Thomas J. Kautman

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Thomas J. Kautman, 84, of McGregor, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on June 27, 2023. A celebration of life memorial luncheon was held July 8, at Huckleberry’s Restaurant in Prairie du Chien, Wis.


Tom was the eldest son of Hank and Helen Kautman. He was born at home near Rossville on Aug. 19, 1938. His family eventually settled in McGregor, and Tom graduated from Marquette-McGregor High School in 1957. Shortly after graduation, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he reenlisted after his initial draft term. After his military service, Tom worked as a welder for Link-Belt Speeder before getting the opportunity to become an engineer on the railroad where he perfected his craft for 35 years.  


Tom met Joyce (Weiser), the love of his life, in 1968 in Prairie du Chien, Wis. The two were married July 11, 1970. They owned a bar in McGregor for a time before purchasing a farm just south of McGregor where they raised their two daughters, Christine and Paula. These daughters eventually brought six grandchildren into their lives. 


Tom fell in love with working his land and raising his livestock. He was never one to mince words. He spoke direct, and if you were a friend of his, you were a friend for life. He was a loving and caring father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His quick wit, sharp tongue, playful spirit and thoughtful heart will be painfully missed by all who were raised in the light of his life.  


Tom is survived by his daughters Christine Gjetley and Paula Hemmer; his grandchildren Rachel Boldt, Meaghan Hagensick (Shanon), Dustin McShane (Alanna), Brittany Hemmer (Anthony) and Erin Bailey (Ron); his great-grandchildren Liliana, Gracelynn, Decklin, Aryia, Haven and Theodore; and his sisters Katie and Kris Kautman.  


He was preceded in death by his loving wife Joyce; his grandson Joshua Hagensick; son-in-law Jeffery Hemmer; parents Hank and Helen Kautman; brothers Don, Ron, Moe, Pete and Jack; and his sisters Jan and Faye.  


A special thank you to Jennifer King, Alanna McShane and Crossing Rivers Hospice for making him so comfortable and cared for in the end.  


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