Russell C. Wipperfurth

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WAUNAKEE–Russell C. Wipperfurth passed away at Brightstar Senior Living in Waunakee on Sept. 21, 2022, four days after his 91st birthday. He was born on September 17, 1931 in Waunakee, to Anton M. Wipperfurth Sr. and his wife Eva Christina "Christine" Mary (Spahn) Wipperfurth.

While skating at Tenney Park in Madison, he met Elizabeth "Betty" Stewart, who became the love of his life. The couple wed on Sept. 1, 1956, and their marriage was an adventure especially for a woman who moved here from Kilmarnock, Scotland at a young age.

They raised five children while he farmed, showed horses, and drove a motor home yearly to Florida. A second home in Wisconsin Dells was their sanctuary. Russ was a devoted Catholic and led a blessed life.

In January of 1972, he opened Russ' Plumbing in Waunakee which he operated until his retirement in 1998. His sons started helping at a very young age and they took over the company upon his retirement. He was very proud of the business and satisfying customer needs in the community. Most recently Russ, then in his 80s, started a herd of beef cattle with his son-in-law David Helt.

After the sad untimely death of his beloved wife Betty, Russ later married Kathleen "Kay" A. (Sweeney) Kippley on Oct. 26, 2001. The Kippley family was important to him, and he was thankful for their love and support. His faith was tested when Kay passed away on Feb. 22, 2015.

He was so proud of his family and touched so many people in the community, always willing to help people and fix anything broken. He was everybody's friend. We will miss his smile, infectious laugh, whistling, the many bird feeders he has made and his obsession to trim trees.

Russ enjoyed many laughs and conversation with his pals at morning coffee. Many thanks to Jim Stephenson for his love, support and being such a good friend. Special thanks to Brightstar Senior Center and Heartland Hospice for all their help in assisting the family during this final journey.

Survivors include his five children: Debra "Deb" (Dave) Helt, Sandi (Brad) Zellner, Russ (Janet) Wipperfurth, Teri (Neal) Reible, and Jim (Lynn Grych) Wipperfurth; his 12 grandchildren: Judy, David, Jeff, Ben, Dan, Nicki, Rachel, Carissa, Karlie, Elizabeth, Jake, and Jesse; his 20 great-grandchildren; a sister, Lorraine Schlimgen; a brother, LeRoy Wipperfurth; and his sister-in-law, Claire (Hunold) Stewart.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Anton (Jan. 19, 1961) and Christine (April 10, 1981); his first wife Betty after 41 years of marriage (June 14, 1998), his second wife Kay after 14 years of marriage (Feb. 22, 2015); his brother, Anthony M. "Toky" Wipperfurth Jr (June 8, 2007); his two sisters, Joan M. Statz (April 17, 2014), and Sister Mary Jane (formerly Sister Anthony) of Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) (Oct. 10, 2018); his father-in-law and mother-in-law, William and Agnes (Manson) Stewart; his sister-in-law, Margaret "Margie" (Ziegler) Wipperfurth; as well as brothers-in-law, Paul Schlimgen, Harry Statz, and James McBride Stewart.

Monsignor James Gunn officiated funeral services at 11 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2022 at St John's Catholic Church in Waunakee. A visitation was held at 9 a.m. at the church prior to the funeral Mass. Interment was at St. John's Cemetery followed by a lunch at Rex's Innkeeper in Waunakee. The Winn-Cress Funeral Home, 5785 Highway Q, Waunakee, ably served the family.

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