J. Geoffrey "Geoff" Washa August 8, 1941 ~ May 22, 2023 (age 81) Mayville Coach

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J. Geoffrey "Geoff" Washa
August 8, 1941 ~ May 22, 2023 (age 81) UW La Crosse and Mayville Coach

J. Geoffrey "Geoff" Washa, 81, of West Bend found peace on Monday, May 22, 2023, at home with his family by his side.

He was born on August 8, 1941, to the late Joseph and Laura (nee Koudelka) Washa in Milwaukee.

Most of you know him as Geoff, Coach, or Mr. Washa, but he began life with a name traditionally given to the first son, Joseph—for those who wondered what the "J." stood for, now you know. To his family, he was known as Dad and a wonderful husband. Just as he taught and coached his students and athletes through life, he too taught and coached us through life with incredible integrity and a special encouraging way to always do your very best!

Being a student/athlete helped Geoff to be an influential coach. Geoff excelled in wrestling. He graduated from Milwaukee's Washington High School in 1959 and went on to letter all four years wrestling for the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Geoff graduated in 1963 with majors in history and physical education.

While in college he met Delores (Dee) McClurg. They married on June 15, 1963, just two weeks after their college graduation! Dee says, "it all began with a smile and that sense of happiness stayed with her for all their 60 years together." She always admired his sense of love for family, plus his unwavering honor and commitment.

Geoff's first teaching job began in Bruce, Wisconsin, where he taught history and physical education, as well as coached wrestling and track. Geoff developed a special kinship with some of his first students, especially his wrestlers coaching important life lessons. Geoff next taught history and coached wrestling, track, and JV football in Dodgeville.

In 1967, they moved to Mayville where they lived and worked for the next 30 years. He taught world history to freshmen and had many classes believing he was only 29 years old for many years--always a kid at heart. Geoff's 34-year coaching career included being Mayville's varsity wrestling coach for 24 years and assistant varsity football coach until 1984, when he became the interim head football coach. Geoff stayed on as an athletic director and a high school administrator until his early retirement in 1997 due to his Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Just as he pushed others to always go hard, be strong, fight tough, he too was a fighter. His family and friends admired his multiple fights with cancer, a successful 1998 stem cell transplant. He was a survivor and would go on to enjoy his retirement.

In 2001, Geoff and Dee moved to Big Cedar Lake, West Bend, where they enjoyed sharing their days on their golden pond. Life on the lake meant days of fun and quiet times with their family, especially their two granddaughters, traveling and spending his days quietly relaxing, feeding the birds, fishing, and "doing whatever he dammed well pleased!"

Those Geoff leaves behind to cherish his memory includes more than 3,000 students and athletes, along with his loving wife, Dee Washa; two children, J. Bradley (Marlea Furlong and her daughter Brynn) Washa and Kathryn (Randy) Klopfer; two granddaughters, Brianna Klopfer and McKenna Klopfer; niece Laura (Kevin) Bagin; brother-in-law, Gary (Lin) McClurg; sister-in-law, Patricia (Al) Hanson; and many relatives and friends.  In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Judith (Ken) McCool.

VISITATION: The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, July 3, 2023 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 140 N. 7th Ave., West Bend, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.

SERVICE: A Celebration of Life service in remembrance of Geoff will be at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Geoff's name are appreciated. Donations can be made to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center: UW Foundation U.S. Bank Lockbox 78807 Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807 or: https://give.wiscmedicine.org/give/392780/#!/donation/checkout

Myrhum Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Geoff's arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.

Courage is grace under pressure - Ernest Hemingway
Advocating "matside weigh-in" since 1997
"That's why they wrestle the matches"