retired July 7, 2018, after 42 years in public service, 24 years with WDNR. She also worked with the Michigan DNR for 6 years and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for 14 years. While at WDNR, she served as Administrator of Environmental Quality, Administrator of the Water Division, Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Water Quality and head of the Office of Business Affairs for the Division of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Susan enjoys traveling as is heading off to Australia soon for a month of travels and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. She also looks forward to spending time during the winter at her second home in southern Texas.
Sue Jones started her career with the Department of Natural Resources in Water Regulation & Zoning. After 5 years she moved to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and spent 8 years working in the water quality section in both Chicago and Madison. In 1998 she began working for Dane County serving as the Dane County Lake Watershed Management Coordinator. Sue retired from the County in February 2018. Sue enjoys biking, kayaking and photography. She lives in Madison and is also involved with the Madison Symphony Chorus participating in their week concerts from September through May.
After a 27 year career in Watershed Management Gary Heinrichs retired on June 11, 2016. He served as the Lead Floodplain Planner implementing floodplain zoning codes in 550 communities working extensively in the field during the 1993, 97 and 98 flood years. He provided technical support to communities, served as the liaison with FEMA and was the State’s Floodplain Insurance Program liaison. He is still active in the State Flood Management Association, outreach research and remains on-call for FEMA disasters.
Lovett, Orville, Lee"
Lee Lovett, age 78, of DeForest, Wis., passed away on Monday, June 11, 2018, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. He was born on Jan. 4, 1940, in Jamestown, Ohio, the son of Ralph and Bertha (Weaver) Lovett. Lee graduated from Greeneview High School in Jamestown, Ohio. He married Helen Denbow, on Aug. 26, 1961, in Wilmington, Ohio. Lee received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio in 1962, and his master’s degree in entomology from the UW-Madison in 1964.
He worked as an entomologist and later a supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection from 1964 through 2001. Lee was a member of Bashford United Methodist Church in Madison from 1963 until his death, serving on many committees and singing in the choir. He was most committed to the annual mission trip to the Tree of Life Mission on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.
Lee was an artist in wood and watercolor, completing many carvings and paintings, and for several years he carved with the DeWhittlers of DeForest. Lee was very physically active, especially in running, biking and cross-country skiing. He participated in many races, including two marathons and competed in the American Birkebeiner ski race at least 10 times. Lee especially loved all things outdoors, including birding, archery, hunting, fishing, trap shooting and sporting-clays shooting. He made annual trips west to hunt with friends and family.
Lee is survived by his wife, Helen; two sons, Brian (Jennifer) Lovett, 51, of Oshkosh, and Eric (Andrea) Lovett, 49, and their children, Robbie, 10, and Alex, 5, of Mendota Heights, Minn.; sister, Ruth Gills of Jamestown, Ohio; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Gene, Jim and Max; and sisters, Helen and Mildred.
A memorial service for Lee will be held at BASHFORD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 329 North St., Madison, at 12 Noon, on Saturday, June 16, 2018, with Dr. Amanda Stein presiding. A visitation will be held at the church, at 11 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be gifted in Orville’s name to Agrace HospiceCare or Bashford United Methodist Tree of Life Mission on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com
Polasek, Joseph P.
Joe, age 65, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2018, at his home. He was born June 24, 1952, in Milwaukee, the son of Patricia Jane Polasek and Joseph Patrick Polasek Sr. Growing up, Joe was a straight A student, played basketball, and was Prom King at St. Francis High School. He attended the UW-Whitewater, receiving his undergraduate degree in Political Science. During his years at Whitewater, Joe was student body president, a member of the Delta Chi fraternity and was the first student ever elected to the Whitewater City Council. Joe then received his masters in Public Administration at UW-Madison.
Joe started his career with the State of Wisconsin in 1975, in the Department of Administration as a budget analyst, where he worked for nine years. He then began his life’s work in the Department of Natural Resources in 1984. During that time, he was instrumental in administering nearly every major state environmental policy. Every DNR program has Joe’s fingerprints on it. He was an avid sports fan and always the life of the party. Joe was a loving father to his son, Mike, and daughter, Lindsay. He was a second dad to many of their friends that referred to him fondly as Joe Pa. He shared 20 years of marriage and decades of a loving friendship after with Lori Jolin.
Joe is survived by his beloved kids, Mike (Christen) and Lindsay Polasek; mother, Patricia Polasek; and nephews, Steven (Tracy) and Kevin (Jodie) Polasek. He was preceded in death by his father; brother, Phillip Polasek; and sister-in-law, Barbara Polasek.
A visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2018.
A Celebration of Life will follow at the COME BACK IN, 508 E. Wilson St. in downtown Madison.
Kathy Kahler, Associate Editor, Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, will discuss retirees sharing some of their career highlights in an upcoming edition of the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, celebrating it's 50th year of publication in 2018.
Dear Fellow DNR Retiree:
You may have seen that Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine is celebrating the 50th anniversary of DNR throughout our 2018 issue-year. We began with a story in the Spring issue about how DNR came to be and our Summer issue will carry an 8-page timeline of key events in the agency's history.
What's missing - and this is where we would like your help - are firsthand accounts of what has made DNR a special place to work. We're planning a story for the Fall or Winter issue that celebrates your contributions and memories. We're asking you to share those highlights with us, and more importantly, our readers who are loyal fans of DNR and the magazine. It could be something like the one from Kermit Traska's profile about his first task in 1968 placing new DNR logo stickers over the painted WCD logos on department trucks, or Doris Rusch's account of finding her place in the male-dominated field of wildlife biology of the 1980s, or the part Lee Kernen played in "planting" coho and Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan. We would like you to be part of sharing the history of what it was like to be a part of the first super-agency in the nation.
So, if you're game, please send me an email or snail-mail of around 100 words by June 28. Your story can be amusing or poignant, deeply personal or reflective of a co-worker. If you have a photo of you or your story, all the better. We can scan photos or slides and return them to you. Depending on the response, we may not have space for them all and we reserve the right to edit entries. I can't wait to hear from you!
Phone: (608) 266-2625
Gasser, Mariellen Rose
Mariellen Rose Gasser, 69, of DeForest, Wis. joined her Heavenly Father on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Services will be 11 a.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018, at the WINDSOR UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST in Windsor, Wis., with Rev. Dr. Julie Overman officiating. Burial will be in the Windsor Cemetery in Windsor. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Friday morning at the church. The Haudenshield Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cuba City, Wis. is serving the family.
Mariellen was born on Aug. 31, 1948, to Merlin and Ellen (Waugh) Gasser in Poynette, Wis. She graduated from DeForest High School and MATC. She worked for the State of Wisconsin at the Department of Natural Resources for 33 years in the Finance Section located in GEFII. She lived her entire life in the Windsor/DeForest area. She followed the Green Bay Packers, and the Badgers and all things Olympic. During her life she became quite the U.S. and world traveler. She enjoyed reading, stamp collecting, and history related shows as well as several game shows. She moved to Parkside Assisted Living in 2015, and found many new friends there. She enjoyed the regular outings to Walmart, Olbrich Gardens, and various Christmas rides to view lights, and was always up for a trip to the Sassy Cow for some ice cream. She also was active in many of the “in-house” activities, looking forward to all the special musical entertainment brought in, chair exercises and chair volleyball, helping fill eggs for the Easter egg hunts, making of some crafts and of course her favorite acivity — BINGO. She will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mariellen is survived by three sisters, Janet (Richard) Krueger of Hazel Green, Wis., Lorraine Newlun of Windsor, Wis. and Audrey (Mitch) Weger of Madison, Wis.; along with many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother-in-law, Robert Newlun; and her maternal and paternal grandparents.
The family would like to thank the Rev. Dr. David McDonald and the Rev. Dr. Julie Overman for all of the visits and spiritual ministering to Mariellen through the years and especially during her final days. We would further like to thank her church family for all of their support and prayers. The family also would like to thank the staff of Agrace for their compassionate care and concern for Mariellen and helped make her final transition through this life easier. Thanks also to the amazing staff at Parkside Assisted living for all the love, care and compassion they gave during her years with them. We will miss you dearly sister, but heaven has gained a truly gentle and loving soul.
Larry Landsness retired in October of 2017 after a 37 year career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, all in Drinking Water program. Larry was based out of the GEFII building his whole career. He worked with municipalities and utilities located all over the state regarding their facilities and water treatment. He also worked specifically with 20 communities who drew their drinking water out of Lake Michigan and the associated treating of the water, making it safe for human consumption. In retirement, Larry enjoys travel to Europe, 4 trips, and traveling around the United States. He especially enjoys woodworking and will be making cabinets for a new home he and his wife are in the process of building . . . all on one level!
Lindberg, Richard D. 'Dick'
Richard D. “Dick” Lindberg, age 88, of Oregon, passed away on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at St. Mary's Hospital. He was born on April 25, 1929, in Sewickley, Pa., the son of Ewald and Ella (McKinlay) Lindberg. The family moved to Michigan where he grew up and graduated from Muskegon High School. He proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Following the war, Dick returned to college and earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan Tech.
He was united in marriage to Patricia "Pat" Cassidy on Nov. 11, 1954. Dick worked for the DNR in northern Wisconsin for many years, then moved to Oregon in 1967, continuing to work as a Forestry Planner with the DNR, retiring in 1989. He and Pat enjoyed traveling together.
They were active members of Holy Mother of Consolation Church. Dick also enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing, and volunteering with the AMVETS. Richard is survived by his wife, Pat; sons, Gregory (Denise) Lindberg and Paul (Cherie) Lindberg; grandchildren, Travis Lindberg, Evan (Amanda) Lindberg, Julia Lindberg, Zachary Lindberg and Noah Lindberg; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Daniel Lindberg; and brother, Alden (Aina) Lindberg.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at HOLY MOTHER OF CONSOLATION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 651 North Main St., at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to AMVETS. Online condolences may be made at Gunderson Oregon
Joe Brehm retired in July of 2016, three months shy of a 40 year career with WDNR. He started as an LTE for 4 years in both the solid waste management and water quality programs at the Southern District. In 1981, he started full time with the Bureau of Air Management and worked there in a wide variety of positions in both the Compliance and Permit Sections. At some point he was re-hired as an engineer. Joe worked with permitting gasoline transfers and sand mine operations. In retirement, he volunteers at Attic Angels as a driver and enjoys bow hunting, fly fishing and photography.
The 2018 Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Roy and Charlotte Lukes, George Meyer and Arlie Schorger will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Earth Day, April 14, 2018 at Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. The public is invited.
A coffee reception will be held at 9 a.m. Following the ceremony, a luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Sentry World Center. The Induction Ceremony and Coffee Reception are free and open to the public.
Reservations for lunch ($25 per person) may be made here online or by calling Schmeeckle Reserve at 715-346-4992.
Gyllander, Walter W.
Walter W. Gyllander, 73, of Iron River, died Monday, January 29, 2018, at St. Luke's Hospice in Duluth after a short illness.
Walter was born on June 15, 1944, in Grand Rapids, MN the son of Reino and Edna Gyllander.
He served his country in the Army National Guard. Walter worked for the Wisconsin DNR for 33 years retiring as an Area Forestry Supervisor. He was a member of the Brule Lions Club and the Brule Volunteer Fire Department.
Walt enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. Most important to him was spending time with his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and step-son, Gregory Gillespey.
Walt is survived by his wife of 21 years, Carol; sons, Grant (Janet) Gyllander and Greg (Sandy) Gyllander both of La Crosse, WI; grandchildren, Lillian, Grace, Gretta, Sara, Grady, Sully and Wiley; step-children, Tracy Gillespey of Herbster, WI and Darrin Gillespey of Superior; sister, Gail Shoemaker of Coleraine, MN; and a brother, Martin (Sandy) Gyllander of Park Rapids, MN.
A Celebration of Walt's Life will be held on Friday, February, 2, from 4-7p.m. at Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N 19th St., Superior.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Walt's name to the Brule or Iron River Volunteer Fire Departments.
To sign the online guestbook, please visit
Steve Holaday Steve retired on August 1, 2017 after 25 years with the DNR. Steve started in 1992 in GEF II as a Water Resource Engineer in the Bureau of Water Resources. He then worked in the Bureau of Forestry as the first state Forest Hydrologist where he developed Wisconsin’s Forestry BMPs for Water Quality. Steve then moved to the Fitchburg office where he was the DNR Forester for Dane County from 1997 until his retirement. Steve enjoys his landscaping business, backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail, and traveling with his wife Katie. They recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in Italy.
Runyan, Dean S.
Dean S. Runyan, age 82, of Spring Green, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, following an extended illness. He was born on April 5, 1935, in Spring Green, the son of Sidney and Mildred (Snyder) Runyan. He was married on Oct. 3, 1959, to the former Lorraine A. Ruhland. He was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church, and worked as a mechanic for the DNR for many years until his retirement in July of 1996, to pursue his passion of woodworking. Dean was an avid talker and self-taught himself his entire life, helping his children and grandchildren with many projects, and was always willing to give advice.
Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Runyan of Spring Green; three children, Deanna (Douglas) Louis of Lone Rock, Denise Runyan and friend, Brian Hake of Mount Horeb, and Tyran Runyan and friend, Kari Legler of Arena; five grandchildren, Dana Louis, Danielle and Dustin Roder, and Trae and Jessen Runyan; three brothers-in-law, Francis Ruhland, Charles (Sally) Ruhland and Ralph (Pat) Ruhland; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sidney and Mildred Runyan; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Kitty (Hank) Ringelstetter and Bonnie (Jack) Hickox; four brothers-in-law; and four sisters-in-law.
Email A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. at ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH in Spring Green. Father John Silva will officiate, with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and again on Friday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass.
The Richardson-Stafford Funeral Home in Spring Green is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences available at
Clayton C. Stautz, 91, of Kewaskum, passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Hosptial.
Clayton was born on June 10, 1926, in the town of Kewaskum, the son of the late Clifford and Elsa (Bruessel) Stautz. On October 15, 1949, he was united in marriage to Aletta Quaas at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend.
Clayton proudly served his country in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and was actively involved in the Robert G. Romaine American Legion Post 384 Kewaskum, where he served as Commander three times. He was a member of West Bend V.F.W. Post 1393, 40-ET-8, Kewaskum Lions Club, Masonic Lodge 138 F & AM West Bend. He was also recognized as Legionnaire of the Year for Washington County. Clayton was a retired member of the Kewaskum Fire Department after 32 years of service. He spent 15 years volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and was a regular American Red Cross blood donor, over time donating 154 pints of blood. Clayton was employed as a carpenter by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for 38 ½ years building many of the signs and buildings at Mauthe and Long Lake.
Those Clayton leaves behind to cherish his memory include his wife, Aletta; three children, Kevin (Laura) Stautz of Kewaskum, Stuart (Shirley) Stautz of Gurnee, Illinois, and Joanne Stautz of Kewaskum; grandchildren, Samantha Stautz, Amanda Stautz, Drew Daugherty, Alexia Stautz, Nicholas Stautz; a brother, Floyd (Ellen) Stautz of Madison; a sister-in-law, Alice Stautz of Shawno; other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, Clayton was preceded in death by a brother, Jerome Stautz.
A funeral service for Clayton will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 29, 2018, at Peace United Church of Christ, 343 First Street, in Kewaskum with Rev. Eric Kirkegaard officiating.
Clayton’s family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
The Myrhum Patten Miller and Kietzer Funeral Home have been entrusted with Clayton’s arrangements.
Additional information and guest book may be found at
Monthly Meeting Schedule
Before his recent retirement, Jack Sullivan served as Director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Science Services Programs from 2000 – 2015. In this role he directed agency research in fish, wildlife, forestry and human dimensions. He came to the DNR in 1983 after serving as faculty/staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Chemistry Program.
In 1997 and 1998 he was on special assignment as an International Consultant for the United Nations working on environmental management issues in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He has BS and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin, with a specialty in Water Resources Engineering and is a Wisconsin Registered Professional Hydrologist.
Throughout his career he has been involved in emerging environmental issues and most recently has been focusing on adaptation strategies for climate change. In 2016 he received the “Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources” from the former Obama Administration. Jack also served on the Federal Advisory Board for the National Climate Science Centers and the Department of Interior Steering Committee for the Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Plan. He is currently a member of the Science Advisory Board for the Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts.
Robert Rolley retired in August 2017 after a 25 year career with the WDNR. He was stationed in Madison. Throughout his career he was a Wildlife Population Ecologist, initially in the Bureau of Research, then in Science Services and finally in the Office of Applied Science. He was responsible for analyses of wildlife population survey data and modeling population response to management strategies. He served on species advisory committees for white-tailed deer, elk, black bears, furbearers, and wild turkey providing consultation services for staff specialists in Wildlife Management. He coordinated the Wisconsin Checklist Project, a citizen science bird monitoring project. He also served on the Interagency CWD Health and Science Team and was responsible for evaluating the population effects of deer removal strategies.
Nigl, Rudolph M. "Rudy"
Rudolph M. “Rudy” Nigl, age 84, of Richland Center, died suddenly at home on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, with the chainsaw at his feet and his dog at his side.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanne Nigl of Richland Center, Wis.; four children, Rudy (Cherie) Nigl of Stoddard, Wis., Jeff (Pam) Nigl of Richland Center, Wis., Teresa (Patrick) Kash of Merrimac, Wis., and Patrick (Lora) Nigl of Beavercreek, Ohio; daughter-in-law, Mary Jo Nigl of Richland Center, Wis.; 16 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ronald (Nancy) Nigl of Oshkosh, Wis., and Ralph (Maribeth) Nigl of Oshkosh, Wis.; special daughter, Ledys (Derek) Updike; and three special grandchildren, Kiara, Kaden, and Khyle Updike.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Michael Nigl; and grandson, Nicholas Nigl.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at 11 a.m. at ST. MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH in Richland Center. Local Military Honors Unit will provide graveside rites in the church cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at the CLARY MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME in Richland Center from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. where a Rosary will be held at 2:30 p.m. and also on Saturday at church visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Mary’s school. Online condolences can be made at