Affectionately known by his students as “Doc,” Roy Donald Genskow was a welcoming face in the halls and sports arenas of Shorewood High School for more than two decades.
A Shorewood High School biology, advanced biology, and chemistry teacher from 1969 to 1991, Genskow also coached football and wrestling at the school. He would also plan many field trips, canoe adventures and volunteer opportunities to give students an experience outside the classroom.
He passed away Feb. 5 in Eau Claire. He was 86.
A 1944 graduate of Shorewood High School himself, Genskow was named all-conference guard his senior year. He attended Marquette University on a football scholarship before serving in the Pacific in the 24th Infantry Division during WWII and after VJ Day in occupied Japan.
Upon his return, he attended Iowa State University where he earned a degree in animal science in 1950 and met his wife Helen Nauman married Helen Nauman — also a 1950 Iowa State graduate. They had three children.
Genskow taught adult and high school agriculture in Iowa for two years before starting his own farming operation, which he moved to Kendall County, Illinois the following year. From 1953 to 1965 he developed a large dairy herd of registered Holsteins.
He then earned an M.S. degree from Northern Illinois University in 1965 and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1969 in dairy science. He was elected to the academic honoraries Phi Sigma (biology), Gamma Sigma Delta (agriculture), and Sigma Xi (distinguished research). Genskow joined the University of Illinois faculty for one year before returning to Wisconsin.
A long-time member of the Shorewood Men’s Club, and the North Shore Congregational Church, Genskow also served as president of the Mondeaux Flowage Property Owners Association. He had helped his uncle build a family cabin on the flowage near Medford, WI in 1945.
In retirement, he enjoyed researching genealogy on European travels, visiting national parks, and fishing in Wisconsin. He also traveled to Australia and the South Pacific.
Genskow is the son of Harvey Genskow who was the director of the Shorewood Opportunity School, and who is honored by a plaque in the lobby of the Shorewood High School Auditorium as a pioneer in adult education.
Genskow was preceded in death by his parents Harvey and Marie Kuene Genskow, and his brothers Dean and Jack.
He is survived by his wife Helen, his children Ruth (David) Talcott, John (Deborah), and Sue (Steve) Mayer, his sister Marion (Mike) Griswold, his sister-in-law Lillian Genskow, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at First Congregational UCC, 310 Broadway Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703, with visitation at the church an hour before the service. Burial will take place at a later date in the Graceland Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI.
Friends may offer condolences online at www.fullerspeckienhulke.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Dr. Roy Genskow’s name to the church or to the Alzheimer’s Association — Greater WI, Eau Claire Region, 404 ½ N. Bridge Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729.
(Obituary information courtesy of Ruth Talcott)