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Dr. Curtis Wayne Gonstead, Beloit, WI (1934-2015)

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January 8, 2015

June 26, 1934 - January 5, 2015

Dr. Curtis Wayne Gonstead, 80, of Beloit, WI, died Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in his home surrounded by his family. He was born June 26, 1934, in Madison, WI, the son of Dr. Merton J. and Emma M. (Meyer) Gonstead. Curt was a 1952 graduate of Monroe High School, Monroe, WI, and a 1956 graduate from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. After serving two years in the US Army, he returned to Monroe, WI, in 1958, and joined his father in practice at the Gonstead Chiropractic Clinic. They moved the clinic to Beloit, WI, in 1965. Curt married Barbara Tappen Beardsley on Aug. 25, 1963. They enjoyed 34 years of marriage before she predeceased him on Oct. 2, 1997. Curt was blessed by a second marriage to Marleen Wendt on Nov. 29, 2002. With dedication and enthusiasm, Dr. Curt practiced chiropractic for 41 years before retiring in 1999. He actively supported chiropractic by serving on numerous state committees, as well as hosting and training many groups of visiting Japanese chiropractors. For all his efforts, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association awarded him the President's Award in 1980, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He was a member of the American Chiropractic Association, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, and Palmer President's Club. He was proud to provide testimony in landmark chiropractic cases that were instrumental in the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that hence forth a doctor of chiropractic would be considered an expert witness. Dr. Curt, his father, and brother-in-law, Dr. George Johnston, developed a specific, neutral adjusting technique they called the Gonstead Inertia Specific Technique.

While Curt enjoyed snowmobile, sailboat, speedboat, and enduro racing, his greatest passion and success was in automobile road racing. He won numerous events at the national and international levels at race courses such as Elkhart Lake, Meadowdale, Sebring, Daytona, Greenwood, and Bridgehampton Raceway. Curt was invited to join an auto racing team in Europe, but instead decided to remain in Wisconsin, to raise his family and manage a thriving chiropractic practice.

Curt was involved in his community as a member of Kiwanis, a past president of the Beloit Aquatic Team, founder and chairman of the Beloit Heritage Bicycle Races, and a member of the Honda Sport Touring Association. He was also a founding member of the Streeterville Scramblers motorcycle club; a special group of friends with whom he and Marleen enjoyed many worldwide motorcycle tours. Curt had a special passion for architecture which was evident from the commissioning of his Beloit clinic and home by James Dresser, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Curt could be described by all who knew him as disciplined, precise, and a man who loved apexing a corner. He will always be remembered as a dedicated and loving husband and father. His children are eternally grateful for all the opportunities he afforded them in life.

Survivors include his wife, Marleen Gonstead of Beloit, WI; children: Ann-Mari (Eric) Westerhoff of Breckenridge, CO, Dr. Eric Gonstead of Beloit, WI, Dr. Andrea (David McCabe) Gonstead of Beloit, WI, and Sven (Marcia) Gonstead of Big Bay, MI; grandchildren: Rudi and Sofi Gonstead, Johann and Sylvie Westerhoff, Gillian and Quinn McCabe; step children, Birgit (John) Wilson and Canute Wendt; step granddaughter, Lily Wilson; brother-in-law, Dr. George (Jackie) Johnston; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Barbara; his parents; and sister, Guineth Gonstead Johnston.

Funeral services for Curt will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, 54 South Jackson Street, Janesville, WI. Reverend Brenda Barnes Jamieson will be officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Monroe, WI. Visitation will be from 4 until 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9th at the DALEY MURPHY WISCH & ASSOCIATES FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI.

Memorials can be made to Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA. Online condolences may be sent to the family at


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