Friday, October 08, 2004

Obituary: Harriet (Kessenich) Mueller - Class of 1936

MADISON - Harriet J. (Kessenich) Mueller died on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004, surrounded by her family, one day short of her 86th birthday. Harriet was born on Oct. 6, 1918, to Phil and Loretta (Dorsey) Kessenich. She graduated from Central High School in 1936. Harriet married her high school sweetheart, Donald Payton Mueller, on Dec. 31, 1941. Together they raised seven children until Don's early death on Sept. 27, 1968. Harriet was employed at University Hospitals and Clinics for 20 years, where she established the Word Processing Center. Upon retiring she then spent 20 years there as a volunteer in both the gift shop and front desk. Harriet loved God, her family and the Green Bay Packers! (She was probably their greatest coach.) Harriet was so very proud of her family and of her Irish heritage. She met life and her challenges head on. She faced breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer with courage and hope. She truly was quite a lady! Harriet is survived by the loves of her life, her seven children, Jim (Fran) Mueller of Greenville, S.C., Pat (Steve) Gilfoy of Madison, Jean (and the late Tom) Rauch of Madison, Kate (Bob) Watts of Madison, Mary (Steve) Stolen of Cottage Grove, Joanne (Charles) Turner of Madison, and Joe (Denise) Mueller of Madison. She had 13 grandchildren, Theresa and Mike Mueller, Tim, Ben and Sara Rauch, Kristen Lee, Molly Smith, Margaret and Melissa Watts, Jenny Stolen, and Jessica, Erika and Alexa Turner; step-grandsons, Jon, Chris and Ryan Bruns; and eight special great-grandchildren, Alex, Zach, Emily, Pendleton, Kaiden, Andrew, Christian and Liberty. Also surviving are her sisters-in-law, MaryEllen Lathers of West Bend, and Joann Mueller of Rockville, Ind.; many cousins, nieces, nephews, as well as many dear neighbors and special friends. Harriet was preceded in death by her husband, Don; her brothers and sisters; two brothers-in-law; and her son-in-law, Tom Rauch. Heartfelt thanks go to her caregivers and staff at University Hospitals and Clinics, Dr. Nizar Jarjour and Dr. David Watts, Theresa and Judy. Harriet was always treat with honesty, dignity and grace. Through HospiceCare new friends were made who became special to all of her family, care coordinators, Cheryl and Virgil, volunteers, Doug and Connie. Special thanks to two dear friends, Karen Osipoff and Susan Schiller. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Oct. 11, 2004, at 10:30 a.m. at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison. A Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Visitation will also be held on Monday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Memorials may be made to the Susan G. Kolman Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Lung Association or HospiceCare. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 8, 2004

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