Garmen Kenneth Ammerman passed away on Friday, August 27, 2021 in Antigo, Wisconsin after a battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Garmen was born on May 23, 1938, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He graduated from Central High School in 1956. He later received his BS degree from UW-LaCrosse and MS and Ph.D. degrees from UW-Madison. Garmen was a teacher, coach, counselor, and motivator. He taught and coached in Onalaska, New London, Wisconsin University and was a counselor at LaFollette for 27 years.
In his personal life and professional career Garmen often would say things like:
Nothing changes, if nothing changes; breathe; take care of the details; study smarter; don't be so hard on yourself; if what you are doing isn't working, change; every decision has consequences; take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself; focus on what you have, not on what you don't have; learn the difference between a want and a need; listen: for good reason we have two ears and one mouth.
Garmen excelled in basketball at Central and UW-LaCrosse. He earned numerous awards. He was inducted into the UW-LaCrosse Wall of Fame in 1991.
Garmen's love for his two sons was endless. He was most proud to be their dad. He always found time for playground activities and backyard football and basketball games. He watched countless hours of their skiing, gymnastics, and hockey, and was proud of their dedication, persistence, and competitiveness. Garmen was especially proud of both sons for receiving their college degrees and graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Garmen wintered in Arizona but his favorite retreat was to his beautiful home on Boulder Lake.
Garmen leaves two sons, Garin (Sheila), Rancho Cordova, CA and Greg (Foroz), Roseville, CA; second wife, Nancy Ward; granddaughter, Sarah; great-granddaughters Vivianne, Harper Ruby; sisters, Nancy Bendel, Sandra (David) Kjos, Debra (Michael) Callahan; nieces Paula, Glenda, Amy; nephew, Allen; special cousin, Mary Jane; special former student, Linda Bernhardt; and a very special longtime friend, Kathie Crandall, who was always there for him at difficult times.
In addition to his first wife, Georgia, he was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Ammerman; sister, Yvonne, an infant brother, in-laws, George and Ruth DeDakis; granddaughter, Ruby Lee; brother-in-law Gordon Bendel and many aunts and uncles.
In honoring Garmen's wishes, no funeral or memorial service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gar's name to the UW-LaCrosse Men's Basketball program.
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My sympathies to the family! This is primarily for Debbie, as you will recall that your mom and my mom worked together for almost 20 years in teaching pre-school in La Crosse.
I never saw Gar play, but certainly heard about him. I also was involved with basketball as a student at Central and UWL during the 1970's as a statistician. And, I continue today in the sport with the newly-crowned NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks as official scorer (along with Marquette University' teams.) I will send a donation to the UWL team!
Nancy and extended family- Just to let you know that we are thinking of you. Our prayers for strength and peace. Jeanne and Jim Peters
I am saddened to learn of the passing of my old coach and friend Gar Ammerman. Not only was he a great coach, but a mentor and good friend. He taught me as much about life as he did about basketball. One of my favorite memories was that after basketball practice he and I would compete at who could make the most free throws out of 25 and the loser would have to treat the other to a chocolate malt from the Sweet Shop in La Crosse. Needless to say, I bought a lot of chocolate malts!! Gar, thank you for being my coach, my mentor, and my friend. Rest in peace. Sincerely, your old point guard, Gary Skogen
Greg, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I still think of you often. Sending love and hugs. Maren
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Ammerman. As soon as I saw the name this morning. I remembered him from La Follete in Madison. I worked there for about 25 yrs and have two daughters who graduated from there. Thank you for sharing his thoughts on life. So many of the people we encounter in life have another life outside of the school house doors. So happy to read of his life away from the work place. Many prayers for all of you.
We are so sorry to hear about Garmen's passing. We have many fond memories of his place in Boulder Junction. We hosted us several time at his beautiful and peaceful place which we appreciated so much. Our condolences to his family. Rest in peace Garmen. Tammy, Tim, Ryan and Matt Franzini.