Anthony John (Tony) Gast, a native of Ashland and a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, died Saturday, August 31 at his parents’ home in Marengo. He was 52.
Tony was born on February 28, 1967 in Ashland. In recent months he had been suffering from esophageal and bone cancer. With his parents at his bedside, Tony passed away in his mother’s arms.
As a Marine from 1985-1989, Tony was a member of the Recon Special Forces, serving in such places as Iraq, Okinawa, the Philippines and Australia. Tony had achieved the rank of corporal. He had said that his experiences overseas had made a profound impact on his life.
In high school Tony was a two-way starter on Ashland’s undefeated State Champion football team of 1984, which finished the season 12-0 and defeated highly-regarded Grafton, 13-12, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison for the Division II championship. He was also an accomplished high school wrestler, advancing to the state finals.
During most of his working life Tony was an over-the-road truck driver. In the last eight years Tony lived in Tomah, Wisconsin, where he worked for Toro. After the Marine Corps he came home to Ashland and worked for Ison Equipment and later as a certified nursing assistant at the Golden Living Center-Court Manor.
Tony is survived by his parents, Bill and Ann Gast of Marengo; his son, Tim Gast of La Pointe; sisters, Michelle (Tom) Seafolk of Duluth and Jennifer (Jim) Marincel of Ashland; aunt, Marie Schafer of Panama City, FL; uncle, Richard J. Pufall of Ashland; aunt and uncle, Barb and Dave Crozier of Marengo; close friend, Samantha Bruch; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Tony was preceded in death by his brother, Craig; special friend, Deb Jako; maternal grandparents, Richard T. and Frieda Pufall; and paternal grandparents, Clara and Harold Gast.
The family would like to thank Regional Hospice for its special care of Tony in the last days of his life. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Regional Hospice.
A gathering of family and friends for Tony Gast will begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 5, followed by a memorial service at noon, both at the Mountain Funeral Home in Ashland. After the memorial a military graveside service will be conducted at St. Agnes Cemetery. After the military service a luncheon will be held back at the Mountain Funeral Home.
Online condolences for Tony’s family may be left at mountainfuneralhomes.com