David Francis Ciske, age 54, left this world peacefully, at ThedaCare’s Peabody Manor/Cherry Meadows on March 2, 2019, with his loving family by his side after a strong and courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Dave was born in Appleton on September 7, 1964 to James and Shirley (Horn) Ciske. Growing up on the Southside of Appleton, as that area of the city was just starting to develop, Dave played in the fields, creeks, woods and parks with his brothers and neighborhood boys. Many of his boyhood friends remained lifetime buddies, who share many, many tales and adventures. These friends greatly enriched Dave’s life, even up until his final days. Dave attended grade school for 8 years at St. Bernadette Catholic School, moving on to James Madison Middle School, then graduating with the class of 1982 from Appleton High School East. Dave enjoyed playing baseball, starting with Little League, where one of his teams made it all the way to Kansas City nationals. He continued playing ball and had great times while developing many good friendships playing with the Appleton Rebels, Menasha Macs and Green Bay Blue Ribbons. He played baseball at UW-Stout, before moving to the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, where he received his BA in Criminal Justice. On August 31, 1996, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, his best friend and exploring partner, Melissa Harder. The two of them have lived, laughed and loved for the past 28 years. Dave worked as a teacher/counselor at Tomorrow’s Children in Waupaca for over 28 years. He had many special connections with his co-workers and the children he mentored. Dave embraced a great love and passion for the outdoors, especially camping and exploring the woods up in the Nicolet National Forest with family and friends. He could load up his truck and be on the road in a moment’s notice. No one could set up a camp better than Dave could. Come rain or shine, the campfire would burn bright for hours into the night. Dave loved listening to music and had quite a large collection of tunes. He was an avid Brewer, Badger, and Packer fan and always enjoyed cheering them on. Like his father, Dave was very quick with a joke and liked to make others laugh, yet he always had a kind word for everyone. Dave was a friend to all who had the pleasure to know him.
Family love was instilled in Dave at a very young age by his loving parents and siblings, whom he held close to his heart. This was evident when the Ciske family would gather together, as laughter and love would always abound. Dave’s place in this family will remain forever for even death will not quell his spirit. Still, it is a most difficult thing for his family to have to say a final good-bye.
Dave will be forever missed by his wife Melissa, Neenah; his mother, Shirley Ciske, Appleton; 9 brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; John (Michele) Ciske, Appleton, and their children Mackenzie, Johanna (Stan), son Calvin Ciske; Mary (Dick) Ver Voort, Kaukauna, and their children Katie (Matthew) daughters Ella, Amelia, Hannah Lephardt and Tim (Jamie) son Dixon; Pete (Jody), Appleton and son Jeremy Ciske; Jim (Mary) Ciske, Appleton, and their children Sarah (Taylor Nassen) daughter Lucy and Ben Ciske; Sue (Kevin) Schommer, Wrightstown, and their children Donell (Ryan Cerney) Brennan and Andreas Cerney, Bryan (Mindy) sons Brady and Benett, Paula (Ryan) Zellhofer; Fred (Andrea) Ciske Dexter MI; Jane (John) Erickson, Waupaca, and their sons Jordan and Jared (Hannah Rawson); Sam (Karen) Ciske, Little Chute, and their children Mitchell, Joshua and Emma; Paul (Darlene) Ciske, Neenah, and their sons Sean (Lauren) daughter Caroline and Alex Ciske. Dave will also be greatly missed by his mother and father-in-law Ron and Carol Harder, Neenah and brother in-law Brian (Aaron Standish) Harder, Chicago. He is further survived by his Aunts and Uncles Barbara and Dick Lamers and Sharon and Rich Scheirl, numerous cousins and countless close friends.
Dave is heartily welcomed home by his father Jim Ciske, who blazed the path, a nephew Nathaniel, his grandparents Frieda and John Ciske, Emma and Fred Horn and numerous aunts and uncles who all were part of his family life while growing up.
A Mass of Resurrection will take place at 7:00 pm on Friday, March 8, 2019 at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 2331 Lourdes Dr. Appleton with Fr. John Becker and Deacon Jeff Prickette officiating. Friends may visit at the church on Friday from 3:00 pm until time of service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established for Tomorrow’s Children.
The family would like to extend a personal thank you to the fine people at ThedaCare Cancer Center doctors and nurses, ThedaCare Home Hospice, and Cherry Meadows Hospice for their compassionate care during Dave’s journey.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world” John Muir
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt” John Muir
Dave’s final wish for everyone – “Be Good and Rock On!”