Gilbert “Gil” Thomas Flaig, a man of faith and family, was called home to his heavenly Father Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, while surrounded by his loving family at his home, The Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona, Wis.

He was born to the late Ralph Benedict Flaig and Estella Elizabeth (Schouweiler) Flaig. Gil graduated from Sanborn High School in 1951. He was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was a member of the S.C.A.R.W.A.F. (Special Category Army with Air Force) division. He later earned his degree from South Dakota State College. In 1959, Gil married his high school sweetheart, Marlene “Toni” Blocker. They were blessed with four sons.

Gil coached many years of youth sports, being the only hockey coach we know who never put on a pair of skates. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, the outdoors, as well as spending time at his lake home. His grandchildren all loved riding with Grandpa on his John Deere lawnmower.

He was very proud of his Irish heritage, which took him to Ireland on three separate occasions. His mechanical talents served his family well. There was never a need for a repairman to come to the house.

Gil was a second-generation State Farm Insurance employee, working for 32 years in the auto claims department. He was especially proud of his four boys, who are all currently State Farm agents.

His integrity and character were evident in his respect for others. He loved getting to know people and sharing in their lives. If he knew you well, it was very likely he had a nickname for you.

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He will be remembered for his loving and caring ways by his wife of 60 years, Toni; sons, Rolf (Amy) of Duluth, Minn., Ryan of Eau Claire, Jeff (Lisa) of Chippewa Falls and Quin (Carrie) of Duluth; 12 grandchildren, Allison, Erin, Ben, Collin, Brynn, Melissa, Molly, Josh, Caroline, Brendan, Kieran and Colleen; many other family members and friends.

Gil’s generous and caring way continues to help others as he donated his body for research to the University of Minnesota.

We will remember the advice he always gave us, “remember who you are.”

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens and Mayo Clinic Hospice.

Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at St. Olaf Catholic Church in Eau Claire, with Father James Kurzynski officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at Evergreen Funeral Home, (off Golf Road one block east of Hwy. 93) with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the Mass at church. Burial will be held in Springfield, Minn., at a later date. Evergreen Funeral Home in Eau Claire is serving the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be given to Gil’s favorite charities. To send condolences, please visit our obituaries at www.evergreenfuneralhome.com.

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