By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Jerry Goetsch, a popular local polka band leader, died May 30 at the age of 85.
Goetsch’s health had declined in recent years, and he suffered from dementia, said his son Terry.
Goetsch started the Jerry Goetsch Orchestra while he was still a student in Wausau and packed dance venues for the next four decades.
The Jerry Goetsch Orchestra gained popularity throughout central Wisconsin in the 1960s with its appearances on a Sunday morning polka show that aired on WSAW-TV 7.
The band retired in 1993, ending a 42-year run. Goetsch was inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame in 1999.