Verl V. Verhulst, 77, Barron, Wis., passed away Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at Our House Senior Living, Menomonie.
He was born March 9, 1944, to Vilas and Mable (Gauerke) Verhulst at Dorchester. He attended grade school in a country school near Abbotsford and graduated from Abbotsford High School in 1962.
He attended UW–River Falls, graduating in 1966 with an education degree in agriculture and biology. Verl was then one of the first students accepted into the newly structured graduate program in the School of Agriculture. While at River Falls, he was a charter member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He worked his way through school with jobs on area farms, in the university's maintenance department and driving milk truck.
He met his wife, Carolyn (Erickson), at River Falls and they were married on Dec. 10, 1966, at First Lutheran Church, Barron. Verl started his first teaching job in the spring of 1967 in Birnamwood, Wis., a position he would hold for the next three years.
While Verl was a wonderful educator, his real desire was to drive a milk truck, something he had watched as a small child looking out the window from the living quarters above the cheese factory that his parents owned. One of his familiar phrases was, “I was born above a cheese factory,” and that seemed to set his career destiny. In 1970, Verl and Carolyn moved to Barron, bought a small farm and a milk route from her father, Lester Erickson, and there began his 35-year career.
Over the years, both the farm and the routes expanded, but the real joy in his life was the birth of his children, Kristin and Kurte, and then the addition and fun of four terrific grandchildren. His patrons could count on seeing the pictures he always had of the kids and hearing stories of them. While driving truck was truly a passion for Verl, his pride in his family exceeded all else.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church, Barron, served as a director for many years at Barron Farmers Union, served as a 4-H leader, and with others, started the Country Siders 4-H Club. After selling the farm to his son, he “retired” to driving school bus for Barron schools, and semi-truck for Nuto Farms of Rice Lake and Indianhead Holsteins of Barron.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a daughter Kristin (Gordy) Schultz; a son Kurte (Jeanette Goodlet); grandchildren Kendall, McKinley, Amelia and Weston; as well as other family and friends.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 26, from First Lutheran Church, with Rev. Ron Mathews officiating and burial at Wayside Cemetery, Barron.
Visitation will be held 4-7 p.m. Sunday from Rausch and Steel Funeral Home, Barron, and an hour prior to services at the church.
Online condolences can be made at rauschandsteelfuneralhome.com.