Obituaries

Sat
21
Nov
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Eugene “Gene” Ralph Voegeli

WAUNAKEE–Eugene “Gene” Ralph Voegeli, 72, went to be with the Lord on Nov. 12, 2020 at Waunakee Manor in Waunakee. Gene was born to Ralph and Inez Voegeli on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1948. A graduate of Albany High School in 1967, Gene took over the family farm after his father’s untimely passing and then farmed outside of Winslow, IL. for many years. After farming, he worked at Highland Chemical in Stockton, IL., Landmark Services in Juda and Middleton Co-Op in Middleton, always keeping in touch with the farmers in the area. Gene married Dorothy Helt Endres on Nov. 15, 2003. Gene deeply loved his family, John Deere tractors, fishing, being outdoors looking at the Fall colors, playing cards and games, taking an occasional trip in his Cadillac to Ho-Chunk, and going out for breakfast and coffee with his friends and family.  He was an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan. Gene loved to tell stories and loved to laugh. He had a smile that would light up the room.

Sat
21
Nov
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Mary Jane (Maerz) Esser

CROSS PLAINS–Mary Jane (Maerz) Esser, age 93, of Middleton, passed away on Nov. 12, 2020. She was born in Castle Rock on June 19, 1927, the daughter of Peter and Christina (Hying) Maerz. Mary Jane was united in marriage to Lawrence Esser on June 19, 1946, in Dane. Together Lawrence and Mary Jane bought the Esser family farm where they farmed and raised five children. Her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were first priority in her life. Mary Jane loved flowers, and she planted and maintained several flower gardens on the farm. She also loved music. She played guitar, accordion and piano. She was a member of a small band and played at many establishments in western rural Wisconsin and local establishments. She entertained residents of the Black Earth and Lodi nursing homes as well.

Fri
13
Nov
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Lois Irene Simonson

CASPER/LANDER, WY–Lois Simonson, age 103, passed away peacefully on Nov. 2, 2020 at the home of her daughter and son-in-law Sara and Verlin Pitt in Lander, WY. She lived with them for the past 12 years.

Lois was born in Groton, SD on Nov. 13, 1916 to Robert Bruce McCordic and Melvina (Maltby) McCordic. She had two sisters, Margaret and Ella and one brother, Robert (Bob). When Lois was four years old, the family went on a picnic, and her mother and sister drank from a contaminated well. They died from typhoid fever shortly afterwards in 1921.

Lois and her brother Bob were sent to Idaho to live with her maternal grandparents and her aunt Nellie on their farm in Rogerson, ID.  

The Great Depression had a profound impact on Lois. She and her brother lived alone in an old shack during the winter of 1931 to 1932 when she was 13 and Bob was 10. She complained of the ceiling plaster falling into the bread dough she was making on one occasion.

Fri
13
Nov
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Jetta L. Roberts

MIDDLETON–Jetta Lea Roberts, age 66, of Middleton, passed away peacefully on Nov. 7, 2020. She was born on Jan. 8, 1954, in Madison, the daughter of James and Jean (Potter) Trickey. Jetta graduated from Monona Grove High School in 1972. She married the love of her life, Ralph Roberts on Dec. 6, 1993 in Las Vegas, NV.

Jetta worked for 12 years as a Hospital Service Associate with the American Red Cross Blood Services, leaving in 1985. 

Jetta will be remembered for her kindness, her warm smile, and her love for animals. She had a way of making people like themselves better just by being around her. Jetta was a huge fan of "The Wizard of Oz" and she could sing every song and recite every dialog in the film verbatim. Jetta was a devoted Green Bay Packers Fan. 

Thu
05
Nov
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Gail Margaret Nelson

MIDDLETON–Gail Margaret Nelson, age 63, of Middleton, passed away on Oct. 31, 2020, at the Villa at Middleton Village. She was born on Feb. 23, 1957, in Racine, the daughter of C. Richard and Roberta (Thompson) Nelson.

Gail graduated from Racine Horlick High School in 1975 and earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Whitewater. She worked as a teacher in Juda, and as an aide at the Middleton Library and afterschool programs. Gail was a past member of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Racine. She was a current member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, where she taught Sunday School and attended “Singles Group.” Gail enjoyed being a teacher, reading and family.

Thu
05
Nov
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Helen Marie Abplanalp

MOUNT HOREB / MIDDLETON–Helen Marie Abplanalp was born to Martin and Clara (Anderson) Martinson on June 12, 1921, on the family farm in Springdale Township. Helen passed away on Oct. 29, 2020, at Ingleside Nursing Home in Mount Horeb.

Thu
05
Nov
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Kenneth William Burns

MADISON–Kenneth William Burns, age 80, of Madison, passed away on Nov. 1, 2020, at Agrace HospiceCare, Fitchburg, after a hard-fought battle with multiple health issues. Ken was born on July 31, 1940, in Hollandale, the fifth of 12 siblings born to Joseph and Lucille (Broughton) Burns. Ken married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ryan, on Aug. 3, 1963. Together, they had one daughter, Colleen.

Ken attended grade school and high school in Hollandale. He was the owner/operator of Ken’s Bar in Madison for many years. Ken loved to tell good stories and loved to cause apprehension in his sisters, never quite knowing where the story would end. Having been raised by depression-era parents, he developed a reputation for being very frugal. One lunch patron at his bar offered to return a piece of meat he found in his soup because he did not want to be the guy who ate the only piece of meat in the whole pot of soup.

Fri
30
Oct
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Larry Severtson

ARENA–Larry Severtson, age 73, passed away quietly on Oct. 20, 2020, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. Larry was born June 18, 1947, in Mount Horeb. He attended school there before moving on to the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, where he graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences.

Larry worked through several different positions with the Department of Natural Resources before settling in as the Forestry Technician in Spring Green in the ‘70s. Much of his work there focused on forest fire management involving fire suppression, prevention and equipment management. He worked in Spring Green through his retirement in 2001. During that time, Larry was involved in his labor union, holding a variety of leadership positions. In retirement, Larry worked as manager of forest fire suppression air operations throughout the United States for US Forest Service and BIA.

Thu
01
Oct
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Richard E. “Dick” Williamson

MIDDLETON / TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD–Richard E. "Dick" Williamson, a witness to much of his beloved country's history, passed away on Sept. 24, 2020. Born in Dayton, OH, on Aug. 15, 1928, Dick had to get away from his hometown to discover his love of aviation. He attended elementary school and graduated from Fairview High School in Dayton in 1946, but it was the summer of 1945 when he convinced himself there was a big old world out there and he wanted to be more than just a spectator. Having hitchhiked across the country with one of his boyhood buddies that summer, Dick found himself high in the mountains of Idaho, manning a US Forest Service fire lookout on Clark Mountain where he spotted many Japanese "Fire Balloons” launched by submarine and intended to cause massive forest fires in the US. It was there that on Aug. 15, 1945, he celebrated his 17th birthday and heard the news of the Japanese surrender ending World War II.

Thu
01
Oct
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Francis “Frank” O’Connor

Francis “Frank” O’Connor

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