George M. Barlass Obituary - Cowsmo

George M. Barlass Obituary

Everyone at Cowsmo would like to send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of George Barless.

George M. Barlass, 90, passed away on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022 at his home in Janesville, WI. He was born on August 18th, 1931, in Janesville to Alfred G. and Meta (Greinert) Barlass.

George graduated from Mt. Zion country grade school in 1945, Janesville High School in 1949, and then from University of Wisconsin Farm Short Course in 1950. He was inducted into the Army April 8, 1952. He served with the 40th Division in the Korean War, during which time he was a Sergeant and earned the Combat Infantry Badge. He was Honorably discharged January 7th, 1954. George married his 4-H sweetheart, Shirley Elphick, in Whitewater, WI on March 6th, 1954. They were blessed with five children: Gordon, Diane, Nancy, Scott, and Randall.

George grew up on Gil-Bar Jersey Farm, and after returning from military service he farmed with his father and brother until 1969, then later became owner of the farm. He raised registered Jersey cattle and won many champions and Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor awards at various shows. He sold cattle throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries. He was a prominent dairy cattle judge for 48 consecutive years, where he judged most all major shows in the U.S., Canada, and eight foreign countries. George coached the Rock Co. 4-H dairy cattle judging teams for over 25 years, in which they won district, state, and national contests. He won numerous herdsman and showmanship awards. An award was given in his name for the top dairy colored-breed exhibitor at the Wisconsin Junior State Fair for several years. In 1972, George was presented the Klussendorf Award for Ability, Endeavor and Sportsmanship, which is the highest award in exhibiting dairy cattle in the U.S. and Canada. He was awarded Wisconsin Jersey Breeder of the Year and Distinguished Service Award. George received the Outstanding Service to Wisconsin Agriculture Award from WI Farm and Industry Short Course. He was also awarded the WI and American FFA Farmer Degree, and was inducted into the Rock County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2014. He and his wife, Shirley, were honored to receive the American Jersey Cattle Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2015. Most recently he received the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Barn Hall of Fame award.

George was a lifetime member of Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and volunteered in various ministries. He was a member of the Wisconsin Jersey Breeders Association and served as director and president. He was also a member of Parish 2 Jersey Breeders where he served as president. George was a member of the World Jersey Bureau and served on the council. He was also a member of the American Jersey Cattle Association and served on their board of directors. He was a member of the Wisconsin Purebred Dairy Cattle Association and he served on the WI Jr. State Fair dairy committee for 45 years. George was a member of Wisconsin Master Farmers and served as their president, and was a member of National Dairy Shrine. George was a Badger fan and Green Bay Packers fan. He was an avid bowler, and enjoyed playing cards and games with his family and friends. He loved watching his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren show jersey cattle! He will be remembered most by his sense of humor and his joy of dairy farming.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons, Gordon (Michelle) Barlass and Scott (Janeen) Barlass; daughter, Nancy (Tom) Arndt; grandchildren, Jason Cuff, Kyle (Francine) Barlass, Ryan (Kristy) Barlass, Alesha (Aaron) Gierhart, Eric (Tanya) Arndt, Aaron (Nicole) Barlass, Jennah (Paul) Benson, Ethan Barlass and his friend Kelsey, Haley Barlass and fiancé Justin Sullivan, and Hayden Barlass; great-grandchildren, Sophia, Emily, Lily, Blake, Owen, Emersyn, Kathryn, Brodie, Eloise, George, Lane, Charles, Ramona, Logan, and baby boy Benson; sister-in-law, Elinor Elphick; brother-in-law, Ralph Grandt; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Diane; son, Randall; father and mother in-law, Merrill and Elizabeth Elphick; brother, Marvin and his wife Alice; sister, Bernita and her husband Darrell Reeder; brother-in-laws, Stanley and James Elphick; sister-in-laws, Carol Grandt and Margaret Copus.

A funeral service will be held Monday, June 27th at Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church, 8605 County Truck A, Janesville, WI, at 11:00 AM with Pastor Mike Slutz officiating. Visitation will be held Sunday, June 26th at Henke-Clarson Funeral Home 1010 N.Wright Road from 2:00-5:00 PM and from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the church on Monday. Military rites will be conducted at the church following the service by Kienow-Hilt Post #1621. There will be a private burial at Johnstown Center Cemetery. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice, Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church or Parish 2 Jersey Breeders.

The family would like to send their sincere thanks and appreciation to Agrace Hospice and BrightStar Home Care for the devoted and compassionate care they provided. The family is being assisted by Henke-Clarson Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at

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