Jerry Cognetta


4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday August 9, 2022



11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wednesday August 10


Jerry Cognetta, age 75 of Hudson, WI (formerly of Elmwood, WI), was called to heaven on August 3, 2022 while surrounded by family after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Jerry was born on July 31, 1947 to parents Philip and Marie Cognetta. He graduated from Hill High School (Hill Murray) in St. Paul, MN, before continuing his education at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where he earned a degree in education. Jerry married the love of his life Julie Asher on August 17, 1974, and together they raised three children.

For 39 years, Jerry was a committed teacher and softball coach at Elmwood High School. He began coaching the girls’ softball team in 1977. It was his knowledge of the game and ability to connect with aspiring athletes that achieved a record of 301-39 in his 19 years as coach. This included nine state tournament appearances, two state championships and a 63-game conference winning streak. In 2003, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame at the University of Wisconsin River Falls as a player and a coach. In 2019, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Following his softball career with Elmwood, he coached the Elmwood high school baseball team for six years, and then served as an assistant softball coach at University of Wisconsin Stout for five years. Jerry coached all three of his children. He concluded his softball and baseball careers as an umpire, often partnering and trading calls with his son Vinny. Second only to his family, Jerry was most proud of the accomplishments of the students he taught and the players he coached.

He will remain in the hearts of his wife Julie; daughter Cheristi (Steve) Cognetta-Rieke and their son Francis Rieke; his son Vinny (Laura) Cognetta and their children Vincent and Luca Cognetta; his son Ario (Allison) Cognetta and their son Enzo Cognetta; as well as many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Phil Cognetta.

A visitation for Jerry will be held on Tuesday, August 9 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, WI from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be the next day on Wednesday, August 10 at St. Patrick Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. with another visitation one hour prior to Mass. His service will be livestreamed through St. Pat’s Facebook page for anyone not able to attend in person. Following Mass the family invites you to join them to celebrate Jerry’s wonderful life at Bella Vinez in River Falls, on Wednesday, August 10 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

While we will no longer be greeted with a warm smile or hug, we have had the honor of knowing a great man with a big heart who brought decades of wisdom, leadership, and joy to many through sports and education. We extend deep gratitude for the excellent care provided by The Deerfield Senior Living and Lakeview Hospice.


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