Jeffrey (Jeff) Mark Erdman, avid reader, funny guy, and fishing extraordinaire, escaped this mortal realm on June 11, 2023. Jeff was from Whitewater, Wisconsin, a place he was proud to call ‘home.’
He leaves behind a dysfunctional family that he loved very much, and a house full of stuff that his family doesn’t know what to do with.
Jeff is preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Lorraine (Lorrie) Erdman; his sisters, Janice Culver and Leslie Bauer; and the mother of his children, Frances (Diane) Erdman. He is survived by his sons Justin (Vanessa) Erdman, Jacob Erdman, and Josh Erdman; his grandchildren Evan, Alina Kate, Brennan, and Ashton; his sister, Mary Husar; special friends Tom, Donna, and Micah Vaughn; and the Italian food industry which he single-handedly upheld in Whitewater.
His family swears to avenge his untimely death.
Jeff was born on November 21, 1953 to Gordon and Lorraine. After years of treating his body like an amusement park, Jeff’s spirit chuckled and shrugged and left the worn out shell. His spirit is now reunited with his parents and they are exploring the universe. Along for the adventure are his sisters, Janice and Leslie, who beat him to the finish line. Jeff’s brother, Jay, is still traveling the world and, and their sister, Mary, is sweltering in the Alabama heat. They both stubbornly refuse to join the rest of the family; they were always such overachievers. Jeff’s demise will now allow Jay and Mary to emerge from his shadow.
To Justin, Jeff left his intelligence, impatience, integrity, and stubbornness. He also left Justin a love of science fiction, fishing, and reading. Jeff’s mouth lives on with Justin, both the physical mouth that has passed down for generations, as well as the figurative smart mouth that gets both of them into trouble. Justin also inherited his pop’s impulsivity, which has never done either of them any good, but definitely has given both of them some good times.
To Jacob, Jeff left his sense of humor, altruism, practicality, and understanding. Jacob also got his love of reading and the love of a good debate from Jeff. Jeff left his sharp tongue to Jacob, which gets Jacob in trouble, but somehow never out of it. Thankfully, he has Jeff’s wit for that. Jeff’s love of X-Men comics lives forever through Jacob.
To Josh, Jeff handed down a sense of loyalty, generosity, thoughtfulness, and his easygoing nature. He also taught Josh mechanical skills, and left Josh with a great work ethic, where he excels at working with his hands, like Jeff. Jeff also gave Josh a love of fishing and being outdoors, where they loved to crack a beer and have a good laugh.
Due to multiple, anonymous Father’s Day cards which arrived each June, the children suspect there were other siblings but that has never been verified.
Jeff’s 45+ years as a Heat Treater made him a legend in the industry. He traveled extensively for work and hated every minute of it. Jeff met hundreds of fellow idiots who also chose this profession and made an impact on all of them. A handful of them might even say kind things about him, if they were pressed. We’re waiting, Al Arbour, Bob Christiansen, Joe Martich, and Ronny Kendrick… Money, along with your kind words, is always appreciated. We will also accept a note of farewell, written on a cold bottle of Budweiser, and drank in his honor.
He attended the school of hard knocks, where he majored in drinking beer and chasing young women.
Fanatico, Holi Connoli, and The Real MacCoys lost a loyal customer. Visit them the next time you’re in Whitewater and have a meal with Jeff’s memory.
He enjoyed playing music obnoxiously loud, way too late at night. His favorites were Tom Petty, Def Leppard, Bob Dylan, The Traveling Wilburys, and Everclear.
Jeff died knowing that Star Wars and Indiana Jones were the greatest movies, Sudoku was the best game ever, there’s no better video games than Star Craft and Dragon Warrior, and that chicks don’t actually dig on older men.
Jeff had a life-long love affair with Mountain Dew, Swedish Fish, medium-rare steak, Topper’s Stix, chocolate ice cream, Marie Callender’s cherry pie, Dave’s Killer White Bread, fish fries, Mrs. Hoffman’s banana bread (“it’s the best banana bread I’ve ever had!”), shrimp, and his mom’s Mexican wedding cakes. He had a regular menage-a-trois with Marlboros and Budweiser.
He also loved the Packers, the Brewers, the Bucks, a good laugh and a good story, philosophy, and psychology, regaling people with his exploits, fishing, a simple life, science fiction, theology, button-down shirts with pockets, and trying to give away everything in his house.
Jeff despised vegetables, texting, returning phone calls, “keeping up with the Joneses,” drinking water, romantic comedies, inauthenticity, and the Cowboys and the Bears.
Jeff got irrationally upset when someone would eat his chocolate ice cream that sat in the freezer for over a month, even if they asked his permission first. He excelled at talking louder to win arguments. To quote Winston Churchill: “He was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
His regrets were few but include eating a Papa Murphy’s pizza undercooked because he was too impatient to wait, not training his birds to detect blood cancer, and standing behind the guy who smoked him in the face with a pool cue.
Jeff’s memorial service will be held at 841 Brewhouse in Whitewater, WI on July 15, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. The family encourages everyone to wear their Packers or Brewers clothing to the memorial in honor of Jeff. Anyone wearing Cowboys gear or Bears gear will not be admitted to the memorial.
Royalties for all brands listed are expected.
In all seriousness, Jeff died from complications from chemotherapy treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS-EB1; blood cancer), exacerbated by smoking, which led to multiple strokes over the years and the vascular dementia that Jeff suffered in the last two or three years of his life. Please click on the links below to see the warning signs of MDS, strokes, and vascular dementia. And quit smoking! These are the real villains of Jeff’s life.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Jeff is not dead, because his memory is alive.