Stella Dresen

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CROSS PLAINS–Stella Dresen, 87, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2022, at her home, surrounded by family. Stella was born on March 23, 1934, in Middleton, to Bernice and Clarence Breunig. 

Stella graduated from Middleton High School and began working at Madison Gas & Electric, where she met her future husband, Richard “Dick” Dresen. They were united in marriage on April 22, 1961, and settled in Cross Plains, where they built their home on Hickory Street, raised their family and enjoyed being part of the Cross Plains community. Stella and Dick enjoyed 55 years of marriage, until his passing on Nov. 14, 2016.

Her love of children inspired Stella to become a daycare provider for many years. She was fortunate to remain close to many of those families and was proud of the amazing adults they had become. She would often comment after their visits, “so many of my kids sure did well for themselves.”   

Stella enjoyed the simple things in life. Decorating her home for the holidays, hosting dinners with her friends, Sunday morning breakfast with her siblings and Badger basketball. She loved spending time with her family, especially attending her grandchildren’s activities. She was always their biggest fan!   

Stella was an active parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, participating as a member of the church’s Prayer Chain and Schoenstatt Rosary and attending Eucharistic Adoration and weekday mass. She was a woman of deep, unwavering faith and lived a life of humility, grace, honesty and selflessness. 

Survivors include her six children, Denise (Mike) Callahan, Jim (Michele), Cheryl (Greg) Ziegler, Stacy (Dick) Carlson, Wendy Judd and Andrea (Mike) Whitish; 16 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren (with little “Stella” arriving in May). She is further survived by her sisters and brothers, Ann Wipperfurth, Stan (Mary Ann), Phil (Pat), Pat (Ron) Paska, Mary Olson and Al (Diann); sister-in-law, Cary Sitterly; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.  

Stella was preceded in death by her husband, Dick; her parents; in-laws, Margaret and Frank J. Dresen; her dearly loved grandson, Sean David Callahan; sisters, Cordella “Corky” Cook and Phyllis Brumm; brother, Clarence “Butch”; brothers-in-law, Al Wipperfurth, Duane Cook, Roger Brumm, Chuck Olson and Frank C. Dresen; and niece, Beth Breunig.

Our family wishes to extend our deepest appreciation to family and friends for the many kindnesses shown to Mom during her illness. Thank you to Cheryl Chamberlain, Father Scott Jablonski, Father Tom Kelley, and Kathy and Pat Acker for your visits, friendship and prayers, the amazing Agrace HospiceCare Team of Brittany, Jessica, Gina and Siandra, and her caring doctors Dan Jarzemsky, Howard Bailey, Zachary Morris, Sam Lubner and James Leonard.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 2947 Thinnes St., Cross Plains, at 11 a.m. on March 7, 2022, with Father Scott Jablonski presiding. Visitation will be at Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Care, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, on March 6, 2022, from 4-7 p.m., and at the church from 9:30 a.m.-10:45 p.m. on Monday. A luncheon will follow in the St. Francis Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Francis Endowment Fund, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Agrace HospiceCare and the Carbone Cancer Center. In lieu of sending thank you notes, donations will be made to various charities in memory of our mom. 

In life, we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place, no one else will ever fill.

Online condolences may be made at

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