Sunday, August 17, 2014

Obituary: John Michael Sweeney - Class of 1963

MADISON - John Michael Sweeney, age 70, passed away Wednesday morning, Aug. 13, 2014, at the VA Hospital. John was the first born to John and Marion Sweeney on March 15, 1944. He graduated from Madison Central High, class of 1963, and then Madison Fire Department, class of 1969. John served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968 during the Vietnam War, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. He retired after 27 years of service with the Madison Fire Department. John enjoyed exploring/traveling all the corners of the United States during the cold Wisconsin winters and camping with his family in the summers in his motorhome. He also loved bargain hunting, garage sales, boating, fishing, and was a green fisted gardener. John was a man that could only be described by the way he lived. John is survived by his wife of 44 years, Sandra (Stassi); son, Jeff (Teresa); daughter, Michelle (Brian) Metcalf; grandchildren, Caila, Cory, Kiera, Keegan, and Courtney; sister, Mary; brother, Tom; and many other relatives. A "celebration of life" memorial service will be held at the VFW POST 1318, 133 E. Lakeside St., Madison, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Fire Department and Military Honors will take place at the VFW at 3 p.m. on Sunday. A special thanks to the staff of VA Hospice and Agrace HospiceCare for their care and support. In lieu of flowers, donations to VA Hospice, 2500 Overlook Terrace, Madison, WI 53705, or Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711, would be appreciated. We will remember and love you forever.

 Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on August 17, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Obituary: Terry L. (Burrows) Orvold - Class of 1965

SUMMER, Wash. / MADISON [Wisconsin] - Terry L. (Burrows) Orvold [age 67], family at her side, went to Heaven's light in Sumner, Wash., to be with her dappled Dachshund, red and white Bassett Hound and cats, on June 22, 2014. Terry was a loving Granny, an awesome soccer and baseball mom, wonderful sister, aunt, long-time friend, animal rescuer and a great Nurse. Terry was born to Aggie and Herbie Burrows in Jan. 1947 in Madison, graduated from Central University High school with a 4 year scholarship to the UW where she earned her Bachelors degree in Nursing; Terry practiced as an RN in hospitals in Wisconsin and Minnesota and after moving to Washington State was a Nurse Case-manager until she retired. Terry was both a Packers Backer and a Seahawks "12th man" loudest fan. Terry will be missed greatly by her two sons, Gabriel N. Orvold and his wife, Jaimie, precious grandchildren, Julianna Grace and Grayden Jase, and Benjamin J. Orvold and his wife, Corey ; her sister, Cathy Swanson-Hayes (John Hayes); nieces and nephews, Amelia Swanson (Rick), Peter Swanson- -godchild (Chelsea), Emily Burrows; and sister-in-law, Laurel Peterson; childhood, high school and college good friends, Dianna and Jean Fowles, Nancy Ellis Schuttenhelm and Susanne Seifert Treichel. Terry's younger brother, Ron Burrows passed-on in Madison, three weeks after Terry. Friends and family have made donations to Animal Rescue organizations in Terry's and Ron's names. Thank you Terry for your loving care of the persons and animals around you. We are grateful.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on August 10, 2013 (submitted by Michael Vahldieck, Class of 1968) 

Note: Terry Burrows was Secretary of the Class of 1965

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Obituary: Chalres D. Sprecher - Class of 1954

MADISON - Charles D. Sprecher, age 79, of Madison, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Oak Park Place. He was born on April 11, 1935, in Madison, the son of John and Bertha Sprecher. He married his high school sweetheart, Leonette Nelson, on June 28, 1958, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. Charlie graduated from Central High School, Madison, in 1954, and then went on to attend UW-Madison. He was a lifelong salesman in the Madison area, and then had his own business until his retirement. Charlie enjoyed playing cards and watching sports, especially his granchildren's sporting events. He enjoyed all animals, especially his best buddy, Bear. Charlie is survived by his wife of 56 years, Leonette, of Madison; daughters, Julie Sprecher of Madison, and Janie Sprecher of Madison; a son, Dan (Paulette) Sprecher of Cross Plains; grandchildren, Blake and Miranda Sprecher; a sister, Alice Funk of Rhode Island; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Robert and Frederick Sprecher; and two sisters, Kathleen Lawler and Jeanne Faust. A Celebration of Charles' Life will be held at BABES GRILL AND BAR, 5614 Schroeder Road, Madison, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., on Saturday, July 26, 2014. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Madison Area Special Olympics and Community Work Service. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at UW-Hospital, Oak Park Place and Agrace HospiceCare.  

Originally published on July 16, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Obituary: Jacqueline "Dolly" (Westfield) Matthews - Class of 1947

MADISON - Jacqueline "Dolly" Matthews passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Dolly was born in Madison on May 10, 1929, to John (Boots) and Alice (Lobre) Westbury. She was a graduate of Central High, class of 1947. Dolly was a former employee of the Wisconsin Memorial Union, UW Field House, Dane County Coliseum, Kmart, and retired from Dean Clinic after 32 years of service. Dolly enjoyed spending time with her lifelong card club friends, her Wednesday coffee group, and her many friends from Dean Clinic. She delighted in sitting on her front porch on Lakeside Street, talking and waving to those passing by. One of her greatest joys was celebrating the Christmas season. She especially loved the gift of giving and watching the happiness it brought to those around her. Most of all, Dolly enjoyed the time she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be remembered for her infectious smile, hardy laugh, the way she made people happy, and how her door was always open to all. Dolly is survived by her husband, Jim Mayer; children, Cheri, John, Suzanne (James), Mark (Terri) and Todd (Jennifer); grandchildren, Jessica (Pete), Ryan, Erin, Kaely, Talia (Chris), Emily (Steve), CJ (Emily), Sadie, Remy, Clive and Emmit; and great-grandchildren, Olivia, Sebastian, Nolan, Silas, Avilyn and Owen. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Matthews; daughter, Jackie Matthews; and sisters, Patricia Triplett, Donna Epler, and Joanne (Pinky) Crawmer. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, Wis., officiated by the Rev. Mary Pharmer. Prior to the service, a visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army. The Matthews family would like to thank Home Health United, Dr. David Sorber and staff, and a special thanks to Jim Mayer for all his love and care.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 6, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Obituary: Roberta "Amy" (Browning) Baker - Class of 1952

MADISON - Roberta "Amy" (Browning) Baker died on Wednesday, May 7, 201 4.

Roberta was born on Oct. 26, 1933, the youngest child of Charles Browning and Patricia Manion Browning's seven children. The young child, Roberta, was enamored by the radio show "Amos and Andy" and would stand in front of the radio asking for "Amy and Andy". From that childhood delight came her nickname, Amy. Amy and her siblings had the benefit of living in a single homestead throughout childhood. The house on Drake Street allowed her to have a predictable place to call home while also being strategically located to take advantage of all that Madison had to offer.

Shortly after graduation from Madison Central High School, Amy married William R. Baker in 1954. They had four children who survive her: Raymond Baker and Julie Baker (Robert Hull) of Madison, Charles Baker of Georgetown, Texas, and Mary (Brad) McWilliams of Bee Branch, Ark.

Amy was the quintessential Madisonian. Often people would remark, "Amy, you know everybody." She enjoyed many happy moments with longtime childhood friends as well as new acquaintances. Amy's sharp memory for names and faces was an asset to the riders of Madison Metro when she worked at the Transit window located at Main and Carroll from 1981 to 1990 and, later, when she transferred to answering Madison Metro's Infoline, where her geographical knowledge of "taverns and churches" helped to guide riders to their destination. She served the public well until her retirement in 1999.

While Amy occasionally enjoyed a self-imposed hibernation, she was never alone as long as she had a stack of books to feed her voracious appetite for reading. Amy knew a little bit about almost everything. She had a sharp wit that never was used to hurt another person. She enjoyed self-deprecation more than using her wit to assail others.

Amy was preceded in death by five of her six siblings, Mary Browning Fall, Charles Browning Jr., John Browning, Harry Browning, and Patricia Browning; and her grandson, Sean Raymond Redemann, whom she missed very much after his death in 2001.

In addition to her children, she is survived by her sister, Bernadette Stevens of Madison; and two granddaughters, Rachel Baker and Allison Baker, both of Madison. Amy has many nieces and nephews who also mourn the loss of their last Aunt.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for the afternoon of June 14, 2014, at THE ECHO TAP, Madison, Wis.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 11, 2014. Submitted by Janet Stevens (Class of 1965) and Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968) 

Note: Roberta (Browning) Baker's class year is based on a list of 1952 CHS graduates published in The Capital Times.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Obituary: Terrance B. Hartfelder - Class of 1962

MADISON - Terrance B. Hartfelder, age 70, of Madison, passed away on March 15, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare, following a long battle with cancer. Terry was born on July 20, 1943, in Madison, and lived in the downtown area for his entire life. He walked State Street everyday where he frequented the many restaurants and shops. Terry made pizzas at Paisan's Restaurant for 50 years until he retired because of his illness. He considered his family to be his co-workers at Paisan's, and he is greatly missed by them. We would like to thank all of the nurses and doctors at UW Health and Hospital for their wonderful help and compassion over the last couple of years, and also Agrace HospiceCare for taking care of Terry and making him comfortable during his last few days. A celebration of Terry's life will be held at PAISAN'S RESTAURANT on Monday, April 21, 2014, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 16, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968) 

Note: Terrance B. Hartfelder's class year is based on information in the 1962 Tychoberahn, where he is pictured amongst the graduating seniors.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Obituary: Gerhard A. "Gary" Swenson Sr. - Class of 1947

MADISON - Gerhard A. "Gary" Swenson Sr., age 85, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family on Friday, April 11, 2014. He was born on Dec. 16, 1928, in Madison, the son of Arthur and Lucille (McCann) Swenson. Gary graduated from Central High School in 1947. After high school, he proudly served in the U.S. Army. On Aug. 12, 1950, he was united in marriage to his beloved Donna J. Soden in Dubuque, Iowa. He held a variety of jobs throughout his life, including, produce manager at Kroger's, Jewel-T sales, Montgomery Ward and driving for Badger Cab Co. He went on to work for 35 years with the City of Madison, ending his career as a supervisor of the Eastside Streets Department. Gary loved garage sales, going to thrift stores and auctions. He also enjoyed playing softball, watching his grandchildren's sporting events and doing crossword puzzles. He was known for his great sense of humor and quick wit. Gary loved his family, meeting new people and having good conversation, but most of all he cherished his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his children, Rhonda (Ed) Skolaski, Gary (Mary Larson) Swenson, Jay (Laura Shirley) Swenson and Andrea (Timm) Bailey; grandchildren, Carrie (Jake) Puls, Caitlin, Kiley and Grace Swenson and Warren and Sydney Bailey; great-granddaughter, Alex Puls; sisters, Virginia O'Brien and Arline Mickelson; brother, Paul Swenson; two half-siblings, Christine Marking and Lee Swenson; and many special nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna; his parents; and sisters, Phyllis Gillett and Grace Long. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at the RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 2418 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, with the Rev. Ann Fischer officiating. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Misty Melchert, the staff of Home Health United Hospice, Jenni, Melissa, Dawn, Rachel and Sr. Georgianne and also to the Cardiac Unit at St. Mary's Hospital. Memorials may be made to Parkinson's Disease Foundation, American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the MS Society of Wisconsin.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 13, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Obituary: Caryl (Young) Willan - Class of 1932

MADISON - Caryl Willan, "Mom, Ma, Gram," lived an amazing 100+ years. She passed away at Oakwood Village East on April 11, 2014. Caryl lived a good, full life for a 100+ years, a century, entirely in Madison. She was born to George and Sydonia Young on July 16, 1913, in the 1200 block of East Dayton Street in the Tenney/Lapham neighborhood. Caryl was the youngest of five siblings, Gertrude, Edith, Ruth and George Jr., all deceased. Caryl's entire childhood and many years of her young adult and married life were spent in the 1200 block of E. Dayton Street. Madison Central, now MATC, was Caryl's high school. She graduated from Central in June, 1932. She met her husband-to-be, Russell Willan, near her childhood home on Dayton Street. They were married on Oct. 29, 1932. Caryl and Russell had two sons and a daughter, Lyle (Judy), Rollie (Ginny) and Marilyn Greve. All three children have remained in the Madison area. Caryl's husband, Russell passed away in 1982. Caryl was affectionally know as "Gram" to 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Caryl Willan, during her century of life, demonstrated and lived an array of positive qualities. She was always there. A - rock" for her kids, a good listener and was not judgmental. Caryl always respected a person's privacy. Gossip or speaking with ill will was foreign to her. She was kind. She was a great mother-in-law, supportive, encouraging and didn't meddle. Caryl was a calm, even keeled woman. Anger was incredibly rare and always controlled. She lived a number of old adages: "Change what you can change, accept what you can't." "If you can't say something nice about someone, say nothing at all." She never complained and asked for little. Intellectually, Caryl remained sharp as a tack. Even in to her late 90's, Caryl paid her own bills, handled her own banking, read the newspaper regularly and always voted. In her later years, thanks to Terry (granddaughter) and Carl Dvorak, Caryl Willan became a "cruiser," going on a number of Caribbean Cruises. A death, after a century of life, is worth celebrating. We admire and celebrate Caryl Willan's meaningful, well-lived life. In her 100 years, Caryl witnessed and adapted to a myriad of changes: 18 presidents, beginning with Woodrow Wilson, too may wars (World War I, World War II, Korean, Viet Nam, Iraq I and Iraq II), the Depression and multiple recessions, horses to Ford Model T to Hybrid/Electric cars, air travel, space exploration, TV, computers, the internet, solar power and cell phones. Caryl Willan experienced so much change and yet remained vibrant, active and forever independent. Upon her passing, there is ample reason to celebrate. Thanks to Carl and Terry Dvorak for letting Mom experience life well beyond Dayton Street. Thanks to the folks at Oakwood Village East for making Mom's last two decades, safe, active and comfortable. Thanks to Dick Christofferson for the many red lobster lunches and staying in touch. Thanks to Agrace HospiceCare for making Mom's last days easier and more comfortable. Thanks to the Frautschi Family and Webcrafters for underwriting her health insurance so many years after retirement. Any Memorial Offerings could be made to Oakwood Village East c/o Oakwood Foundation, 6201 Mineral Point Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53705; Plymouth Congregational Church, 2410 Atwood Ave., Madison, Wisconsin, 53704; or Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the OAKWOOD VILLAGE EAST CHAPEL.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 13, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Obituary: Richard Neal Sweet - Class of 1967

MADISON - Richard Neal Sweet died of melanoma in Madison, on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Dick was born in Madison to Ben Sweet and Miriam (Gast) Sweet on Jan. 10, 1949, and was a lifelong Madison resident. He graduated from Lincoln grade school, Central High, UW-Madison, and UW Law School. Dick worked as an attorney for 36 years for the Wisconsin Legislative Council, a job that he enjoyed involving a mix of law and public policy. He specialized in health law, veterans issues, and administrative rules, and was widely respected for his work with the Wisconsin Legislature as well as the National Conference of State Legislatures. He retired in 2011 and enjoyed time reading, cooking, doing volunteer work, auditing UW classes, taking his collie, Riley, to dog parks, and spending time with family and friends. He was an ardent fan of the Milwaukee Brewers and UW sports.

While they were both working in the Legislature, Dick and Judy Zvara began dating and were married on a beautiful fall day in 1982 at the University Club on State Street. That day, October 3, was also the day the Milwaukee Brewers sealed their inclusion in the 1982 playoffs. Dick and Judy spent part of their honeymoon cheering for the Brewers at the World Series in Milwaukee.

Dick and Judy loved camping, cross-country skiing, and traveling; their pre-child adventures included a month-long trip to the British Isles. They enjoyed vacationing with their children at Disney World, Longboat Key, Fla., and many road trips in between. The family favorite was the annual trip "Up North" to northern Wisconsin with friends. Dick was known for his kindness, his humility, his even-handed and analytical approach to issues great and small, his dry wit, and his legendary knowledge of 50s and 60s rock music.

Dick is survived by his wife, Judy Zvara; children, Kathryn and David Sweet; and grandson, Oliver Sweet. Riley the collie already misses Dick's loving companionship. Dick is further survived by his sister, Linda Sweet; uncle, Morris Sweet (Helen); cousins, Pauline Sinnamon (Jim), Mark Sweet (Lynn), Nan Roytberg (Dimitry), and Mona Carver (David); sister-in-law, Carol Gobel; niece, Kristina Gobel (Steve Burgun) and their children, Matthew and Michael; and nephew, Gregory Gobel.

The family thanks the many friends with whom we have spent wonderful times through the years and who provided so much support during Dick's illness.

 Memorials may be made to RSVP of Dane County, The Road Home, or a charity of your choice.

A gathering to celebrate Dick's life will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the UNIVERSITY CLUB, 803 State St., in Madison.

 Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 9, 2014. Submitted by Sidney Iwanter (Class of 1967) and Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1969).

Obituary: Maurice "Maurie" Ellis - Class of 1953

WAUNAKEE - Maurice "Maurie" Ellis, age 79, died at home on Monday, April 7, 2014, after a courageous, two year battle with colon cancer.

Born on April 4, 1935, to Wayne and Eunice (Rasmussen) Ellis, Maurie spent his early years in the Brooklyn, Wis., area, moving to Madison in 1949. Maurie attended Central High School and graduated from UW-Stout in 1957. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959. On Dec. 28, 1957, Maurie married his college sweetheart, Mary Katherine "Kay" Kennedy, at St. Aloysius Church in Sauk City. Maurie and Kay started Ellis True Value Hardware Store, in the Westmoreland area of Madison, in 1961 and operated the business until 1990. Maurie then worked at Ace Hardware on Willie Street until retirement.

Maurie's retirement years were just as active as his career days until his illness forced him to slow down. He was always looking for a way to be of service to others and to help those around him. Maurie volunteered at Habitat for Humanity's Restore and with the Red Cross for 15 years, delivering donated blood and helping with disaster relief during hurricanes in Florida and Mississippi and tornados in Wisconsin. He was a member of the Devil's Head Ski Patrol for over 30 years, where he recently received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Ski Patrol for his many hours of community involvement. This award meant the world to Maurie and the timing of its presentation on Jan. 26, 2014, could not have been better.

Many people may know Maurie as the "Tool Man" as he was both a trader and restorer of fine hand tools. Every spring, collectors would follow the signs to Maurie's annual tool sale in Waunakee for tool bargains and tool-talk. Maurie could talk tools or skiing all day and made wonderful friends through his many interests. Maurie and Kay enjoyed years of camping, travel, and celebrations with their family of close friends, Fred and Marge, Pat and George, Ted and Sande, Dick and Shirley, Marty and Larry, and Joanne and Charlie. This close-knit group has dropped a stitch and will forever feel the hole left by Maurie's smile and quick wit.

Maurie is survived by his wife, Kay; daughter, Patti Ellis (Hugh Miller); son, Tim (Lynne); granddaughters, Kristi (Travis) Brown and Abby Ellis; sister, Betty Cerniglia; and sister-in-law, Jackie Murphy. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert; and brother-in-law, Matt Murphy.

Maurie was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and a joy to his many friends and colleagues. He will be deeply missed. The family would like to thank the staff at Dean Oncology and Agrace HospiceCare for their excellent care and compassion.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 11 a.m. at ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHOLIC CHURCH, 209 South St., Waunakee. A visitation will be held at church from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, or Agrace HospiceCare.

 Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 9, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968) and Martha Soules Rortvedt (Class of 1965).

The class year for Maurie Ellis is based on information from a 1953 list of Central High School graduates published in the Wisconsin State Journal.