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Joseph E. “Joe” Tregoning
Joseph E. “Joe” Tregoning

Joseph E. “Joe” Tregoning, age 78 of Madison, WI formerly of Shullsburg, WI passed away on Thursday, October 10, 2019. He was born May 26, 1941 in Dubuque, IA the son of Orville and Ermine (Metcalf) Tregoning. Joe graduated from Shullsburg High School in 1959. He married Jeanne M. Brunette on March 2, 1971. Joe was a Wisconsin State Representative for 23 years, proudly representing counties in Southwest Wisconsin with a true heart for farmers and all constituents in his district. His ties to Shullsburg were strong, and he made frequent day trips there in recent years. Under Tommy Thompson’s Governorship, Joe served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. In addition to these roles, Joe also served on various committees that reflected his values. He served with the Lafayette County Republicans, Shullsburg Lions Club, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, and a number of groups tied to his passion of agriculture. He attempted to retire, but failed. The busier Joe could be, the better. In the most recent years, he acted as a consultant for various agriculture-related entrepreneurial ventures.

Joe is survived by his son: Joshua (Andrea) Tregoning of Evansville, WI; 3 grandchildren whom he loved with fervor: Ila, Lilia, and Kass; his sister: Susie Tregoning of Evansville, WI; his Golden Retriever service dog: Agape; sisters-in-law: Carol Tregoning of Tulsa, OK, Julie Brunette of Eagan, MN, JoPat (Joseph) Frechette of Fenton, IL, Jill Gruenke of Apple Valley, MN, Jennifer (Dennis) Steckbauer of Byron, IL, Yontuk Brunette of Mechanicsville, VA, Shirley Brunette of Fond du Lac, WI, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and friends, friends, friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Jeanne in 2016; his brother Donald Tregoning; and two brothers-in-law: John and Jerome Brunette.

One would be remiss to not acknowledge the loving, steadfast care that Joe provided his wife Jeanne, for almost 44 years, after she sustained a spinal cord injury October 13, 1972. Joe also suffered a serious farming-related injury in November 1974, resulting in the loss of his left arm. Despite this, he cared for Jeanne with his remaining “miracle arm.”

Joe was a man of loyalty, kindness, faith, and perseverance. He loved the Lord. He looked forward to heaven with Jeanne, but constantly looked for ways to make the most of his time here. He loved to be with people. Period. Joe loved to tell lengthy jokes that were hard to follow. He loved to find out everything he could about you and then figure out how he might help you in some way. He loved spending time with Ila, Lilia, and Kass and came to many of their sporting events, concerts, and dance recitals come rain, shine, sleet, or snow. He loved hunting (including bear hunting twice in the last month), fishing, vacations in Mexico, buying cheese throughout Wisconsin, making a meatloaf for anyone who needed it that day, reminiscing, talking politics, giving away anything to someone who needed it, and learning about the Lord. The gates of heaven sounded trumpets and erupted in cheers when Joe Tregoning arrived.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at Centenary United Methodist Church (226 W. Church St., Shullsburg) with Rev. Tim M. Genin of Chapel Valley Church in Madison officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Shullsburg. A visitation will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Erickson Funeral Home (235 N. Judgement St., Shullsburg) and on Saturday from 12:00 P.M. until 12:45 P.M. at the church. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Joe’s name.